Blues beaten by Championship side Queens Park Rangers
Southend United’s first home friendly of pre-season ended in a 3-1 defeat to Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
Goals from Andy Johnson, Stephane Mbia and Nedum Onuoha sealed the win for Harry Redknapp’s side. Clint Hill’s own goal drew Blues level midway through the first-half.
Phil Brown named the same 11 that drew 1-1 with Real Madrid for the game but changed his tactics slightly to move to a 4-4-2 with Will Atkinson on the right and Anthony Straker on the left of midfield.
Blues thought they’d won a penalty in the opening five minutes as Ben Coker was fouled, but the referee gave a free-kick and it came to nothing.
QPR’s first real attack of the match led to the opening goal after ten minutes. Shaun Wright-Phillips evaded the offside trap and found lots of space inside Blues’ half before teeing up Johnson to tap home from inside the six-yard box.
Blues were playing some good football and causes their Championship opponents problems from set pieces.
From Ben Coker’s two corners in quick succession both Freddy Eastwood and Will Atkinson went close before Blues levelled in the 23rd minute.
Ryan Leonard’s long throw caused problems and was headed by Clint Hill past Robert Green in QPR’s goal.
Phil Brown’s side were on top as the game approached the half hour stage. Barry Corr went close with a volley from 20-yards but it flashed by Green’s near post.
Both sides made two changes at half-time as trialists Don Cowan and Conor Clifford came on for Blues while Stephane Mbia and Richard Dunne came on for QPR.
And it was Mbia who was into the action straight away to make it 2-1 to the visitors. Mbia met Junior Hoilett’s corner at the back post and he headed well past Bentley.
Blues almost levelled just two minutes later as Eastwood played in Corr, but the striker, who did well to wrong-foot Dunne, could only blast over the bar.
One of Blues’ half-time substitutes then almost drew them level. Clifford did well to win the ball off Hoilett and hit a dipping volley from 25-yards that Green had to tip over.
With time running out, QPR made it 3-1. Bentley saved well from Hoilett but from the resulting corner, Onuoha smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Blues: Bentley; White, Phillips (Bennett 83), Prosser, Coker; Laird (Payne 81), Atkinson (Clifford 45), Leonard, Straker (Cowan 45); Corr (Timlin 70), Eastwood (Njie 81)
Subs not used: Chambers
QPR: Green; Simpson, Hill, Onuoha, Suk-Young (Dunne 45); Hoilett, Granero (Mbia 45), Henry (Sutherland 67), Wright-Phillips; Zamora, Johnson.
Subs not used: Hitchcock, Shariff, Harriman, Lennox.