QPR grab first win
Martin Rowlands's penalty earned QPR their first win of the season as they beat Norwich 1-0 at Loftus Road.
Last Updated: 08/10/07 10:16pm
Martin Rowlands's penalty earned Queens Park Rangers their first win of the season as they beat Norwich 1-0 at Loftus Road.
Rowlands, who had already hit the woodwork, tucked away a 67th-minute penalty after Rowan Vine was brought down in the box.
Rangers were the only team in the country without a win to their name, form which had already cost John Gregory his job, but they managed to seal the win against a Norwich side who have now gone nine hours without scoring a goal.
Mick Harford, who is in temporary charge of Rangers, brought in Martin Cranie for his debut to shore up a defence which had leaked nine goals in two games, and was rewarded with a much-improved display, although he seems unlikely to land the full-time role.
On the field, Rangers created the first opening in the eighth minute when on-loan Birmingham striker Vine reached the byline and pulled the ball back for Mikele Leigertwood, whose low drive flew inches wide.
In a desperately poor first half, Jon Otsemobor mustered up Norwich's only shot on target, which was easily gathered by Lee Camp.
Rowlands raised the tempo two minutes into the second half with a storming run from right-back which culminated in a 25-yard drive which had Marshall beaten but clipped the far post.
Vine claimed a penalty when he grappled with Jason Shackell in the area, but referee Peter Walton was not impressed.
With Rangers well on top, Grant sent on another striker in Czech David Strihavka, but moments later his side fell behind.
Vine was the architect, chasing a high ball into the area and tumbling under the challenge of Ian Murray, leaving referee Walton no alternative but to point to the spot. Rowlands stepped up and calmly thumped the ball past Marshall and into the corner of the net.
With Rangers sniffing blood, Ainsworth shot narrowly wide before Damion Stewart headed Ephraim's corner over the crossbar.
Marshall saved well from a rasping Vine volley before, at the other end, an ambitious long-range drive from Darel Russell sparked a mock celebration from the away support.
Marshall then kept out Ephraim's shot with his feet, while woeful Norwich had a weak Russell shot and a tame Shackell header to show for five minutes of stoppage-time and were booed from the pitch by their disgruntled fans.
Despite the win QPR remain bottom of the Championship, but they are now level with Sheffield Wednesday and within two points of Norwich - with a game in-hand on both.