Joe Ledley (80 mins)
The Coca-Cola Football League Championship
, Apr 17, 2010
Ground: Loftus Road Stadium , Kickoff: 16:00 , Att 12,832
Defensive woes for R`s QPR have problems in defence ahead of the home game against Cardiff after Damion Stewart was ruled out for the rest of the season.
The giant Jamaican defender suffered a fractured skull following a horrific clash of heads with Crystal Palace striker Calvin Andrew last weekend.
Fellow centre-back Matt Connolly will also struggle to play again this term due to an ankle injury.
That means Peter Ramage, who is usually a right-back, will move across into the centre to partner Kaspars Gorkss while skipper Mikele Leigertwood drops back from midfield into the defence.
Top scorer Jay Simpson started on the bench at Selhurst and is pushing to reclaim his place.
Midfielders Gavin Mahon and Martin Rowlands remain on the sidelines with long-term knee injuries.
Boss Dave Jones will have an almost fully-fit squad available for the trip.
Jones has had to contend with a bulging treatment room of late but has welcomed back the majority of his players just as the season gets down to business.
Club captain Mark Hudson (ankle) is now back in full training and available for the trip to Loftus Road, while Michael Chopra (neck), Joe Ledley (hamstrings) and Kelvin Etuhu (calves) have recovered from minor complaints that saw them replaced in last weekend`s goalless draw against Reading.
Midfielder Gavin Rae (ankle and knee) and defender Miguel Comminges (knee) are the only players on the sidelines and will remain there for the remainder of the season.
Victory for Cardiff would assure them of a place in the play-offs while results elsewhere involving Blackpool and Middlesbrough could also do the job should they not pick up all three points.
QPR vs Cardiff
Last modified 14:32 20/04/10
Ledley strike earns City play-off berth Joe Ledley guaranteed Cardiff's spot in the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs with the only goal of the game against QPR.
Last season's dramatic collapse was still fresh in Cardiff memories after they picked up one point from their last four games to miss out on the play-offs by a single goal.
But there are no such worries this time round with Dave Jones' side assured of a shot at Wembley and the Premier League with two games to spare.
Ledley has suffered an injury-hit season and only recently returned to action following a double hip operation.
But he picked the perfect time to score his third goal of the campaign, tucking away Mark Kennedy's cross with 10 minutes remaining.
Rangers sat fourth in October with ambitions of being in the promotion shake-up themselves, but after another traumatic season in west London they only recently climbed clear of relegation trouble.
Adel Taarabt, the on-loan Tottenham midfielder, provided the main threat as the hosts dominated the opening period.
In the first 30 seconds he raced at the Cardiff backline before firing inches wide and the Moroccan came even closer in the 18th minute when his shot from the edge of the area came back off the inside of the post with City goalkeeper David Marshall beaten.
Taarabt then tormented City defender Kennedy down the right before delivering a low cross which Jay Simpson, Tamas Priskin and Hogan Ephraim all somehow missed.
Cardiff's best chance of a pedestrian first-half display fell to Stephen McPhail, who fired high and wide from the edge of the area.
Cardiff blew a golden chance to take the lead in the 54th minute when Rangers goalkeeper Radek Cerny spilled Ross McCormack's free-kick at the feet of Anthony Gerrard, but the defender could not find the finish and Kaspars Gorkss was able to clear.
But they made the breakthrough in the 80th minute, Kennedy overlapping down the left and standing the ball up for Ledley to arrive at the far post and bundle home in front of a joyous away following.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|25||Hogan Ephraim(sub 83)|
|36||Tamas Priskin(sub 90)|
|23||Jay Simpson(sub 82)|
|17||Lee Cook(sub 82)|
|33||Antonio German(sub 90)|
|35||Josh Parker(sub 83)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|11||Chris Burke(sub 66)|
|44||Ross McCormack(sub 62)|
|8||Michael Chopra(sub 62)|
|17||Kelvin Etuhu(sub 66)|