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Norwich 3 - 1 Ipswich

Saturday, 16 May 2015, 12:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship Play-Offs Semi-Final

Bond hails Rangers after win

QPR assistant boss Kevin Bond hailed his side's clinical finishing after three second-half goals gave them an excellent 3-1 win at Ipswich Town.

Last Updated: 12/01/14 at 07:12 Post Comment

Kevin Bond: Happy with the side's scoring

Kevin Bond: Happy with the side's scoring

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The pursuit of Premier League football has seen QPR build the meanest defence in the Championship but they have found goals hard to come by.

That all changed on Saturday with three in 23 minutes as QPR put Ipswich - with their own designs on a top-six finish - to the sword.

Bond, who spoke to the press instead of manager Harry Redknapp, said: "We have found goals hard to come by so to score three today was excellent.

"It was always going to be a difficult game as they have been on a terrific run. Ipswich started very brightly and had a couple of good opportunities.

"But we came back into the game and we were much better in the second half. The goals didn't look like coming in the first half but the first goal eased us a little and meant they had to chase the game."

QPR eventually cruised to three points but it was Ipswich who shaded an entertaining first half which saw both teams just unable to add a finish to gilt-edged chances.

That all changed in the second half. Niko Kranjcar skipped past Luke Chambers and Paul Taylor too easily but his finish into the far corner in the 52nd minute was fitting of someone plying their trade in the Premier League just two seasons ago.

That lead was doubled in the 66th minute when Charlie Austin's 25-yard shot was parried by Dean Gerken, but only into the path of the onrushing Gary O'Neill who tapped it into the open goal.

Two became three with 15 minutes remaining as Tommy Smith's woeful attempts to clear Clint Hill's long clearance allowed substitute Armand Traore to nip in and score.

Ipswich grabbed a consolation as the match entered injury time - with Smith showing remarkable acrobatics to divert Stephen Hunt's corner into the net.

The stunning strike was of little comfort to Town boss Mick McCarthy who saw his side lose their nine-match unbeaten run and slip out of the play-off spots.

McCarthy said: "We were excellent first half and I was immensely proud of that performance against a team who are probably still favourites to go up with Leicester.

"But we let them off the hook and then slightly gifted the game to them. They had that bit of quality with Niko Kranjcar's first goal before the second goal killed us.

"Dean Gerken has come in and apologised for the second goal but there is lesson for us in the way O'Neill ran in and scored the rebound.

"Tommy Smith was also upset about the third goal but he has also been magnificent for us."

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