Full Time: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 QPR
Queens Park Rangers eased past Forest Green Rovers this evening, despite fielding a youthful side at the New Lawn.
Rangers took the game by storm in the opening minute when defender Damion Stewart reacted quickest to a dropped cross to tap home.
In a game stifled by multiple substitutions, Italian forward Alessandro Pellicori poked home the second after Akos Buzsaky`s free-kick came back off the upright.
The R`s saw it as an ideal opportunity to blood the youngsters with several of Rangers youth team making appearances from the start or off the bench.
Magilton will see this as a useful work out for his side as he prepares for the next friendly against Oxford United on Friday evening.
Rangers started with a fairly youthful line-up with Romone Rose, Lee Brown and Joe Oastler accompanied Damion Stewart in a back line which sat infront of trialist Andy Marshall.
There was a start for the returning Martin Rowlands as he continues his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, suffered in a victory against Derby County last season. He was accompanied by Matteo Alberti in the middle with Akos Buzsaky and Hogan Ephraim on the flanks.
The R`s had a strike force of Patrick Agyemang and Alessandro Pellicori with South African trialist Davide Somma waiting in the wings.
Forest Green were not a side to be taken lightly as shown by their demolition of Charlton Athletic three days ago
Kick Off: Forest Green Rovers v Queens Park Rangers
The R`s didn`t have to wait long to break the deadlock at the New Lawn, when a quickly taken corner caught out the Rovers backline. Goalkeeper Terry Burton made a hash of a Martin Rowlands cross and it was left to defender Damion Stewart to tap home for the R`s after a matter of seconds.
GOAL: Forest Green Rovers 0-1 Queens Park Rangers
The strike duo of Agyemang and Pellicori were linking up well and the latter spurned a chance after the direct running of Agyemang found the Italian in some space in the area. He rather snatched at the effort after a neat take-down and the Blue Square Premier side could breathe a sigh of relief.
Terry Brown`s uncertainty was a worry for his side as a fizzing cross from the flank caught the keeper in no mans land, but fortunately for Brown and Rovers Agyemang was unable to get a toe-end on the ball as it rolled away from the target.
Rangers youthful line-up was holding up well with the likes of Brown, Oastler and Rose relatively untested in defence. The latter in fact was doing his best to get forward and support winger Hogan Ephraim as Rangers launched counter attacks.
Relatively few chances ensued for the R`s to reflect their dominance in possession, but there was some neat interplay on display with Rowlands and Alberti the engine room at the heart of the R`s midfield and Rose and Ephraim linking up nicely on the right.
The class of Akos Buzsaky on the left-wing was evident for all to see, and his dead-ball prowess was also in evidence when he fired a 35-yard-free kick back off the post. Fortunately for the R`s Italian striker Alessandro Pellicori reacted fastest to the rebound and sent his diving header past Brown with consummate ease.
GOAL: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Andy Marshall was called into action for the first time in the fixture when attacking player Dave Brown fired in an effort, which was more than matched by the former Coventry City stopper.
There was a moment of worry for Rangers when impressive winger Hogan Ephraim fell awkwardly on his shoulder. After manipulation of the injured area by physio Paul Hunter, Ephraim took to the field once again, much to the relief of QPR fans and management alike.
A few minutes from half time Patrick Agyemang fired an effort across goal and only a deflection prevented the forlorn stopper from having to pull off a save.
Rangers went into the break into the ascendancy with a flurry of corners and attacking activity to delight boss Jim Magilton and the supporters that made the trip from west London. The boss will be more delighted by the reaction of his players in two set-piece positions as they went into the break two goals to the good.
HT: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Magilton opted to make three changes after the break with goalscorer Damion Stewart and midfield duo Akos Buzsaky and Martin Rowlands making way for trialist Davide Somma and youngsters Ed Harris and Danny Davenport.
It was the R`s who created the opening chance of the half after good work from Lee Brown down the left. Patrick Agyemang vied for space in the heart of the Rovers area after receiving the ball from the young defender, but his effort was twice thwarted by some spirited defending and Lee Brown eventually hacked the ball away to safety.
Agyemang was looking in his usual sprightly form, giving the Rovers backline a torrid time with his pacy and purposeful running. His strike partner Alessandro Pellicori was less noticeable but nevertheless was proving effective in the six-yard box.
Forest Green registered their first real effort on goal with Jonathan Smith grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and firing a drive well over Marshall`s cross-bar. While never really threatening the target, it stated their intention to be more positive in the second period.
Rangers young defensive unit was holding up well against their non-league counterparts with Smith and Dave Brown asserting some impetus on proceedings and helping Rovers to retain more possession in the second period.
Agyemang was withdrawn shortly before the hour mark, with impressive young forward Josh Parker taking his place. Parker has displayed his talents at both youth and reserve level this season and was in the thick of the action straight away to pick up a booking.
Pellicori was withdrawn moments later with Antonio German taking his place meaning that the majority of the side was made up of Rangers impressive youth team from last season. The creativity and flow of the game was somewhat stifled by the changes, but nevertheless the R`s still looked the more likely to grab a third.
The exuberance of youth combined with Magilton`s tactics and style of play made for interesting viewing as Josh Parker burst through a static defence to draw a one handed save from Brown, who went some way to redeeming his earlier error.
At the other end Paul Stonehouse was doing his best to haul Rovers back into the clash but his effort was ably denied by Joe Oastler, a young player that has impressed in pre-season at the heart of the Rangers rearguard.
Former Liverpool trainee Conal Platt earned his side a useful free-kick on the edge of the area, but couldn`t make the opportunity pay and was subsequently replaced by Rovers hit-man Andrew Mangan. The striker scored 26 goals last season to finish top scorer in the Blue Square Premier division.
Goalkeeper Andy Marshall did well to deny Curtis McDonald in a one-on-one, and while the stopper had relatively little to do in the fixture, he was doing everything asked of him and no doubt puts himself in a good position for another look.
In what was essentially a Rangers youth side, Hogan Ephraim and Matteo Alberti were the only first team players along with the on trial duo of Somma and Marshall. The side however were not to be bullied by their professional counterparts, matching them in every department.
Mangan looked to make an immediate impact as he forced Marshall into another smart stop with less than ten minutes remaining, but once again the keeper appeared comfortable in thwarting the highly-rated forward.
Rangers thought they had scored a third with the game ticking to a close after some smart work from Matteo Alberti. The young Italian midfielder cut through the Rovers midfield with an incisive run, and his assist found the trialist Somma in space to head home. Unfortunately for the trialist he was standing in an offside position.
The referee drew proceedings to a close with Rangers evidently happy with their efforts, as a comfortably display saw them through against the Blue Square Premier outfit.
FT: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Goals: Damion Stewart 1, Alessandro Pellicori 32
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Bristol)
Forest Green Rovers
Terry Burton (Tom Pass 77), Andy Taylor (James Baldwin 63), Curtis McDonald, Lee Ayres (Ben Pugh 77), Mark Preece, Paul Stonehouse, Dave Brown (Steve Davies 63), Paul Lloyd (Jonathan Else 63), Conal Platt (Andy Mangan 74), Jonathan Smith, Michael Fowler.
Queens Park Rangers
Andy Marshall, Romone Rose, Damion Stewart (Ed Harris 46), Martin Rowlands (Danny Davenport 46), Lee Brown, Joe Oastler, Hogan Ephraim, Matteo Alberti, Alessandro Pellicori (Antonio German 64), Akos Buzsaky (Davide Somma 46), Patrick Agyemang (Josh Parker 59)
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