Shodipo inspires stunning second-half comeback
A HAT-trick from Olamide Shodipo inspired a stunning second-half comeback from QPR’s table-topping Under-23s against Charlton Athletic on Monday.
After trailing 3-0 at half-time, five goals in the space of just 20 minutes saw Paul Hall’s side recover to record a remarkable victory at The Valley.
Three from Shodipo either side of Romeo Akinola’s strike levelled the scores at 4-4, before Reece Grego-Cox completed the scoring in south London with what would prove the winner.
Grant Hall and Jordan Cousins both started for the young R’s, and it was the former who went close early on. Hall’s header from Shodipo’s corner was goal-bound but cleared off the line.
However, it was the hosts who struck first. Terrique Anderson latched onto a through ball before steering his shot beyond Joe Lumley.
Rangers almost equalised when Osman Kakay’s cross clipped the crossbar, but instead found themselves with a mountain to climb after two goals in the final 11 minutes of the half.
The Addicks added a second through Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, before Anderson celebrated his second when he put away a rebound after Lumley had saved George Lapslie’s initial effort.
Rangers didn’t take long to respond after the break, though, and what a response it was.
Shodipo began the comeback, tapping in at the far post, and soon pulled another goal back. Following a push on Grego-Cox in the box, Shodipo coolly dispatched the penalty to make it 3-2.
They didn’t have to wait long for a third, either! Just seconds later, Akinola beat Addicks goalkeeper Jordan Beeney to level the scores with the second half just nine minutes old.
Charlton recovered to regain the lead through Jamie Mascoll following a scramble in the six-yard box, but their lead didn’t last long.
Within a minute Shodipo drew Rangers level again, completing his hat-trick with a volley from Paul Smyth’s corner.
That was the fifth goal of a frantic start to the second half – and a sixth on 65 minutes from Grego-Cox completed an incredible comeback. Shodipo this time turned provider, crossing for his Irish compatriot to add the finishing touch.
At the other end, Lumley came to the R’s rescue – denying Taylor Maloney late on to ensure Rangers held on for the most dramatic of wins and strengthen their place at the summit.
QPR U23: Lumley, Kakay, Hamalainen, Hall (Dalling 70), Phillips (Paul 45), Wallen, Smyth, Cousins (Darbyshire 70), Grego-Cox, Akinola, Shodipo.
Sub (not used): Herdman.
Goals: Shodipo 50, 53 pen, 60, Akinola 54, Grego-Cox 65.
Image courtesy of Thomas West Photography