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Ramage rescues R's in opener

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08 Aug 2009 17:40:10

Ramage rescues R's in opener

The leadership of Formula One gurus Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, as well as the input of multi-billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, makes Rangers the Championship's richest club and promotion to the Premier League is the target this season. However, despite dominating the opening 45 minutes on Saturday with Heidar Helguson hitting the bar, Rangers found themselves behind at the interval. Ben Burgess struck a well-worked opener after 37 minutes, but Rangers returned to the ascendancy after the break, with Angelo Balanta striking the post two minutes into the second period. Rangers introduced Rowan Vine, Akos Buzsaky and Patrick Agyemang off the bench but the leveller came from an unlikely source as former Newcastle defender Ramage drilled in his first goal in senior football - after more than 100 appearances - four minutes from time. Gavin McMahon hit the upright as Jim Magilton's side almost stole victory 90 seconds from the end. Magilton is the fourth permanent boss at QPR in less than two years, and Rangers' seventh boss in five seasons, and he will be eager to start well this season. Martin Rowlands had a shot blocked following a corner in the opening minute, Helguson then headed over and then he and Adel Taarabt each shot straight at Seasiders goalkeeper Paul Rachubka. Helguson had a further opportunity before Taarabt, who is on loan from Tottenham, had a close-range effort turned wide by Rachubka. Iceland international Helguson hit the bar from six yards before Wayne Routledge was denied by Rachubka from 25 yards. The visitors' first effort on goal came 10 minutes before the break when Burgess shot wide and Gary Taylor-Fletcher then had an effort saved by Radek Cerny. The breakthrough then came when Taylor-Fletcher teed up Burgess to fire a first-time shot from 12 yards beyond Cerny for an unexpected lead. Balanta hit the upright with a close-range left-footed shot in his last act as Magilton changed his mis-firing strike force. Balanta and Helguson made way, with Magilton bringing on Buzsaky and Vine. Rangers then lost their playmaker Rowlands, who appeared to limp off, with Agyemang coming on in his place. Keith Southern and Jason Euell shot off target as Blackpool's scoring chances remained few and far between. Kaspars Gorkss headed wide from six yards and Vine dragged an effort wide as Rangers' profligacy continued. Vine struck the post before Ramage's low effort from the right evaded everyone, including Rachubka, for the equaliser. McMahon almost secured the win, but saw his header hit the post.


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