Smith double as QPR draw with Charlton Athletic

QPR were held to a 2-2 draw by League One side Charlton in an entertaining match behind closed doors at Loftus Road.

Charlton took the lead through trialist Leon Best in the second minute before a double from Matt Smith turned the game in Rangers favour. But substitute Joe Dodoo equalised with 15 minutes to go to ensure it ended all square.

QPR lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with Joe Lumley behind the three centre halves of Joel Lynch, Darnell Furlong and Sean Goss. Michael Petrasso and Kazenga LuaLua operated as the wing backs whilst Ilias Chair, Jordan Cousins and Ariel Borysiuk played in the middle of the park. Matt Smith and David Wheeler were the two front men.

The R’s got off to the worst possible start though when Lynch lost possession in the box and Best curled an effort into the top corner from a tight angle.

The visitors had a chance to double their lead when Mark Marshall teed up Ricky Holmes but the midfielder could only head wide.

After a slow start Rangers grew into the game and could have equalised when Jake Forster-Caskey’s loose ball was steered into the direction of Smith but Naby Sarr did well to block his goal-bound effort.

However, in the 27th minute the R’s did find the equaliser and it came from a wonderful piece of individual play from Smith. The forward expertly turned Sarr before advancing to the box and unleashing a low drive past Ben Amos in the Charlton goal.

The Addicts almost restored the lead five minutes later after Billy Clarke’s mazy run into the box forced Lumley into an excellent save with his right hand. And the South Londoners were left to rue that missed opportunity when the R’s took the lead a few minutes later.

Good build up play from Chair who lured a couple of defenders in before passing to Petrasso. The Canadian showed great wing play to knock it past his man and drill a low accurate cross to Smith who finished from inside the six yard box.
It could have been 3-1 just after the break when Goss’ free kick found Furlong at the back post but he steered his header just wide.

Charlton then capitalised on a loose ball in midfield and the dangerous Marshall cut in and hit a firm shot that was beaten away by Lumley before moments later a great sweeping move from Rangers, involving Cousins and Wheeler, almost saw Smith complete his hat-trick but the strikers shot was well blocked.

QPR then tried to capatilise after The Addicks squandered a free-kick which handed an opportunity for the R’s to counter attack. It ended with Cousins playing the crucial pass to Wheeler but Amos produced a strong save to deny him from close range.

Smith then thought he had completed a hat-trick on the 72nd minute when Goss’ clearance saw the ball fall into his path but his shot hit the post and went out.

The big target-man had another chance to get his third when a Goss free kick found him just six yards out but his shot this time found struck the crossbar.

Despite all the missed chances it was the visitors who ended up finishing the game strongly and equalising in the 75th minute when Billy Clarke’s deep cross was headed in by Joe Dodoo.

Both teams could have won it late on but neither side could find the correct final ball and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

QPR: Lumley, Furlong, Lynch, Goss, Petrasso (Shodipo), Lua Lua, Borysiuk (Oteh), Wheeler, Cousins, Smith, Chair (Kakay).

Charlton: Amos, Dijksteel, Bauer, Sarr, Mascoll (Aribo), Marshall, Kashi, Forster-Caskey (Reeves), Holmes (Ahearne-Grant), Marshall, Clarke, Best (Dodoo).

Images courtesy of Ian Randall