Mahon rises to the occasion for Rangers

QPR 1 Cardiff City 0

It was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show at Loftus Road, where QPR needed substitute Gavin Mahon's late winner to defeat nine-man Cardiff in an anti-climactic match between two supposed promotion contenders.

Hours after the City of London's new Lord Mayor was being sworn in amidst pageantry across the capital, these teams produced a game lacking any colour.

Substitute Mahon headed home 10 minutes from the end but Cardiff manager Dave Jones provided the most newsworthy moment of the afternoon after the final whistle, risking an FA reprimand by launching a withering attack on referee Lee Probert.

The official reduced Cardiff to 10 men for more than an hour, after Darren Purse's harsh straight red card for a 28th-minute foul on Lee Cook.

He also dismissed Miguel Comminges four minutes from the finish for a second bookable offence, the second yellow coming after he spoke to an assistant referee.

"You talk about respect in the game but he's not respected my players," said Jones, battling the curse of October's manager-of-the-month award, following six games unbeaten with back-to-back defeats in November.

"The referee's performance was simply not acceptable at this level. Officials like that just don't understand the game. Purse's was never a sending-off and Miguel talked to the linesman and got sent off for it.

"They've got to look at the officials today and see if they're good enough. It's crazy if that's what's going to happen for the rest of the season."

Rangers were second best for much of the contest, leaving caretaker manager Gareth Ainsworth sweating on watching chairman Flavio Briatore's decision over a full-time appointment. David O'Leary, Darren Ferguson and Roberto Mancini are rival candidates. "I'm tackling everything head on and there's been no talk of time limits or anything," said Ainsworth, who faces a daunting trip to Manchester United in the fourth round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

Sacked former manager Iain Dowie objected to Briatore's hands-on style but Ainsworth claimed he had no problem with the Italian and co-owner Bernie Ecclestone visiting the home dressing room before kick-off.

"Flavio was in the dressing room with Bernie before the game, motivating the players and geeing up the team," Ainsworth said. "Flavio likes to be involved. But the final team is mine."

Cardiff had plugged the gap left by hamstring victims Ross McCormack and Jay Bothroyd with fellow striker Michael Chopra, back on a two-month loan at the club where he hit 22 goals to earn last year's £5 million move to Sunderland.

After 13 minutes, Chopra worked space inside the penalty box but scuffed the ball across the face of goal.

City controlled the game and only a magnificent fingertip save from former Spurs goalkeeper Radek Cerny denied Stephen McPhail a 21st-minute goal after he clipped Roger Johnson's pull-back goalwards.

The dismissal of City captain Purse came seven minutes later after his tackle on Cook, who was 40 yards from goal and not the last man.

Peter Whittingham fizzed a shot over the bar as half-time neared and, after it, Samuel Di Carmine lashed an angled effort over the top of the bar for the home side.

The contest was more even now and Rangers substitute Akos Buzsaky's swerving drive was spilt by keeper Tom Heaton. Another replacement, Patrick Agyemang, wastefully sliced the close-range rebound against the outside of the post, as the assistant referee flagged for offside.

Rangers' breakthrough arrived when Mahon rose highest to meet Peter Ramage's cross eight yards out and send a looping header into the top-right corner.

Comminges joined Purse in the dressing room four minutes from the end when he was booked for a foul and then, 60 seconds later, spoke to the assistant.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas