QPR got the win against Shamrock Rovers in Saturday afternoon’s friendly in Tallaght Stadium on the day Trevor Croly left the club. After the morning announcement of Croly’s managerial departure from the Hoops, John Gill was in charge for this friendly but his team were on the losing side as Harry Redknapp’s Premier League team earned the win thanks to a pair of braces by Junior Hoilett and Charlie Austin. Redknapp had won by the same scoreline on his last visit to Tallaght when his then Spurs side played Rovers in the Europa League.
The visitors lined out with Tallaghtman Richard Dunne anchoring the centre of QPR’s three man defence. John Gill gave Ruben Perez Ortega a run out up front on his own for Rovers as the Spanish striker looks to earn a contract with the Dublin club. The Deportivo Varea forward, who was top scorer in the Spanish Third Division two seasons ago, showed some nice touches in the opening period.
They had the first chance of the game when a fine tackle 8 minutes in by QPR’s Nedum Onuoha prevented Ortega’s shot troubling Robert Green after good build up work by Ciarán Kilduff and Shane Robinson.
Robert Bayly’s backpass towards Rovers ‘keeper Craig Hyland should have been punished by Austin but he pushed his shot wide. Joey Barton had the next chance for QPR after Rovers failed to effectively clear their ranks but he couldn’t find the target.
Still within the opening fifteen minutes, Ortega won a corner off Dunne. Some Marty Waters trickery on the end line set up Kilduff to shoot. Steven Caulker’s block sent the ball Shane Robinson’s way but his shot deflected away from danger.
A minute later the opening goal went to QPR after great link up play by Alejandro Faurlin and Hoilett who, when put in on goal, made no mistake to beat Hyland’s left hand to score on 16 minutes.
Just after the half hour mark, Ortega’s turn and cross flashed across the box but Kilduff couldn’t get his head on the centre and soon after QPR doubled their lead. David O’Connor had put a Bobby Zamora header behind for a corner and when Barton swung it in from the right, Austin rose highest to head home.
When Faurlin committed a foul on 37 minutes in, it looked like Ryan Brennan would put the free into the box but he took it short to Bayly who blasted the ball over the bar. Just before the half time break a mistake by Caulker was pounced on by Kilduff. His shot went wide with both the goal at his mercy and Marty Waters screaming for a centre unmarked on the edge of the six yard box.
Redknapp brought on Brian Murphy in goal in the second half and the former Bohemians goalkeeper had a quiet period in the opening period as heavy ran began to fall in Tallaght. David O’Connor’s foul on Hoilett on the edge of the area gave QPR a free at the edge of the box and Barton put the ball over the wall but a fraction over the bar on 57 minutes.
Rovers pressed on trying to find a breakthrough with Brennan’s shot gathered cleanly by Murphy as it zipped off the wet Tallaght turf. Kilduff’s header drifted wide when Marty Waters’ got free down the left to float in a Rovers cross on 68 minutes.
Gill used the last quarter of the game to bring six players off the bench but his team couldn’t find a goal for the home Hoops fans to cheer as Richard Dunne kept a clean sheet in Tallaght. With three minutes remaining it looked like Shaun Wright-Philips would score for the R’s but his dinked shot over substitute goalkeeper Conor O’Malley dropped just wide of the left hand post.
With the clock ticking towards 90 minutes, Hoilett scored with the help of a deflection and then in injury time Austin grabbed his second from Wright-Philips’ cross to make it 4-0. Rovers travel to Dalymount Park on Bank Holiday Monday evening to take on Bohemians in the EA Sports Cup semi-final while QPR complete their pre-season tour to Ireland with a game in Athlone on Tuesday evening.
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland (Conor O’Malley 79); Maxime Vuille, Rob Cornwall (Jason McGuinness h/t), David O’Connor (Nathan Benson 79), Luke Byrne (Michael Kelly h/t); Ryan Brennan (Mark Sandford 72), Marty Waters (Cian Kavanagh 71), Shane Robinson (Ryan Doolin 63), Robert Bayly (Gavin Boyne 79), Ciaran Kilduff (Ben Hanrahan 79), Ruben Perez Ortega (Adam Whelan 63).
Subs Not Used: None.
Queens Park Rangers: Robert Green (Brian Murphy h/t); Danny Simpson, Steven Caulker, Richard Dunne, Nedum Onuoha, Armand Traore; Joey Barton, Alejandro Faurlin (Karl Henry 64), Junior Hoilett; Charlie Austin, Bobby Zamora (Shaun Wright-Philips 62).
Subs Not Used: Clint Hill
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Report by Macderra Ferris