The Late Show, Again...
Palace 1-1 QPR
Crystal Palace literally stole a point this afternoon as Clinton Morrison, scored his regular goal against us, to deny Rangers the win they so richly deserved.
Well, people that know me and indeed, regular readers of these pages will know that the fixture - Crystal Palace away, is probably my least favourite of the season. Although a London derby, you could get to a northern away game quicker. PK, Vickie, Joe, Paul and myself squeezed into the car for a journey in that we hardly moved out of second gear. We did however, arrive in good time to take our seats, £25 seats come to that, but at least it is worth paying extra for the wonderful view... I am joking of course ;-)
Anyway, thats my annual moan about Selhurst Park out of the way and onto the game and if you would have offered me the draw before the match, I would have taken it, without a doubt. But at the final whistle it almost felt like a defeat as Palace stole a point in the 88th minute. Morrison headed home Kennedy's free kick - a free kick which was dubious to say the least and the incident will be omitted from tomorrow's Championship programme I'm sure (it was!). Rangers had led since the 44th minute after Scott Sinclair headed home the impressive Buzsaky's cross.
But in the second half, Rangers dominated proceedings and eventually, were left to rue their missed opportunities. The Palace keeper, with an extremely dodgy looking hairstyle, Julian Speroni, had an absolute blinder and got the better of two one on ones - denying firstly, Adam Bolder and later, Scott Sinclair who were both put through by Buszaky. Speroni then denied Rowan Vine with another fine save and at this point, you just couldn't help feeling that we would be made to pay for the missed chances and pay for it, we certainly did. Vine was replaced by Ben Sahar in the final minute and although I don't recall the Chelsea loanee touching the ball, I'm sure his Mum will be proud of him all the same... sorry, just couldn't resist.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Bolder (Rehman 90), Buzsaky, Rowlands (Ainsworth 86), Vine (Sahar 90), Timoska, Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Nardiello.
Lofty's Man of the Match - well, for me today there were 3 main contenders - Akos Buzsaky had an inspired game sitting just behind Rowan Vine and was at the heart of most of what Rangers created. Timoska had a superb match at the back. But with a performance that completely determined the outcome of game, the award goes to Palace keeper, Julian Speroni.
To sum up, this was a good result on paper and as mentioned, I would have certainly taken a point before kick off. But this was definitely a case of two points dropped. Luigi De Canio has now had a win, a loss and a draw but the early signs are more than encouraging with some lovely football being played by the R's. Must also mention the fantastic R's support at Selhurst today, officially given as 2,205 - never stopped singing and supporting the team throughout. However, I was slightly disappointed that many didn't spot Chris 'Incredible Jeff' Kamara in the TV gantry - would have dearly loved some choice, but obviously light hearted banter there, especially when he was going live on air back to the Sky Sports studio.