Scowen blunder leads to yet another QPR cup debacle

Embed from Getty Images

QPR 0 MK Dons 1

A farcical mistake by Josh Scowen led to yet another early exit from the FA Cup for QPR.

Rangers midfielder Scowen chased a misplaced pass from team-mate Grant Hall and, by nudging the ball away from the right-hand touchline in order to keep it in play, he inadvertently sent Ousseynou Cisse through on goal.

Cisse took full advantage, shooting beyond keeper Alex Smithies and into the far corner of the net – the Malian’s first goal in English football.

No club has gone out in the third round more than Rangers, whose exit was their 49th at that stage of the tournament – a record they now share with Plymouth Argyle.

QPR boss Ian Holloway named virtually his strongest side and they dominated most of the game, although they did have an early let-off when Robbie Muirhead’s left-footed strike hit the post after taking a deflection off defender Jack Robinson.

Embed from Getty Images

Holloway, who has now lost seven of his last eight FA Cup third-round ties as a manager, had to make an early change when Alex Baptiste went off after 10 minutes, having landed awkwardly while attempting an acrobatic effort on goal.

Nevertheless, the R’s were well on top before Cisse’s goal on the hour mark.

Cisse was arguably fortunate not to concede a first-half penalty when he barged Paul Smyth over in the box as the forward was trying to get to the loose ball after Matt Smith’s aerial challenge on keeper Lee Nicholls.

Rangers were heavily reliant on high balls to target man Smith, who failed to connect with a Luke Freeman cross and had other chances before Scowen’s mistake gifted the visitors the lead.

QPR continued to press after going behind and thought they had equalised when Robinson’s long throw-in ended up in the net, but Smith was adjudged to have impeded Nicholls.

Ed Upson then cleared off the line to deny Freeman during a goalmouth scramble, and Smith headed over from Jake Bidwell’s cross.

QPR: Smithies; Baptiste (Hall 10), Onuoha, Robinson; Cousins (Wszolek 45), Scowen, Chair (Eze 61), Freeman, Bidwell, Smyth Smith.
Subs not used: Lumley, Lynch, Oteh, Osyai-Samuel.