QPR 2 MK Dons 4
A superb MK Dons caused one of the biggest upsets in the FA Cup with Budweiser fourth round as they dumped Premier League Queens Park Rangers out with a 4-2 win.
League 1 Dons demonstrated their giant-killing abilities in emphatic style with an excellent victory at the downbeat Loftus Road.
It was the first time the Dons had been in the fourth round and now the Club from MK1 find themselves in the last 16 of the prestigious competition.
The Dons opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Dean Lewington appeared to turn in a corner t the near-post with only four minutes n the clock. QPR had the majority of pressure for the remainder of the half, yet Ryan Lowe doubled the Dons’ lead with a cool finish before the break.
The R’s were then blown away by the Dons when two goals in six minutes – from Ryan Harley and Darren Potter – all but booked the men from MK1 a place into fifth round.
Only in the final 10 minutes did QPR look like breaking the Dons’ excellent defence and they did so with Jay Bothroyd’s header and a Fabio Da Silva strike but they proved to be no more than consolation goals for Harry Redknapp’s team.
Adam Chicken came in to the left wing role in place of the injured Daniel Powell as the only change from the side that beat Sheffield Wednesday to get into the fourth round.
It was the first time the Dons have ever competed in a fourth round match in the FA cup with Budweiser and the Dons were hungry to add a Premier League scalp to their list of victims in the Cup this year.
Just over 12 month ago the two sides met at Loftus road in a replay of the third round, but the Dons were hungry for an upset.
However, within two minutes the hosts showed the threat that comes with a top flight side when a corner found Jay Bothroyd who, wrestling with Gary MacKenzie, looped the ball up to DJ Campbell and as the striker found the back of the net the linesman’s flag rescued the Dons for a foul on the defender.
The Dons though have never been short of confidence in their own abilities and when they earned their first corner in the fourth minute they were the ones celebrating as the deadlock was broken.
The delivery from Shaun Williams was driven low into the box and flicked in at the near post; there was debate on whether the last touch came from Armand Traore but it was Lewington who wheeled away in celebration as the Dons had taken an important lead.
Ryan Lowe almost fired the Dons into dream land moments later with a long-range effort, unfortunately for the Liverpudlian striker though it was straight down the throat of Robert Green.
The R’s rallied though, aiming to hit back quickly with David Martin being called into action to stop Traore’s right-footed effort. The Dons were put under pressure and were forced to defend on the edge of their box which encouraged a curling strike from Campbell, yet Martin was more collected calmly.
Traore was single-handedly trying to claw the hosts back into the proceedings with a lightning fast break, making the best part of 30-yards ground in the process, to cut the ball back from the byline but Campbell’s shot was deflected wide.
As QPR lined up for the resulting corner, Gary MacKenzie was forced to limp off with an injury meaning Ryan Harley was introduced and a re-shuffle saw Shaun Williams drop back into defence.
The R’s have been one of the struggling sides in the Premier League this season and are currently battling against the drop, but Redknapp’s team, albeit with a number of their key stars missing, played some neat football and almost played the Dons at their own game.
The opportunity for the Dons to venture into the R’s half became increasingly limited as they were forced to pack bodies behind the ball. When former Dons Jamie Mackie was threaded through to goal though it looked ominous for the Dons, but Martin made a brave call to block at his feet and clear the threat.
All the Dons need though was a chance to break and when Martin was called upon once more to prevent Mackie turning a cross in at the near post, the goalkeeper released the Dons on a blink-and-you-will-miss-it counter-attack.
Antony Kay spotted the run of Lowe and released him down the right of midfield with a delightful long ball. Lowe needed little encouragement as the goal opened up in front of him he picked out the bottom corner to sending the 3,000 supporters in the away end into a frenzy.
It was a superbly-taken goal from Lowe and, although it may have been against the run of play, it sent the visitors in with a two-goal cushion at half-time.
The Dons may have thought thing could not get any better for them, but just five minutes after the restart Lowe had again gone unnoticed by the Rangers defence as he picked up the ball on the right wing and kept his cool under pressure to cut back from the byline. There was only ever one man who was getting on the end of the ball and Harley put his lace through the ball to make it 3-0 from close range.
Disgruntled QPR fans could be heard bemoaning their defensive abilities but the game turned into a horror show for the home supporters when Potter compounded their miseries.
Harley went from goal scorer to provider when his free-kick caused chaos in the Ranger box and as the loose ball popped up to Potter the midfielder riffled home. The celebrations from the Dons fans behind the goal were spine-tingling but for some R’s fans they decided they had seen enough and went for the exits.
QPR were in disarray, Park was booed as he left the pitch for the oncoming Bobby Zamora, but in truth there was little impact the ex-Spurs striker could have on the game.
The Dons were in full control, if a little tired from their impressive exploits, and they were digging deep to see if they could add a fifth to their tally. Bowditch embarked on a mazy run through the centre yet Green was able to stop his low shot.
The home side huffed and puffed, whether it was with hope of an incredible comeback or to make the score line more respectable, and eventually with seven minutes on the clock Bothroyd headed the ball under Martin from Zamora’s cross.
Zamora had two opportunities late on to further dent the Dons lead, but it was a in injury-time that Fabio Da Silva struck with the R’s second when he thrashed the ball beyond Martin yet it was not enough as the R’s bowed out and the Dons sailed through.
QPR (4-4-2): Green; Fabio, Ferdinand, Ben Haim, Traore; Mackie, Fairlin, Granero, Park (c) (Zamora 67); Campbell, Bothroyd.
Subs: Murphy (GK), Derry, Hill, Onuoha, Ephraim, Mbia.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie (Harley 20), Kay, Lewington (c); Potter, Williams; Bowditch (Alli 90), Smith (Lines 75), Chicksen; Lowe.
Subs: Kouo-Doumbe, Flanagan, Rasulo, Ismail.
Goals: Lewington 4, Lowe 40, Harley 50, Potter 56
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)