Gabbidon’s header gives Hughes first win

QPR 1 MK Dons 0

Danny Gabbidon’s goal gave QPR their first FA Cup win for 11 years and set up a fourth-round clash with Chelsea.

Gabbidon headed home Shaun Wright-Phillips’ 73rd-minute corner, but Rangers’ victory did not mask a poor display that again underlined the need for new manager Mark Hughes to overhaul his squad – and quickly.

Buzsaky had a decent game for Rangers.

Hughes’ first win as R’s boss was marred by a shoddy performance despite the home team fielding almost their current first-choice line-up.

MK Dons, who didn’t exist when Rangers last won an FA Cup match, were two minutes away from knocking out their top-flight opponents 10 days ago and again came close to embarrassing them in this turgid replay.

The League One side were on top for much of the first half, with ex-Brentford striker Charlie MacDonald heading narrowly wide and then horribly missing the target after being put through by Stephen Gleeson.

At the other end, Wright-Phillips’ finish wasn’t quite as dismal after he was released by Akos Buzsaky.

But the winger, who is still awaiting his first Rangers goal, should have done better than shoot tamely at goalkeeper David Martin.

Despite injury and inactivity having a major effect on Buzsaky’s match sharpness, he was at the centre of Rangers’ best moments.

It was from the Hungarian’s left-wing corner that Shaun Williams headed into his own net, but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Shaun Derry.

Rangers continued to struggle after the break and another great chance for MK Dons was squandered when Adam Smith’s excellent right-wing cross was steered wide from close range by Jabo Ibehre.

And Rangers continued to look to Buzsaky, whose 35-yard free-kick – a blistering effort that was tipped over by Martin – was his final contribution before being substituted.

From the resulting corner, Gabbidon netted his first goal for QPR and paved the way for a west London grudge match which, given the events of October’s derby, is bound to be a fiery encounter.

It could also be extremely one-sided unless Hughes has some success in the transfer market in the coming days.


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