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Lions pipped by R's in seven-goal thriller

22 January 2015

Result: QPR 4 Millwall 3

A Millwall XI were edged out by the odd goal in seven as QPR came from behind to beat The Lions 4-3 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Loftus Road on Thursday afternoon.

Rangers took the lead with a thumping 20-yard strike from former Blackpool winger Matt Phillips that gave Lions keeper Jordan Archer no chance.

The home side could have doubled their tally moments later when Shaun Wright-Phillips broke clear of Danny Shittu and pulled the ball back for Junior Hoilett, who lashed his effort wide of the target.

Ricardo Fuller tried his luck from distance on the quarter-hour mark with a speculative long-range effort that flashed over before Archer did well to turn Darnell Furlong's goalbound effort round the post.

Millwall hauled themselves level on 29 minutes with a goal beautifully created by Ben Thompson. The midfielder's perfectly weighted through ball picked out Aiden O'Brien, who showed great composure to fire home from 10 yards.

The two teams traded chances with Shittu deflecting Jordon Mutch's effort the bar and then Ed Upson's 25-yard piledriver smashing off the crossbar, bouncing down on the line and then away to the relief of R's keeper Alex McCarthy.
 
However Mauro Zarate restored QPR's lead just before the break with a neat finish from 12 yards after Hoilett - who laid on all four goals - slipped the ball into his path.

Zarate, on loan from West Ham, went close to adding his second of the afternoon when he nicked the ball off the toes of Thompson and despatched a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area that Archer brilliantly tipped around the post. From the resultant corner sub Ryan Manning saw his close-range effort blocked and eventually hacked to safety.

Fuller went close to levelling for The Lions on 55 minutes when he beat the off-side trap, but was denied a goal by McCarthy, who grabbed the ball bravely at the striker's feet to preserve R's 2-1 advantage.

However Millwall did equalise with a quick goal on the counter-attack in the 61st-minute. Upson broke down the left and laid the ball into Fuller, who squared it back into Upson's path. The midfielder smacked the woodwork for the second time but on this occasion the loose ball hit Richard Chaplow and rolled into the net from close range.

The Lions edged ahead five minutes later when O'Brien worked his way to the byline and pulled back for Upson, who diverted beyond McCarthy at the near post.

Back came the home side, however, and with 10 minutes remaining Hoilett's delivery from the left was met by Niko Kranjcar, whose downward header was just beyond the reach of Archer.

With the score locked at 3-3 and time ticking away the next goal was always likely to settle an entertaining encounter - and so it proved. There were eight minutes left when Hoilett threaded a perfect ball through to Armand Traore, and the QPR full-back lashed the ball high into the roof of the net from an acute angle.

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