Queens Park Rangers 1 Brentford 0

Last updated : 11 November 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Tony Thorpe put QPR level on points with Plymouth at the top of the table with his fourth goal of the season.

Thorpe headed Rangers to victory in this West London derby with a 43rd minute effort to crush Brentford's hopes of an upset.

However it was former Brentford hero Martin Rowlands who was the centre of attention for much of the game as he turned in a splendid performance.

Rowlands made the controversial switch from Griffin Park in the summer and immediately set about trying to get one over his former team-mates.

Just two minutes in the midfielder hit the outside of the post as he tried to drive across goal and four minutes later he hit the woodwork again as he sent a header crashing against the Brentford upright.

Brentford issued their own threat when Eddie Hutchinson's low shot drifted wide in between, before young Jay Tabb forced a splendid save from Rangers keeper Chris Day.

Tabb latched on to Ben May's flick-on header and sent a rasping overhead soaring towards the top corner, only for Day to produce a superb diving save.

Former Bees star Rowlands came close again minutes later as he forced a decent stop from visiting keeper Paul Smith.

After a scrappy period Rangers eventually forced a breakthrough following a smart move two minutes before half-time.

Richard Edghill sent a deep cross into the box where Kevin McLeod played the ball across for Tony Thorpe to nod the ball in from close range.

After the break it was Brentford who had the first decent chance and in all honesty should have levelled the scores.

After confusion in the Rangers penalty area the ball found its way on to the head of Ben May, but the striker aimed straight at Day much to the relief of the home side.

Kevin Gallen was sent clear down the left flank on 67 minutes with a good opportunity to increase the lead and make the Bees pay for missed chances. But the striker failed to spot Thorpe in the centre and sent a wild effort blazing over the bar.

Five minutes later McLeod had an even better chance to increase the scoreline. Neat passing between Gallen and Thorpe set up McLeod 18 yards out, but his curling effort drifted narrowly wide.

On 77 minutes McLeod tried to create a chance of his own as he burst through the centre of the park, but again his shot marginally missed the target.

Ibrahima Sonko had the chance to fire his side level in the dying minutes, but sent a woeful free-kick high over the bar.