Rangers atone for blunders

Football: Queen's Park Rangers 3 Norwich City 2
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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers moved into the First Division promotion picture with a hard-fought victory over Norwich. Rangers threatened to run riot in the first half against the team who had conceded 11 goals in their last two away games, but in the end they had to wait until five minutes from time for victory.

The shaky Norwich defence was under pressure as early as the third minute when Matt Jackson, the new signing from Everton, hauled down John Spencer. The referee gave a free-kick but, inexplicably, did not even book Jackson. Danny Dichio put the free kick just over the bar.

Bryan Gunn made a brilliant double save from Spencer and Trevor Sinclair after 12 minutes but 10 minutes later the Norwich keeper had no chance with the opening goal.

Spencer nodded the ball across the penalty area and Gavin Peacock, in his first game since making his pounds 1m move from Chelsea permanent, hit a superb volley into the corner.

Rangers were stunned by a bizarre equaliser after 39 minutes. Ian Crook's 30-yard shot looked simple for keeper Tony Roberts but he managed to fumble the ball into his own net.

His embarrassment lasted just one minute, for at the other end Peacock fed Dichio and he swept Rangers back in front.

Norwich equalised in the 74th minute after another QPR blunder. This time substitute Danny Maddix missed a clearance and Darren Eadie was allowed to run through to shoot past Roberts.

With five minutes left Rangers scored the winner. Sinclair curled a cross and after a scramble Australian full-back Andrew McDermott buried a shot from five yards.

Queen's Park Rangers: Roberts, McDermott, Brevett, Barker, McDonald (Maddix, 36), Ready, Spencer, Peacock, Dichio, Brazier (Impey, 84), Sinclair. Substitute not used: Hateley.

Norwich City: Gunn, Newman, Jackson, Sutch, Polston, Crook, Adams, Milligan, Eadie, Johnson, O'Neill. Substitutes not used: Fleck, Mills, Scott.

Referee: M Pierce (Portsmouth).