Lazy R’s wiped out

Town’s Jekyll and Hyde season took another upturn as they swept aside a supine Queen’s Park Rangers to compensate for their own calamitous showing in South Wales on Tuesday.

Adding some welcome game management to spells of genuine flair and quality, the return of Pipa rebalanced the side both defensively and going forward and though there were the customary flat spots over the 90 minutes, mostly in the second half, they were fewer in number and never allowed Rangers back in to a game which was deservedly beyond them.

The two and a half minutes which QPR managed to dominate were cruelly interrupted by a Josh Koroma run from inside of his own half ending with a delicious, top corner seeking curler, with defenders resolutely refusing to close down space or offer a semblance of a tackle, being more distracted by Toffolo’s supporting run.

If there were any cobwebs still not blown away from the horrible display in Wales on Tuesday, Town’s top scorer created the foundation for a fabulous first half performance which should have seen the Terriers out of sight before Toffolo added a long deserved second 5 minutes before the break.

The left back had, effectively, begun the move by turning a slightly over hit ball from Hamer, who’s distribution was generally excellent, in to possession for O’Brien in space with a deft header. The midfielder surged forward, fed Koroma to once again terrorise the R’s beleaguered defence before sliding a perfectly weighted ball through to the left back to finish.

In between, Town produced sweeping moves which should have resulted in goals and an unassailable lead. 

Koroma and Toffolo, whose partnership flourished in the first half, combined just after the opener with the ex-Imp drawing a good save from Dieng, a devastatingly swift break saw O’Brien feed Koroma with an excellent ball but a superfluous touch thwarted the striker and other potent thrusts threatened the completely outplayed Londoners.

Calm descended over a team so chaotic just a few days ago. Distribution from the back carried no drama, any threat from the visitors was nullified with competency and passing and moving improved enormously as Town took and maintained control of a game in which they never seriously challenged.

QPR contain several talented individuals, no shortage of pace and experience but had a quite horrible day, particularly in a first half where they allowed no end of space for the hosts; the left side of Town’s attack were barely challenged and it wasn’t noticeably much better down the right, Hogg dominated the visitors in midfield with possibly his best display of the season and the minimal amount of threat they possessed was snuffed out with some ease.

The ineptitude of the opposition needs to be acknowledged but doesn’t subtract from the vibrancy of the Terriers who exploited their weaknesses all over the pitch, glided across the playing surface and threatened regularly. Perhaps not as ruthless as they should have been given their overwhelming superiority, the 2 goal lead established always looked unassailable.

QPR raised their levels of competence in a second half which Town managed with ease without matching the fluency and dynamism of the first. 

O’Brien’s effort following good play by Pipa brought a decent save from Ranger’s keeper who had previously kept out an effort straight at him from the returning Spaniard with an unorthodox punch, though Dieng was probably the only visiting player happy with his day’s work.

There were other decent moves but clear cut chances were foiled by the final ball and Town, in any case, became more pragmatic in the knowledge that the3 points always looked secure.

Sadly, the most notable incident of the second half was a serious looking injury to Schindler. Beaten for pace on the left for the first time, the German stretched awkwardly when completing a recovery tackle and was treated on the pitch for a worryingly long time. The impact on squad depth, already a concern, could be damaging with a now severe shortage of centre backs to call upon.

A well worked corner by the visitors could have provided a nervous final ten minutes but the strike hit Toffolo and skidded to safety. Other than a particularly woeful free kick hit straight at Hamer, the end was conspicuously comfortable for the Terriers as they restored their place smack bang in the middle of the table.

Ranging from good to excellent, all the players came out with great credit and no-one more so than Jonathan Hogg who dictated from a deep lying midfield role providing defensive excellence and setting the creative players in to motion. Josh Koroma continues to fill the Karlan Grant sized hole but with greater flair and intelligence. Grant simply isn’t being missed.

Sheffield Wednesday, despite their league position, will provide a stiffer test on Tuesday night; Pulisball, named as such by no-one ever, is unlikely to provide Town with the yawning chasms of space available in the first half on Saturday.

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