Friend Takes Charge Of Saints Clash
Kevin Friend from Leicestershire will take charge of QPR`s fixture against Southampton on Sunday, Vital QPR gives you the low-down on the official.
Referee Friend is certainly a positive omen for many Rangers supporters as clearly one of the biggers 'homers` in the refereeing circuit. Not one to rock the boat Friend has taken charge of five fixtures thus far this season, seeing three home wins and two draws.
Mr. Friend first took charge of the R`s at Meadow Lane, as Kevin Gallen snatched a much needed point but Paul Heffernan`s hatrick stole the show for the Magpies. He booked three Rangers players in the process.
Later that year there was an even more important draw, where as Notts. County was a point gained, the Stockport County fixture was certainly two points dropped, in a 1-1 draw. Were it not for Bristol City hitting the buffers on the same day, Rangers would have been chasing that second spot they ultimately claimed in 2004.
Having been promoted the R`s faced tough opposition in Derby County, and somehow claimed a draw at Pride Park under the eyes of Mr. Friend. Inigo Idiakez whistled several set-pieces narrowly over Simon Royce`s cross bar, as the R`s clung onto a point.
Gary Waddock`s men travelled in more trepidation that hope to Bramall Lane as they faced Sheffield United, but somehow Rangers battled to an impressive 3-2 win, Furlong slamming home the winner. Two own goals, a Nygaard strike and five bookings in a match that had everything. Ultimately it was the only remaining joy the R`s would have that season as they slumped to fourth bottom.
Once again Mr. Friend saw last gasp drama as Shabazz Baidoo slotted home against Leeds United to secure a 2-2 draw at Loftus Road. On the day where Zesh Rehman was paraded around Loftus Road as the R`s latest capture, Rangers plugged away but looked second best throughout, before a penalty levelled matters, and Baidoo was on hand to peg United back once more.
Mr. Friend presided over the R`s first defeat when Birmingham City beat Rangers 2-1 at St. Andrews on Boxing Day, despite an excellent Lee Cook effort to draw matters level at one stage.
Fast forward to February 2008, and Rangers were riding the crest of a wave, 2-0 up against Burnley at home and looking unstoppable under Luigi De Canio. Andy Cole had different ideas, a hatrick from the ex-Manchester United and Newcastle United forward put the R`s to the sword in a 4-2 defeat.
Kevin Friend has taken charge of six Rangers fixtures overall seeing only two defeats, four draws and one sensational win. He booked several R`s players, but sent off no-one, however he cannot be accused of being a bottler after bafflingly sending off Watford player John Eustace against Hull City in the play-off semi-final.
Last season Mr. Friend officiated 41 games, handing out 100 yellows and 11 reds, and in his five fixtures this season he has handed out 14 yellow cards.
Mr. Friend & Queens Park Rangers
Notts County 3-3 QPR - 26th December 2003.
Goals: Paul Heffernan 6, 28, 72pen; Palmer 3, Richardson 10og, Gallen 90.
Booked: Tony Barrass; Marc Bircham, Clarke Carlisle, Martin Rowlands.
QPR 1-1 Stockport County - 17th April 2004.
Goals: Martin Rowlands 3; Rob Clare 58.
Booked: Marcus Bean, Matthew Rose; Jim Goodwin.
Derby County 0-0 QPR - 16th March 2005.
Booked: Lee Cook.
Sheffield United 2-3 QPR - 25th February 2006.
Goals: Ade Akinbiyi 21, Marc Bircham 29og; Marc Nygaard 6, Chris Morgan 56og, Paul Furlong 74.
Booked: Michael Tonge; Richard Langley, Steve Lomas, Marc Nygaard, Danny Shittu.
QPR 2-2 Leeds United - 8th August 2006.
Goals: Martin Rowlands 81pen, Shabazz Baidoo 90; Eddie Lewis 65, Geoff Horsfield 82.
Booked: Damion Stewart; Stephen Crainey, Shaun Derry, Matthew Kilgallon, Tony Warner.
Birmingham City 2-1 QPR - 26th December 2006.
Goals: Matthew Upson 22, Cameron Jerome 62; Lee Cook 31.
Booked: Nicklas Bendtner; Mauro Milanese.
QPR 2-4 Burnley - 12th February 2008.
Goals: Gavin Mahon 14, Patrick Agyemang 30; Andy Cole 41, 56, 86, Ade Akinbiyi 77.
Booked: Mikele Leigertwood; Stanislav Varga.
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