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By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 16/03/2001

THE MARINERS travel to West London to face Queens Park Rangers in a crucial relegation battle in front of a capacity 19,000 crowd. The Shepherd's Bush club have reduced ticket prices to the match, resulting in the fixture looking like being close to a sell-out, with no tickets available on the day.

Daryl Clare and Peter Handyside both return to the Mariners' squad travelling to London, after the pair both missed Tuesday's 1-1 midweek clash with Wimbledon, through a dead leg and stomach bug respectively.

Manager Lennie Lawrence has to choose between pair Peter Handyside and Zhang Enhua as to who will partner skipper Paul Groves in central defence. The Chinese international started the game against the Dons in the Scot's absence, scoring the last gasp equaliser in an overall much improved performance by the Mariners.

Up front Fulham loan striker Luke Cornwall is expected to start alongside joint leading scorer Bradley Allen, allowing Kevin Donovan to return to his more natural wide right position.

Expected team

1. Coyne
2. McDermott11. Groves30. Enhua3. Gallimore
7. Donovan16. Coldicott6. Burnett10. Campbell
28. Cornwall25. Allen

Subs: (from) Croudson, Black, Willems, Pouton, Jeffrey, Handyside, Clare, Butterfield

Queens Park Rangers

In contrast to the Mariners' largely unchanged team, Queens Park Rangers are expected to make a number of changes in every area of the park, with 2 new signings and 1 new loan player expected to feature in the sell-out clash.

Veteran QPR striker Michel Ngonge faces a late fitness test before the game and is rated doubtful. The Congo striker is expected to be replaced by either Chris Kiwomya, who has been included in the Rangers squad after returning to training this week following a hip injury. The other alternative which QPR boss Ian Holloway has up his sleeve is 18-year-old on-loan Chelsea striker Leon Knight, who made his debut in last Saturday's 2-0 defeat away at Fulham.

News signing Alex Higgins could make his debut in the middle of the park, as could fellow new boy, Marcus Bignot, a versatile former Crewe defender who signed for the London club from Bristol Rovers today (Friday). The pair could both make their first starts as Rangers are missing first team regulars Matthew Rose (defence) and Tony Scully (midfield) though injury.

Defender Danny Maddix is due to make a return for the West London outfit, having missed the Fulham clash due to the 33 year old veteran not arriving at the game on time!


Our counterparts at the Rangers site have provided comprehensive directions to Loftus Road.


The recommended meet up is at Harveys in Shepherds Bush. As you leave Shepherds Bush Underground Station, on the Hammersmith & City line, turn left out of the station and Harveys is a short way down the road on the left.

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