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Match Reports


8 December 2012


A James McCarthy double wasn't enough to grab all three points in an end-to-end game of football that saw Latics hounding the visitors' goal for prolonged periods.

After McCarthy's initial opener, Ryan Nelsen equalised and midway through the second half Djibril Cisse put the Hoops ahead before Irish international McCarthy got the all important goal.

Roberto Martinez was forced to make two changes following suspensions to Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa, with Adrian Lopez and James McArthur returning to the starting line-up.

Queens Park Rangers came hot out of the blocks as they pressed Latics high up the pitch and tried to dictate the tempo.

Stand-in captain Emmerson Boyce and his fellow defenders Lopez and David Jones were made to work hard in the opening exchanges and their effort paid off when Latics worked the ball forwards from the back to score the opening goal.

After Jones' volleyed a trademark free kick onto Rob Green's fingertips and over the bar, Latics had consecutive corners and upped the pressure.

The second was cleared but only as far as the edge of the area from where McCarthy struck the ball first time and saw it deflect into the bottom corner off Jamie Mackie.

QPR didn't lose focus on their task in hand though and continued to push high up the pitch.

On 26 minutes they saw that pressure pay off when Adel Taarabt's corner was headed in at the front post by an unchallenged Ryan Nelsen.

As half time approached Latics started to get into their swing, offering a promising second half.

It was chance after chance following the break, with McCarthy going through one-on-one with Green from Kone's slipped pass but, the former England number one made a solid low save.

Gomez then lashed an effort from range with his left foot and won a corner, from which chaos ensued as the Spaniard and McCarthy both saw shots blocked before Gomez had a go again and rifled the ball from an acute angle off the underside of the cross bar.

With so much pressure an old football certainty happened and QPR were the ones to take the lead and an advantage from a defensive error.

Boyce lost possession in the defensive third and Shaun Wright-Phillips took advantage playing in a low cross to substitute Djibril Cisse who side footed the ball past Al Habsi.

Moments later and McCarthy had pulled Latics level with another fine finish.

Jean Beausejour was in his usual dangerous position down the left and instead of crossing first time he pulled the ball back to McCarthy just behind the penalty spot.

The midfielder took a touch and then poked the ball in for 2-2 with Green sprawling.

Latics pushed hard until the end and were at the hands of a penalty claim that looked a foul by Nelsen on Gomez.

The Spaniard skipped away with the ball, taking it off Nelsen's toe as the New Zealander went to ground taking Gomez with him but Phil Dowd said no.

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