Alexander makes Hoops pay penalty

30 October 2010 05:34
Graham Alexander was back on the spot as Burnley knocked QPR off their perch at the top of the Championship with a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.[LNB] Clarets captain Alexander, who uncharacteristically missed his last penalty back in September, stepped up in first-half stoppage time to hit the first league goal Rangers have conceded at Loftus Road this season.[LNB]The spot-kick, awarded after Matt Connolly felled Dean Marney, cancelled out a stunning strike from Adel Taarabt and meant Cardiff leapfrogged Neil Warnock's side at the summit.[LNB]It may be harsh to suggest Rangers' form is stuttering after they extended their club-record unbeaten start to the season to 14 games.[LNB]But four successive draws suggest the division will not be the cakewalk it appeared a month ago when the Hoops were steamrollering everyone in sight.[LNB]Paddy Kenny had not picked the ball out of the home net for more than nine-and-a-half hours, but he had to make a double save early in the first half to extend his record by a few minutes.[LNB]Kenny probably should have held Chris Eagles' 20-yard drive but when he spilled the ball at the feet of Jay Rodriguez, the big keeper recovered superbly to palm his effort clear.[LNB]Burnley felt they should have had a penalty on the half-hour when Eagles tumbled under Clint Hill's challenge but referee Iain Williamson booked the Clarets winger, despite having earlier ignored a risible dive by Taarabt.[LNB]But if that was the worst side of Taarabt's game, the mercurial Moroccan soon showed the best by lashing an unstoppable 25-yard curler past Lee Grant and into the top corner in the 33rd minute.[LNB]Rangers could have been two up three minutes later but Rob Hulse and Alejandro Faurlin merely got in each other's way as they went for Taarabt's cross.[LNB]Instead, they allowed Burnley to draw level on the stroke of half-time when Kenny's goal was finally breached.[LNB]Connolly clumsily bundled Marney over in the area, Williamson this time pointed to the spot and Alexander duly obliged.[LNB]Rangers came closest to a winner in stoppage time when Tommy Smith curled inches wide and Shaun Derry crashed a shot over.[LNB]Burnley had their chances too, with Chris Iwelumo lashing his shot high over the bar and Rodriguez's toe-poke bouncing narrowly wide of Kenny's goal.[LNB]But even Rangers co-owner Bernie Ecclestone, on a rare Grand Prix-free weekend, had seen enough before the end as both sides settled for a point.

Source: Team_Talk