Impey's strike nets a point for Rangers

Norwich City 1 Queen's Park Rangers 1
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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers may still be without a manager to replace Ray Wilkins, but at least they successfully rejoined the search for league points last night with Andrew Impey's smart drive eight minutes from time securing them a deserved equaliser.

It was a remarkable turnaround for the London club. Rangers were run ragged in the opening 45 minutes, and then they demonstrated, in the way they steadied then counter-punched, that they are a side who have not lost their spirit despite losing their mentor.

A third successive defeat had looked likely. The early evidence was of the advantage to be gained from a settled club and a happy dressing room. But having dominated with something to spare, Norwich were left cursing at the end as their chance to regain second place in the First Division was denied.

It seemed strange to mention harmony and Norwich in the same breath after two dark and desperate years experienced by the Canaries. Yet Mike Walker's return has instilled a new impetus at Carrow Road and, at 33, Ian Crook, their midfield creator, is playing as well as ever.

His accurate, laser passes enabled Ade Akinbiyi, Darren Eadie and Neil Adams to stretch their legs, and Rangers struggled to catch their breath. They were trailing from the 17th minute when a cleverly worked free-kick from Crooks opened the way for Adams to strike his fifth goal of the campaign with a splendid drive.

Shaun Carey and Akinbiyi both worked themselves into inviting openings but Norwich were never able to sustain such pressure again. Instead, it was Rangers who began to get a grip on the match, with Trevor Sinclair a more threatening presence down the right, forcing his opponents to deal with a series of dangerous crosses.

Paul Murray bounced a lofted attempt off the top of the bar as an equaliser loomed. It duly arrived following a second booking for the full-back, Danny Mills, which raised Norwich's red-card statistics to four for the season. The free-kick was only partially cleared and Impey gleefully accepted his chance.

Norwich City (4-3-3): Gunn; Sutch, Newman, Polston, Mills; Crook, Milligan, Carey; Adams, Akinbiyi, Eadie. Substitutes not used: Wright, Rush, Cureton.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Sommer; Jackson, Yates, McDonald, Brevett; Challis (Murray, 69), Quashie, Barker, Impey; Sinclair, Dichio, Substitutes not used: Maddix, Charles.

Referee: M Bailey (Impington).

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