R's Ease Past Shots - Full Match Report
Queens Park Rangers found their goalscoring touch at the Recreation Ground as two goals in either half helped them see off hosts Aldershot Town.
In inclement conditions in Hampshire, Magilton`s Rangers displayed their cutting edge in front of goal along with glimpses free-flowing passing football in either half.
The returning Akos Buzsaky powered home the opener from close range, and his scuffed effort enabled Heidar Helguson to double the R`s advantage from close range soon after.
Wholesale changes in the second period proved decisive for the visitors with Patrick Agyemang coolly slotting home a one-on-one and Dexter Blackstock bundling the ball home to round off a successful first test for QPR.
Rangers were without winger Lee Cook who has had surgery on his knee during the summer, while Martin Rowlands continues to progress in his rehabilitation from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
While record capture Alejandro Faurlín trained with the players on the pitch, he was unable to take part in the fixture as he awaits international clearance, with Damion Stewart still with his Jamaican team-mates at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
There was some good news with regards to Akos Buzsaky who started on the left flank, with Gavin Mahon, Matteo Alberti and Wayne Routledge making up the midfield quartet. Romone Rose was deployed in the unfamiliar position of right full-back, with QPR fans able to have their first glimpse of Gary Borrowdale on the left.
The central defensive partnership of Fitz Hall and Matthew Connolly sat infront of first choice goalkeeper Radek Cerny, while trialist David Connolly started upfront alongside Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson.
Kick Off: Aldershot Town v Queens Park Rangers
The heavens opened as the game kicked off at the Recreation ground with a slick, sodden surface making for difficult playing conditions in the early exchange. Magilton`s experimentation with youngster Romone Rose at full back was one of the early talking points as he got forward to help out Wayne Routledge without neglecting his defensive duties.
Routledge in particular was in sprightly form down the right, as every searching pass from QPR seemed to find the feet of the former Tottenham Hotspur winger. His forays down the right flank helped create ample opportunity for the visitors to get forward in numbers, and his creative outlet seemed to be crucial to Rangers attacking threat.
Heidar Helguson came in for criticism from some quarters last season, as the Icelandic international lacked a killer instinct in front of goal when it mattered most. He looked to put that behind him in brisk fashion in this encounter, linking up well with trialist David Connolly before unleashing a powerful left-footed drive which cannoned back off the crossbar.
David Connolly and Routledge both received a knock in the early stages but were able to run them off with the former looking to impress Magilton and earn himself a contract with the R`s. In a good spell for Rangers it was Connolly who nearly broke the deadlock receiving a pass from Routledge before his left footed, curling effort dipped narrowly over the left-hand upright.
A dubious free-kick on the edge of the area handed the Shots the opportunity to take the lead when John Grant was adjudged to have been felled. Lewis Chalmers, a player who has previously scored against QPR`s reserves, stepped up confidently and produced a good save to Cerny low and to his left.
After threatening the Shots goalmouth for an extended period, the R`s finally had the lead, and it came courtesy of the returning Magical Magyar. Routledge was once again instrumental in the build up as he slid the ball into Matteo Alberti, the young Italian subsquently found Buzsaky on the left flank.
Akos Buzsaky beat trialist Che Wilson with consummate ease coming inside before rifling an unstoppable right-footed drive into the top right hand corner, leaving stopper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz rooted to his position.
Goal: Aldershot Town 0-1 Queens Park Rangers
Rangers now had the bit between their teeth with winger Routledge in full flow down the right flank with Andy Sandell being given a torrid time at the hands of the former Aston Villa man. It wasn`t long before Wayne`s latest input carved out another goalscoring opportunity for the R`s.
He pushed the ball well beyond Sandell and made up the ground with ease before firing a right footed cross to the far post where Akos Buzsaky was lurking. The Hungarian took a snap-shot which fell into the path of Heidar Helguson, and the former Watford man tucked his effort home off the left-hand upright.
Goal: Aldershot Town 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Aldershot, under the guidance of former QPR midfielder Gary Waddock, began to threaten the Rangers target with John Grant carving out a cross for the active Louis Chalmers and his deflected effort found stopper Cerny in fine form once more to beat the effort away low to his right.
While his kicking game was rather sporadic, the Rangers stopper reminded the QPR fans why he was the joint recipient of the Championship golden glove last season, remaining alert to beat away the deflected opportunity.
Wayne Routledge could have trebled the R`s advantage with minutes remaining as Gary Borrowdale`s cross evaded a whole host of bodies in the area but the winger could only plant his effort into the side netting.
Moments later and the Shots threatened again this time it was Louis Soares who tried his luck from distance, but once again the Czech stopper was more than equal to the effort, tipping it around the post for a corner.
The referee drew first half proceedings to a close with the R`s undeniably the better side. In the early stages of pre-season the signs were positive for many as the fans braced themselves for wholesale changes.
Half Time: Aldershot Town 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Rangers started the second period with Radek Cerny the only survivor from the first period. Joe Oastler, Kaspars Gorkss and Peter Ramage came on in defence with fans favourite Gareth Ainsworth and Hogan Ephraim providing the width. Mikele Leigertwood sat in midfield alongside Angelo Balanta, with a three pronged attack consisting of Rowan Vine, Patrick Agyemang and Dexter Blackstock.
The hosts introduced former Watford striker Moses Ashikodi and former Brighton man Adam Hinshelwood as they looked to claw their way back into the encounter.
Barely ten minutes into the second period and Rangers made their dominance count with Mikele Leigertwood the heartbeat of the Rangers midfield. His lofted pass was timed to perfection as Patrick Agyemang raced clear of his defender and delivered a deft finish, clipping the ball over the onrushing Ruiz.
Goal: Aldershot Town 0-3 Queens Park Rangers
Gareth Ainsworth was receiving the adulation of the Rangers following throughout the second period as it was recently announced, albeit through the back door, that Gareth would only be considered as part of the playing staff for the current campaign.
The 36-year-old winger was never out of the action during his spell on the field, and set-up what was to be Rangers fourth goal of the afternoon. The veteran danced around Anthony Straker before sending a testing ball into the heart of the area. The aforementioned Hinshelwood and Simon Ainge conspired to fluff their lines and Dexter Blackstock poked the ball home from close range.
Goal: Aldershot Town 0-4 Queens Park Rangers
Such was a mark of the striker he nonchalantly bent down to tie his boot laces in celebration, before earning handshakes of congratulations from team-mates Vine and Agyemang.
Substitute Moses Ashikodi had the chance to make the scoreline a little more respectable after the hour mark after livewire central midfielder Danny Hylton fed him on the left hand side of the penalty area. The former Millwall and Watford man snatched at the opportunity and fired well over the bar.
The hosts, sensing they had nothing to lose, were now in the ascendancy with Hylton at the forefront of everything they had to throw at QPR. When he latched onto a cross field pass and worked his way into the area he was sent tumbling by the outstanding Joe Oaster, and the referee paused before giving the Shots a spot kick.
A melee ensued between the players as to who would take the kick, and Hylton was the eventual victor and he strode up right footed. Unfortunately for him Radek Cerny was in fine form between the sticks and denied the spot-kick low and to his right.
Rangers attitude throughout the game was epitomised by the bulldog spirit of winger Gareth Ainsworth, who flew in whole-heartedly in a 50/50 challenge with Dave Winfield. A player who doesn`t know the meaning of friendly Ainsworth rose to a rapturous reception from the Rangers following - suffice to say Winfield ended up worse off.
Glimpses of the passing football fans are likely to expect came with just under 15 minutes remaining as a breathtaking display of slick passing football nearly carved an opening for Patrick Agyemang, but the former Preston man had his effort deflected wide.
The match was drawn to a close by the official with QPR fans understandably happy at a good opening display from their side. At times these games tend to be laboured in their approach, but with Ainsworth in fine form the R`s were treated to cameos of what they can expect in the coming campaign.
Full Time: Aldershot Town 0-4 Queens Park Rangers
Man of the Match: Akos Buzsaky - The Magical Magyar made a triumphant return to the first team and showed the supporters his vast capabilities in what was a brief first half cameo. His goal was taken with aplomb and he contributed to Rangers attacking threat without ever looking likely to break sweat.
Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Chris Blackburn (Simon Ainge), Louie Soares (Tom Hateley), Lewis Chalmers (Bobby Hopkinson), John Grant (Moses Ashikodi), Marvin Morgan (Reece Connolly), Kirk Hudson (Danny Hylton), Dave Winfield, Ben Harding, Che Wilson (Adam Hinshelwood), Andy Sandell (Anthony Straker)
Queens Park Rangers
Radek Cerny, Romone Rose (Peter Ramage), Gary Borrowdale (Hogan Ephraim), Gavin Mahon (Angelo Balanta), Fitz Hall (Kaspars Gorkss), Matthew Connolly (Joe Oastler), Wayne Routledge (Gareth Ainsworth), Heidar Helguson (Rowan Vine)(Antonio German), David Connolly (Patrick Agyemang), Akos Buzsaky (Dexter Blackstock), Matteo Alberti (Mikele Leigertwood)