Portsmouth sunk by Gallen

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The Independent Online
Much as Terry Venables, Portsmouth's new director of football, must have been impressed by the standard set by his old club, Queen's Park Rangers, at Fratton Park last night, he will doubtless hardly appreciate his present club's plight.

Kevin Gallen's two goals took Rangers to the top of the embroynic First Division table but Portsmouth are now bottom after losing their opening two. Not even Gallen, the scorer of Rangers' sixth minute opener, would dispute that the highlight of the first half was indisputably the 37th minute appearance of an attractive female streaker.

Rangers' fans had just started to question why a ''goal'' had been ruled out by the referee when she entered the fray. Whether it was for hand- ball by Andrew Impey who fed him the pass or off-side, the debate was left in the air when the girl came onto the pitch from the main stand to wild cheers from both sets of supporters. And what's more, this one was more daring than Wimbledon's centre court exhibitionist who concealed her modesty with a pinafore.

She negotiated the centre circle and then, when pursued by stewards, headed for Jurgen Sommer's goal and rounded off her act by plunging into the six-yard area. She had come a lot closer to scoring than the home side, who were restricted to two decent glimpses of goal before the interval.

Sommer, diving to his left, safely held a header from Martin Allen and when Portsmouth pressed again on the stroke of half-time Impey got his head into the way of a goal-bound effort from Lee Russell following good work between Paul Hall and Dion Burton.

Rangers, neater and more precise in their build-up, had gone ahead when Dichio provided Gallen with an opening. Goalkeeper Aaron Flahavan palmed away the shot that could not prevent the striker following up to score.

Rangers almost doubled their lead in the 50th minute. Their player-manager Ray Wilkins, who had been booked in the first half for kicking the ball away at a free kick, sent over a cross which Dichio met with a beautifully- struck volley. Flahavan excelled himself by plunging to his right to stop the ball entering the net off the far upright.

No sooner had substitute Sammy Igoe equalised for Portsmouth after dispossessing Impey and rounding Sommer than Gallen was hitting the Rangers winner from Trevor Sinclair's low cross. Gallen, tackled as he scored, went down in agony however and played no further part.

Portsmouth (4-4-2): Flahavan; Pethick, Butters, Awford, Russell; Carter (Igoe, 46), Allen, McLoughlin, Simpson; Burton, Hall. Substitutes not used: Bradbury, Waterman.

QPR (4-4-2): Sommer; Jackson, Yates, McDonald, Brevett; Sinclair, Barker, Wilkins, Impey (Murray, 74); Gallen (Maddix, 76), Dichio. Substitute not used: Roberts.

Referee: A N Butler (Sutton in Ashfield).

n Tranmere, weakened by injuries, twice came from behind to beat Grimsby in a stirring match at Prenton Park.

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