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Carrow Road (ATT 24,249) 17th September 2008 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: R Shoebridge

Norwich Norwich City vs Queens Park Rangers QPR

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QPR 1

Ten-man Rangers shock Norwich

Hoops hang on after Connolly dismissal

Last Updated: 17/09/08 11:25pm

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Rowlands: Free-kick proved enough

Rowlands: Free-kick proved enough

Queens Park Rangers hung on for a 1-0 win at Norwich despite spending most of the game with 10 men.

Martin Rowland's 33rd-minute free-kick gave the Hoops a surprise lead just eight minutes after they had Matthew Connolly dismissed for a second bookable offence.

The hosts dominated the second period but Iain Dowie's men withstood a barrage of late pressure to claim their fourth league win of the season and go back into fourth place.

Both teams came into the game on the back of encouraging weekend victories and Norwich boss Glenn Roeder opted to keep faith with the attacking partnership of Antoine Sibierski and Arturo Lupoli, which put Plymouth to the sword on Saturday.

The Canaries finally recorded their first three points of the season as the on-loan duo both struck to see off Plymouth 2-1 at Home Park, and they appeared determined to continue where they left off as on-loan Fiorentina striker Lupoli lashed a 20-yard volley inches over the crossbar after just 13 seconds.

The home team continued to press with Roeder clearly instructing his men to use Sibierski as the target up front.

Darel Russell and Matthew Pattison were the providers, constantly feeding the on-loan Wigan striker with lofted balls.

QPR have started to live up to the expectations created by their Flavio Briatore-funded summer spending spree, but after 25 minutes they found themselves on the receiving end of referee Rob Shoebridge's wrath as Connolly was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Dismissal

The QPR defender had been booked 15 minutes earlier and, after a reckless lunge on Pattison, Shoebridge had little hesitation in giving Connolly his marching orders.

Dowie left Real Madrid loanee Daniel Parejo on the bench in favour of the tireless Rowlands and, five minutes after the red card, his decision was vindicated as Rowlands smashed home the opener with a free-kick from 20 yards after Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma's free-kick had been handled in the wall.

The scoreline could have been increased before the interval as lively Argentinian midfielder Ledesma latched onto a loose ball and unleashed a close-range drive which was courageously blocked by Ryan Bertrand.

From the resulting corner in-form striker Dexter Blackstock rose above the static Norwich defence, but his header went over to leave the home side begging for the half-time whistle.

Roeder introduced winger Lee Croft in place of Lupoli after the break, leaving Sibierski in a lone striking role.

Switch
The tactical switch had the desired effect as the home side proceeded to control possession.

Midfielder Pattison tried to lead by example but his two speculative efforts failed to trouble Radek Cerny.

Former Manchester City striker Sibierski also did his best to break the visitors resistance but his clipped 68th-minute effort from the edge of the area was well gathered by Cerny.

The home crowd began to let their frustrations be known but their team were unable to respond and Rowlands almost doubled the visitors' lead as his delightful chip only found the roof of the net.

QPR continued to absorbed the Norwich pressure as Mark Fotheringham had his 30-yard free-kick tipped round the post by former Tottenham keeper Cerny but they were unable to penetrate the stubborn away defence.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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