Bournemouth 2 QPR 1 match report: South-coast neighbours leave returning Harry Redknapp beached
The latest blow to the hopes of Harry Redknapp leading Queens Park Rangers to automatic promotion could not have come from much closer to home. Redknapp could have walked to work yesterday from his Sandbanks mansion to the ground where he cut his teeth in management to see his team of ex-Premier League big names outfought by a hard-working Bournemouth side with play-off aspirations of their own.
He might have reflected that this was a fine way for the Cherries to show their gratitude for his 100 games as a player, between 1972 and 1976, and nine years in the dugout from 1983 to 1992 – not to mention the loan of players including Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe.
But the Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, who played briefly for Redknapp at Portsmouth, has his own agenda. The club are aiming for their highest-ever finish, beating their 12th place under Redknapp in 1989, and hope for better still, namely sixth. “It’s still on,” Howe said.
Redknapp made a low-key entrance, with no fanfare and only three or four spectators requiring autographs. The game opened predictably, QPR outpassing the enthusiastic but limited home side and forcing two excellent saves from Lee Camp with shots from distance. And just as predictably, they failed to make what should have been superior skill count, and fell behind to central defender Tommy Elphick’s header from a corner in first-half injury time.
Rangers levelled within seconds of the restart, Armand Traoré controlling Tom Carroll’s pass and volleying in but, just short of the hour, Bournemouth’s top scorer, Lewis Grabban, pounced after QPR failed to clear Yann Kermorgant’s cross-shot from the left.
Redknapp threw on top scorer, Charlie Austin, fit again after missing 12 games with a shoulder injury, and saw his side handed an advantage when Harry Arter was sent off for a foul on Junior Hoilett. But they were frustrated and denied in the last second of the match when Brett Pitman nodded Richard Dunne’s header off the line. “We lacked imagination.” Redknapp said. “It [automatic promotion] looks impossible now.”
AFC Bournemouth (4-4-2): Camp; Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte; Ritchie (Fraser, 75), Surman, Arter, Pugh (Pitman, 90); Kermorgant (O’Kane, 70), Grabban.
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-1-1): Green; Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto; Hoilett, Carroll, Jenas (Benayoun, 72), Traoré (Zamora, 80); Morrison; Maiga (Austin, 64).
Referee: Jon Moss
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on Liverpool manager being sacked, despite Jurgen Klopp announcement
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history