Doyle inspires comeback at QPR
QPR 1 Wolves 2
Saturday 04 February 2012
Substitute Kevin Doyle inspired a second-half Wolves comeback at QPR to secure an vital victory in west London.
The Ireland international came off the bench at half-time and helped set up Matt Jarvis' equaliser 51 seconds later, before going on to net the winner.
Their victory was the first in 10 league attempts and helps relieve some of the pressure on under-fire manager Mick McCarthy.
It had looked like QPR boss Mark Hughes would be going home with the three points after debutant Bobby Zamora fired QPR into a deserved lead just days after his move from west London rivals Fulham.
Wolves were given a way back into the game, though, when fellow striker Djibril Cisse was shown a straight red card for an altercation with Roger Johnson in the 34th minute.
The sending off changed the match and goals from Jarvis and Doyle helped Wolves to just their third victory since August.
McCarthy's side came into the match looking devoid of confidence as the hosts bossed the opening minutes.
Fresh from netting on his debut in midweek, Cisse tested Wayne Hennessey inside four minutes before strike partner Zamora forced the Wales international to parry a fierce 20-yard drive.
QPR's confidence in the opening exchanges was epitomised by the returning Adel Taarabt, who played a neat one-two with Zamora before curling just wide of the far post.
Steven Fletcher fired wide on a rare Wolves attack, although it was the Hoops that were enjoying the lion's share of possession.
They made their dominance count in the 16th minute when Shaun Wright-Phillips held up a ball from Taarabt and laid off for Zamora to lash home.
Wolves' afternoon soon got worse when Emmanuel Frimpong limped off.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced the on-loan Arsenal midfielder and, while the change was enforced, the visitors soon began to improve.
Fletcher curled a 20-yard free-kick wide of Paddy Kenny's goal soon after as McCarthy's side pushed for an equaliser.
The pressure, though, soon petered out with Cisse's pace proving a problem for the Wolves back line.
However, the France international's afternoon only lasted 34 minutes after he reacted to a late Johnson challenge.
Cisse retaliated and raised his hands to the defender, leading referee Mark Clattenburg to issue a straight red card.
The centre-back was handed a yellow card for his role in the altercation as temperatures began to rise inside Loftus Road, with Fletcher booked for a late lunge soon after.
Jamie O'Hara was lucky not to follow him into the referee's notebook, but debutante Sebastien Bassong did on the stroke of half-time.
McCarthy replaced Richard Stearman at the break in a bid to change things, with Doyle coming on his place.
The Ireland international made an immediate impact as his right-wing cross was not cleared by the QPR defence and fell to Matt Jarvis, who cut inside Luke Young and curled home past Kenny.
The goal came 51 seconds into the second period as Wolves upped the ante, with a Fletcher header rebounding back off the bar moments later.
QPR looked stunned and only a last-ditch goalline clearance by Anton Ferdinand stopped Ebanks-Blake poking home an already goal-bound Fletcher effort.
Kenny had to be alert to stop a 20-yard Doyle effort in the 53rd minute as Wolves looked to take the lead in front of the vocal 1,649 visiting fans.
QPR were struggling to find an outlet in attack after Cisse's sending-off, but came close from a 30-yard Taarabt free-kick, which dipped just wide of Hennessey's near post.
Ebanks-Blake, O'Hara and Doyle all flashed attempts wide as Wolves continued to press, leading QPR boss Hughes to make changes.
Armand Traore and Fitz Hall replaced Shaun Derry and Young, with the latter holding his right thigh as he came off.
The changes could not thwart Wolves, though, and they took the lead in the 71st minute through Doyle.
O'Hara played the ball through to Ebanks-Blake, who laid off for the substitute to slot home from close range and deservedly give the visitors the lead.
Rob Hulse came on for Zamora as Hughes made his last roll of the dice and seemed to spur the home side into life.
Aside from a Jarvis effort that Kenny parried, QPR dominated the final 10 minutes as Traore hit a well-struck effort before Hennessey did superbly to tip over a 30-yard Taarabt shot.
Wright-Phillips, Barton and Ferdinand all had late efforts but Wolves held on for victory.
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