Stoke 2-3 QPR

By Becky AshtonBBC Sport
Luke Young scores Queens Park Rangers' second goal against Stoke
Luke Young (centre) scored his first goal since August 2010

Heidar Helguson scored twice as Queens Park Rangers came from a goal down to win a thrilling match at Stoke City.

The home side took the lead when Jon Walters fired in from the edge of the box but the visitors levelled when Helguson headed home unmarked.

Luke Young made it 2-1 at the break when he swept in Jamie Mackie's pass, before Helguson added a third from close range.

Ryan Shawcross pulled a goal back with a close-range header but QPR held on.

Pulis annoyed by 'soft' QPR goals

Stoke were unlucky not to take at least a point, referee Mike Jones denying them a penalty with just three minutes remaining when Joey Barton brought down Robert Huth.

If the game ended in frustration for Stoke, it had started far more promisingly. After seeing his side concede five goals in their last outing at Bolton, manager Tony Pulis had called for his players to "stick together" and that the hosts did with a much improved performance.

They took the lead after only eight minutes, when Walters scored his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Stoke, who put the visitors under pressure straight from the kick-off, won the ball in midfield through Dean Whitehead. He played in Peter Crouch who slid the ball through for Walters to fire past Paddy Kenny from the edge of the box.

Crouch should have made it 2-0 eight minutes later when he had two good chances, his first smothered by Kenny before Clint Hill cleared a goalbound effort.

QPR eventually sprung into life and equalised with their first real chance when Helguson also scored his fourth of the campaign.

Armand Traore burst through down the left and swung an excellent cross in for the Iceland international to head home unmarked.

With only a minute of the first half remaining Rangers were ahead, Young scoring his first goal since August 2010.

Shaun Wright-Phillips was involved in the build-up as he played in Mackie, who pulled the ball back from the right byline for the incoming Young to fire past Thomas Sorensen.

The Dane, starting his first Premier League game of the season in place of Asmir Begovic, was beaten again just after the restart when Helguson grabbed his second.

The home side could only clear Barton's corner back to him and he curled in an excellent cross from the left for Helguson to score at the far post.

But Stoke were back in it 10 minutes later when Shawcross headed home from almost on the goal line.

A corner from the right was flicked on by Crouch and the Stoke skipper converted for his first of the season.

The Potters felt they should have been awarded a penalty with seven minutes remaining when Barton appeared to have fouled Huth.

The referee allowed the game to continue before eventually consulting his assistant, giving the home side hope, but the decision was a free-kick to the visitors.

The home side threw everything at the QPR defence as they attempted to avoid a fourth straight league defeat, but Rangers stood firm to move up to ninth in the Premier League table.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis: "We are disappointed but you can't concede three goals at home and expect to take anything from the game.

Fantastic result delights Warnock

"Their first goal was the first time they got into the box but we gave them a leg up.

"The disappointment is that we are conceding goals, and soft goals. We are going to have to get back to basics.

"I am not saying that [the referee] has cheated us in any way but it was a banker of a penalty."

QPR boss Neil Warnock: "It's a great three points because it's a difficult place to come.

"I thought Heidar Helguson epitomised us today. He has got a lump the size of a golf ball on his cheekbone from the first minute but he was fantastic for us in both boxes.

"To come here and go down early on, I thought it showed a lot of character to come back but I thought we deserved it because we played some good football."

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