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Men's Football Dykes seals 92-minute equaliser

QPR 1-1 Swansea City
by Layth Yousif
at Loftus Road


LYNDON DYKES grabbed a 92nd-minute equaliser to earn a point for battling Queens Park Rangers — and condemn Swansea City to their worst start to a league season for more than three decades.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side dominated the second half before substitute Dykes nodded home the lively Ilias Chair’s stoppage-time cross, to prevent the visitors from South Wales leaving a blustery Loftus Road with all three points on Tuesday evening.

In front of a crowd of 13,367, the Swans lost a lead that they had held since the seventh minute, when Josh Ginnelly squeezed the ball past veteran keeper Asmir Begovic. Bar the stadium sprinkler system inadvertently turning on during the first half, it was the only moment of entertainment during a grim opening 45 minutes.

Speaking after the match, a relieved Ainsworth said: “We’ve had some bad feelings around this place recently but things are slowly starting to turn around.

“The work rate and endeavour from the players — and the fans — was amazing and there was only one team in it. If we had another five minutes we would have won 2-1. I’m proud of the boys and a lot of the work we’ve done around fitness and conditioning is starting to pay off.”

The win moved QPR to the heady heights of 19th spot in the Championship, although with only five victories in 21 matches during his tenure in west London, Ainsworth badly requires his side to build on the late point.

To cap a poor end to their game, Michael Duff’s team ended the match with 10 men, after striker Ollie Cooper was shown two yellow cards in the space of a minute in added time.

For their part, many of the hardy 740 Swans who made the trip along the M4 to QPR must have recalled exactly 10 years to the day, when their team beat Valencia 3-0 in the Europa League at the footballing cathedral that is the Mestalla, following on from their League Cup victory over Bradford City at Wembley the previous spring, as an indication of how far they have fallen since those heady days under Michael Laudrup.

With the two points dropped at Loftus Road, following on from Swansea’s 2-0 loss in the fiery South Wales derby to bitter rivals Cardiff City at the weekend, no wonder boss Duff conceded of his team who are mired in 22nd spot in the dreaded relegation zone after six games without a win: “You could see there was some anxiety towards the end and that’s natural because the players are only human, and they know we haven’t won yet this season.”


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