Welcome Gavin Mahon...
Something tells me I will be writing lots of these 'Welcome' posts over the next few weeks...
Rangers have today signed midfielder Gavin Mahon on loan from Watford with a view to a permanent transfer.Gavin has signed initially on an emergency loan, so that he is able to play against Leicester tomorrow.
WELCOME AND GOOD LUCK GAVIN!!!
Rangers Sting the Hornets...
Watford 2-4 QPR
The injury time defeat against Plymouth on Boxing Day became a distant memory, as Rangers turned the Championship table upside down. Football supporters everywhere experience a rollercoaster of emotions whilst following their teams all over the country and moans and groans become all too familiar in many an after match discussion. But every now and then, your team will give you something to make everything else worthwhile and yesterday's win over second placed Watford was one of those times - in a game where being there felt like an absolute privelage and made you feel very, very proud.
But before the game, it seemed like anything but, especially when the R's team was announced - Buzsaky, Walton and Vine dropped to the bench and a VERY strong rumour (which didn't happen) of Marc Nygaard playing centre back! This news soon had Rangers fans furiously adjusting their betting slips.
But the sold out Rangers end needed not to worry as Rangers gave their best performance of the season so far in a game that will live long in the memory. Instead of the normal match report, I will just briefly run through and give a pictorial view of the events...13 minutes - Watford 0-1 QPR - Dexter Blackstock was felled in the box by Jordan Stewart and Martin Rowlands tucked home the resulting penalty - and yes, I finally got a Rangers goal photo!!29 minutes - Watford 0-2 QPR - Damion Stewart headed home Rowlands near post corner.
40 mins - Watford 0-3 QPR - the goal of the game - Bolder, Rowlands and Balanta excahnged passes before the teenager touched back to Rowlands, who took one touch to control the ball and then lashed a fearsome left footed drive past the sprawling Lee.
52 mins - Watford 1-3 QPR - Damien Francis headed towards the goal from close range, Rehman's clearance hit Camp for the ball to ricochet into the net for an unfortunate owl goal - this despite a friend who wasn't even at the game, insisting by text that it wasn't an own goal at all.
82 mins - Watford 1-4 QPR - a fine passing move saw Rowlands feed Buzsaky, who rounded the keeper and drilled home from a tight angle for his 6th goal for the club.
85 mins - Watford 2-4 QPR - former R's hero, Dan Shittu smashed the ball home from close range for a small consolation for the home side.QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Blackstock, Ainsworth (Vine 63), Rowlands, Malcolm, Rehman, Nygaard (Walton 92), Balanta (Buzsaky 74). Subs: Cole, Moore.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Martin Rowlands - an outstanding performance!!
If there was any disappointment, it was that Dexter Blackstock was denied a goal that was so deserved by the Rangers front man. But that was it!! What a fantastic day and a great way to say goodbye to 2007!
With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and wish everyone a VERY HAPPY and EXCITING 2008!!!
QPR have today signed the highly rated, Manchester United defender, Kieran Lee on a 6 month loan deal.
The 19 year old right back will officially sign on January 2nd and will be eligible to play in the FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge.
WELCOME AND GOOD LUCK KIERAN!!!
The Late Show... AGAIN!!!
Plymouth 2-1 QPR
This is getting very hard to take now...
Rangers Christmas cheer came to an abrubt end as a 94th minute goal from Ebanks-Blake gave Plymouth a Boxing Day derby victory.
And yes, the above was indeed written with definite sarcasm. This season's fixtures have become a joke and instead of spending some of the festive period with our loved ones, finishing off the remains of the turkey etc, the FA kindly sent us down to Home Park - one of the furthest away trips of the season. This made even more annoying when reading the programme, saw that Plymouth played Bristol City just last week and the R's travel to Watford next Saturday! Come on Lord Mawhinney, it's not bloody difficult!!
So, with the above in mind, we set of at 9.30 for the mammoth trip to Devon, at which point, I must just mention that the journey started for the Leeds contingent at 7pm Christmas night - who lodged at mine and as I am writing, are on their way back to Yorkshire right now!
Even after the long journey, it was a surprise to see keeper Lee Camp make an appearance in the away concourse, obviously caught short before the warm up as he headed straight to the toilet. Obviously, photo opportunities were not taken at this point.
Onto the game, and Rangers were dealing well with Argyle's hoof ball in the first half and were ahead on 19 minutes, as Martin Rowlands cut the ball across for Gaz Ainsworth to slide the ball home. Despite having the majority of the possesion, Rangers continued to deal comfortably with whatever Plymouth offered and went in deservedly a goal to the good.
Now, not for the first time, it seemed a different R's side that came out for the second half. It was obvious that Argyle were going to be up for it, but Rangers were now struggling to deal with what they had dealt with so comfortably previously.
Three minutes after the interval, Argyle were level when Walton (perhaps a bit harshly after seeing the TV replay) was adjudged to have handled in the area and Ebanks-Blake made no mistake from the resulting spot kick. The referee then took centre stage and started handing out yellow cards like Christmas presents - in a game that in truth, didn't really have one dirty tackle in it.
But, just as we thought we may hold on for a well earned and decent point, disaster struck in the 94th minute. Halmosi's corner caused panic in the R's box and, after the ball eventually bounced down off the bar, Ebanks-Blake was on hand to smash home a late, late winner to break our hearts, ruin our Christmas and make the journey home an extremely long one.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Bolder, Buzsaky (Blackstock, 78), Ainsworth, Rowlands (Nygaard, 67), Walton, Malcolm, Vine, Rehman, Leigertwood. Subs: Cole, Moore, Kanyuka.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Rowan Vine
In summary, disappointment is an understatement, but unfortunately, the late /last minute winners have become all too familiar this season. What has become the annual Plymouth, after match and excellent 'Belly Buster' burger, certainly didn't seem to taste as good tonight...
Rangers Give Us Three Points for Christmas...
QPR 2-1 Colchester
A quality double strike from Akos Buzsaky ensured that Rangers won't be spending Christmas in the bottom three, in a game where the R's started with a sprint, but ended up hobbling over the finish line. But at the end of a 'must win' game, I am sure that Rangers fans everywhere will agree that today, the result was ultimately more important than the performance.
Not surprisingly, after another positive week in the media, the talk around Loftus Road was mainly about the latest investment from the Mittal Family, which ultimately led to the slightly amusing chant/s of '1-0/2-0 to the billionaires', from the Rangers faithful.
Onto the game and Rangers dominated for 52 minutes and following plenty of chances, had what seemed, a comfortable 2-0 lead. Akos Buzsaky continued his one man crusade for the goal of the season award and struck twice. His first on 27 minutes, saw him recieve a throw, steal a yard on the defender and then struck a superb left footed drive into the top corner.
The second, was a superb, slick, footballing move. The impressive Rowan Vine raced 40 yards before laying the ball to Blackstock, who in turn layed in Buzsaky to calmly slotting the ball past the keeper. It was then surely the cue for a 3, maybe 4 nil victory... but far from it.
Rangers went to sleep for 10 minutes and simply let Colchester back into the proceedings. Mark Yeates pulled a goal back with a tidy finish on 62 minutes and from there on in, Rangers struggled to get out of their own half. Desperate defending and yet again, Lee Camp kept the visitors at bay but we held on, despite the going down to 10 men for the last eight minutes after Damion Stewart received his second yellow card from the quite awful referee, Mr D Whitestone.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Blackstock (Nygaard 75), Buzsaky, Ainsworth, Malcolm, Vine, Rehman, Leigertwood (Walton 83). Subs: Cole, Moore, Balanta.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Akos Buzsaky, who's goals today would have graced any stadium and were worth the admission money alone.
In summary, I guess we can forget the majority of the second half and be thankful for the 3 lovely points. But I have to say that it was more than disappointing to see Rangers sit back and let Colchester come at them, when they were definitely there for the taking. But hey, it's Christmas and instead of picking bones out of the performance or another diabolical referee, I am more than happy to take the early present of 3 points.
Finally, whilst I am on the subject, I would like to wish you ALL a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and here's to what is going to be an EXCITING 2008!!
Wolves Keep Rangers From the Door...
QPR 0-0 Wolves
Rangers found yet another opposing keeper in inspired form and an another under generous referee, as the two sides had to settle for a point each, in what was a reasonably entertaining affair at Loftus Road.In fact, it was another case of two points lost as promotion chasing Wolves were definitely there for the taking. There was an upbeat mood around Loftus Road prior to kick off, what with the excellent midweek win over Burnley, along with some very happy Rangers fans who had managed to snap up their tickets for the FA Cup game with Chelsea in the new year.
Depsite a nervous start, the first half belonged to Rangers with Rowlands, Ainsworth and Buzsaky all testing the keeper. Blackstock missed an absolute sitter from close range and five minutes before the break, the R's striker was later adjudged to be climbing on a defender, before heading back to Ainsworth to tap into the empty net.Rangers continued to bombard the Wolves goal in the second half, with Blackstock going close and Stewart heading down and unfortunately, over the bar from Buzsaky's corner. But 3 minutes later, the game was about to change as the R's were denied a stone wall penalty, when Nygaard was clearly wrestled to ground with the goal at his mercy and right in front of the referee by Kevin Foley.
The quite unbelievable decision seem to throw Rangers from their stride and Wolves started to come right back into the game. In fact, they missed the best chance of the game to take a lead they would have barely deserved, when Stephen Elliot somehow managed to fire wide from six yards out.
Rangers ended the game much the stronger. Martin Rowlands forced another great save from Hennesy in the Wolves goal, before Gareth Ainsworth was denied the goal his performance deserved in the 85th minute, firing his shot from the right just wide.QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Blackstock (Sinclair 83), Buzsaky, Ainsworth, Rowlands, Malcolm, Rehman, Nygaard, Leigertwood. Subs: Cole, Moore, Walton, Balanta.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Gareth Ainsworth - the R's winger has been chomping at the bit for his chance to show the new manager what he can do - and he is certainly taking that chance. The man ran his socks off for the entire game and is one of a rare breed of player that would run through a wall for his team!!
In summary, another half decent performance gave Rangers little reward as other results saw us drop back to the bottom of the table and a bad refereeing decision has yet again cost us dearly. But there were many positives to be taken with allegedy, the worst back four in R's history keeping another clean sheet. There were inspiring performances from Martin Rowlands and man of the match, Gareth Ainsworth. And finally, going back to the defence, credit much be given to a solid performance by the much criticised(by myself too, I admit), Zesh Rehman, who had his best game in an R's shirt to date.
Rangers Have a Great Night on the Claret...
Burnley 0-2 QPR
Rangers turned the form book upside down, as Damion Stewart and Rowan Vine claimed second-half goals to lift the R's off the bottom of the Championship and gain their first win at Turf Moor for 27 years.The result was even more pleasing as it was a fitting send-off to former striker, Ray Jones, who was tragically killed hours before this fixture was originally scheduled to take place back in August.I must admit, that I along with many others, was dreading this fixture as Burnley have been in great form and were unbeaten since the arrival of Owen Coyle as Manager. But injuries and suspension, meant that there was finally a welcome start for winger, Gareth Ainsworth and Marc Nygaard also returned to the starting line up. But something that has been kept very quiet, was the return to the squad for Simon Walton, who cruelly broke his leg pre season and made his R's debut as an 88th minute sub - Welcome Back Simon!!
Alan Mahon had the best chance of an otherwise dull first half, but saw his 20 yard shot smack the post. Rangers began creating chances in the second half and were ahead on the hour as Sinclair's corner to the far post was headed home by an unmarked Damion Stewart. It was then wave after wave of Burnley attacks with Lee Camp and Damion Stewart performing heroics at th back. But in stoppage time, Rangers sealed the win in bizarre fashion as Burnley keeper Kiraly went up-field for a corner, only for Rangers to break out of defence and secure the points as Vine stroked the ball into an empty net.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Ainsworth (Moore 94), Malcolm, Vine, Rehman, Nygaard (Walton 88), Leigertwood, Sinclair (Blackstock 76). Subs: Cole, Balanta.
Well, the performance of the season it may not have been, but what a fantastic result this is!! It was our game in hand on the rest of the pack and to win it was a fantastic achievement on a freezing cold night in Lancashire - and, as mentioned earlier, the result was both fitting and worthy of the memory of former striker, Ray Jones.
Ray Jones 1988 - 2007
'those we have held close to our hearts, will be there forever.' - Lofty
A Point Won, or...?
Scunthorpe 2-2 QPR
Two wonder strikes from Akos Buzsaky, proved not to be enough as Scunthorpe twice came from behind to earn a point, but it truth, should maybe have had all three at a cold, wet and windy Glanford Park.
Myself and PK made the long journey north and were both looking forward to it, seeing as it was a new ground for us as it was for no doubt, the majority of the away end. But on the other hand we were also dreading it, as with Scunthorpe not having won in 8 games, it had a defeat written all over it - in fact, myself and PK had predicted 2-0 and 3-1 defeats respectively and Joe, a 1-0 defeat.
But after a relatively trouble free journey and a visit to the excellent Old Farmhouse pub, we moved onto our first look at the ground, which was small, neat and compact and should have made for a good atmosphere, although the home fans were pretty quiet throughout. The Rangers fans seemed in good spirits and there was also a return of the inflattables - including a banana, a blow up doll and surprisingly, a huge, lets just say man's private part, of which led to the quote of the season so far from Vickie, but more on that later...
Onto the game and after some good work from both sides, Rangers took the lead with stunning strike through Akos Buzsaky - who fired home from 25 yards after a flick on from Rowan Vine. The home side were level 12 minutes later when yet again, the R's defence stood still at a corner as Patterson nipped in front of Barker to poke the ball home unchallenged. It was nearly 2-1 on 35 minutes as Hurst, all to easily moved into the box and smashed a low shot against the post.
Rangers then went back in front on 42 minutes and if you thought Buzsaky's first goal was good, then you should have seen this one! - Following a foul on Sinclair, a free kick was given , which looked from where we were sitting, that it was near the corner flag. Buzsaky stepped up and curled a sublime effort into the top corner.
With the wind at their back, Scunthorpe started the second half much the better and Camp again had to be at his best just seconds after the restart. But on 52 minutes,the lead was cancelled as a wind assisted cross, came back off the crossbar and fell to Forte who made no mistake. Despite Adam Bolder falling just short of sliding in for Sinclairs cross and Buzsaky shooting over late on, it was pretty much Scunthorpe's half in what was overall, a half decent match in dire conditions.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Buzsaky (Ainsworth 92), Rowlands, Malcolm, Vine, Rehman (Timoska 74), Leigertwood, Sinclair (Nygaard 76). Subs: Cole, Balanta.
Lofty's Man of the Match - some improved performaces all over the pitch, notably from Vine and Bolder, but with a performance capped by two stunning goals, there could only be one winner today - Akos Buzsaky!
Well, to sum up, I suppose with us all predicting a defeat, we have to be pleased to get a point today and above all, I think the majority were. But it is becoming more and more frustrating, that we are continuing to try and defend what we have? Is this an Italian thing? We looked okay going forward and scored 2 good goals and with Scunny not winning in 8, it was a great time to play them. But with that back four, we were always going to concede and the first goal especially was so disappointing. So much so that I may have gained an appearance on the Championship this week as I lept up to express my disgust/disappointment at the motionless defence, notably, Chris Barker.
As for the quote of the season so far, whilst we were all keeping a close eye on the various inflattables being thrown around the away end, Vickie announcing her concern that a 'huge penis may come on her head' was priceless!!
QPR 1-2 Palace
Following the excitement of the FA Cup draw, the disappointment returned to Loftus Road as Rangers simply gifted Palace the three points to slump to the foot of the table - and we looked a long way from the team that played the eagles off the park just four weeks ago.
Well, after two away defeats, we needed a performance and more importantly, a result tonight and after a shaky start, it looked as if we may get it as Damion Stewart headed home Buzsaky's corner on 10 minutes. The goal eased the fans concerns of seeing Zesh Rehman return to the starting line up. Also, if anyone saw Ben Sahar's 'I'm cold and can't be bothered' performance at Blackpool, you would wonder how on earth he warranted his place in the squad, let alone to start the match?!?
Rangers continued to dominate and had three further chances from Vine, Sahar and Sinclair to extend the lead, but like the away game, found keeper Speroni in great form. However, it was almost like a different team that came out for the second half and it wasn't long before the lead was turned into a deficit - assisted by yet another diablolical refereeing performance, this time from Alan Wiley.
Firstly, a dubious free kick was awarded to Palace and Clint Hill poked home Watson's cross as the Rangers defence stood still on 64 minutes. Two minutes later, and it was 2-1 when yet again, a dubious decision saw a corner awarded to Palace - Watsons corner was headed onto the bar, the rebound fell to Clinton Morrison who scored his customary goal against us - and for the second time, the R's defence all stood still.
The game then went from frustrating to just baffling and the decision to replace Buzsaky with Adam Bolder, instead of a frustrated Gareth Ainsworth who was literally chomping at the bit to get on the pitch, just about summed things up. Needless to say, Palace held on with embarrasing ease to take the three points.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Buzsaky (Bolder 86), Rowlands (Nygaard 72), Sahar (Balanta 84), Malcolm, Vine, Rehman, Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Ainsworth.
Lofty's Man of the Match - two awards tonight as there was two teams playing in each half...
1st Half - Akos Buzsaky
2nd Half - Marc Nygaard - the fact that Marc was a 72nd minute substitute speaks volumes with my decision - he came on, battled hard and gave it a real go - an example to the others.
Well, it's difficult to know where to begin to sum this one up, but De Canio's decisions tonight HAVE to be questioned. Zesh Rehman has/is reportedly having/had his contract paid up and will leave the club... so how on earth he makes the starting line up? Well, you tell me! Sadly, his performance did little to alter my opinion. The last substitution, as mentioned, was baffling and it was no wonder Gaz Ainsworth threw his hat into the dug out in sheer anger and frustration. We were losing at home with 4 minutes to go so would you rather put on? A passionate attacking player that would die for the cause, or just simply swap one midfielder for another? Again, you tell me...
A major positive to come out of the game, was the debut of youth team starlet, Angelo Balanta, who has simply been on fire for youth and reserve this season and scoring a hatful of goals along the way - Congratulations Angelo!
F.A. Cup Third Round Draw...
NEED I SAY MORE?? LOVE IT!!!
Oh We Don't Like To Be Beside The Seaside...
Blackpool 1-0 QPR
An injury time goal saw Rangers head back from the seaside with what they deserved - absolutely nothing! Overall a VERY poor result, a VERY poor performance, in a VERY poor game played in VERY poor conditions. However, it wasn't all bad and there was a massive plus point... it didn't rain.
Apologies for the report being much, much later than the norm, but being Blackpool, it HAD to be a weekend away and what a great weekend it was too. It was just a shame we had to go to the match in between time. We arrved around midday and checked into the excellent and highly recommended, Fylde Hotel and relaxed before the game with some excellent hospitality.
Blackpool is not the best place for an away fan to watch their football and there were no improvents to the visitors end since our last visit - and we were charged £17.50 for the privelage of sitting in an open air, temporary stand built on soggy clay. With two ends open, there was also no protection from the howling winds that definitely affected the game, that simply, Blackpool dealt with much the better.
The first half was more or less a non event with the exception of a point blank save from Lee Camp. The second half was worse as sadly, Rangers, playing against the wind seemed to sit back and hold on for the point. However, proceedings were livened up with a handful of R's fans trying desperately to liven up a bitterly cold away end.With the wind at their backs, Blackpool played like they wanted to win the game and win it they did, and deservedly so I am sad to say. In the 91st minute, Ben Burgess arrived unmarked in the 18 yard box to loop his header into the corner of the net.
QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Bolder, Buzsaky (Moore 77), Rowlands, Malcolm, Vine (Ainsworth 69), Sahar (Nygaard 46), Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Bailey, Goodchild.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Lee Camp, who simply did NOT deserve to be on the losing side with an outstanding display in what must have been terrible conditions for a goalkeeper.
To sum up, this was a very disappointing showing with only Camp and Stewart coming out of the game with any credit. With the recent takeover and the much expected new arrivals coming in the transfer window, no one seems overly concerned with our lowly position at the moment. Okay, so overall, the performaces have improved greatly in the past few weeks, but the results haven't. Thankfully, we didn't let the football spoil what was an excellent night out, but I think it's best not to write a report on the evenings events ;-)