Am I Bothered?!?
Wolves 2-0 QPR
How nice it was to go to watch a QPR game and be able to relax and enjoy the day! Today, it was the Wolves fans who had to endure a tense afternoon as their very nervous side claimed a 2-0 victory.A full car load of myself, PK, Corp/Al and Special Guest for the day, Jill made the easy trip to the Black Country. Although a one point, we were a little concerned with Jill's living quarters. I punched her post code into my sat nav before we left, and when it finally said 'arriving at destination on right', all that was before our eyes was a green wheeliebin?!?
On arrival and for the second away game running, we managed to park right outside the ground, with PK spotting a place with no yellow lines or restrictions... and our luck continued when we were also admitted into a home fans only pub - although a cocktail of red bull, panadol extra and lager seemed to highly advance the fun behaviour of Corp/Al for the remainder of the day! Then, we found a food van selling hot dogs at £1 a go, it just had to be our day!?
Sadly our luck run out from there, but not before we duly paid our respects with a minutes applause to England World Cup Winner, Alan Ball who sadly died last week...R.I.P. Alan Ball
----------Onto the game and a much changed Rangers more than held there own in the first half against as mentioned, an extremely nervous Wolves... and could have been ahead just minutes into the second half as Jimmy Smith hit the underside of the crossbar. But the pressure finally told as goals from Keough and Kightly gave Wolves the win, despite the best efforts of Jake Cole in the Rangers goal. But the Wolves fans celebrations more than showed just how relieved they were...
QPR: Cole, Bignot, Bolder (Bailey 76), Rowlands, Lomas, Kanyuka (Timoska 59), Stewart, Furlong (R Jones 67), Nygaard, Smith, Milanese. Subs: P Jones, Moore.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Jake Cole - outstanding performance!!
The bad luck continued for the gang with all of our recent bookmaker wins being blown away by this result. But there was also plenty of cheer around from the earlier Chelsea and Man United results and also, the result from Elland Road which all but relegates Leeds United. Now, I will never forget their fans chanting at us a couple of years ago - '6-1 in your Cup Final'!?! Did they really, honestly think that playing them is the highlight of our season? I won't gloat too much obviously, but I wish them well for all of their future 'Cup Final's' in League One to come!!
We also say goodbye to Southend who lost at home to Luton and also drop back into League One.
All You Need is Love...
John Gregory has signed a new two year deal with QPR after guiding the club to securing their Championship status!Gregory told the Official QPR website;"I personally have never been happier. I look forward to working alongside Gianni, as we strive to build a better future for our loyal fans".
"All you need is love."
The closing comment probably says it all and if anyone saw him in tears in the QPR World interview, they will realise that John Gregory is most definitely the man to take this great club forward!
Come on You R'ssssssssss!!!
The R's Are Staying Up!!!
QPR 1-0 Cardiff
Rangers secured their place in the Championship as Dexter Blackstock scored the only goal to beat Cardiff City in a nervy afternoon at Loftus Road. It was an eventful old day - filled with laughter, elation, tension, celebration and every other emotion you could think of. Other than the game and of course, the result, moments of note were the boys hammering the bookies yet again!!...and the appearance of the gay policeman that insisted on enforcing the rule that we couldn't drink our beer in the street! - and we were supposed to take this guy seriously???
Anyway, onto the game and you are going to get a different type of round up from me this time. Because it matters not if the game was good or bad, the only thing that mattered from getting the three points today is that..THE R's ARE STAYING UP!!!The GoalDexter Celebrates goal No 14JGCampy Applauds the Fans (for you Vix)Stand Up and Make Some Noise!
QPR: Camp, Bignot, Bolder, Rowlands (Smith 70), Lomas, Cook, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska, Nygaard, Blackstock (Furlong 83). Subs: Cole, Milanese, Bailey.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Excellent performances from Blackstock, Stewart, Kanyuka and Camp to name a few, but today, my award goes to Adam Bolder - what a great signing this was from John Gregory!?!We are Staying Up!! I never doubted it, really I didn't!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?? ;-)
Saw this floating around the internet so thought I would share...
Have since found out that this is the work of the talented Mr Cooch! Quality mate, cheers for letting me use it!However, not entirely true - Come on United!! ;-)
Black Cats Cross Rangers Path...
Sunderland 2-1 QPR
Despite a plucky, battling performance, Rangers left the Stadium of Light empty handed as a late winner eased the Sunderland fans nerves and ultimately, gave them the points.
Well, I really do hope that the Black Cats get promotion to the Premiership. The main reason being that we don't have to make that mammoth journey again for a while! Myself, PK an Al M all got up in what seemed, the middle of the night to make the long trek up to the North East. Myself and PK shared the driving duties... okay, okay - so my contribution may only have been to reverse into the tight space just outside the Stadium! Thanks must go to the Policeman who moved the traffic cone for us to get into it ;-). Seriously, a big thanks and well done to PK - nice one mate!
After a catch up and the usual banter with friends beforehand, it was onto the game and a first half which largely belonged to the home side. It took just 7 minutes before the first goal came as Whitehead got behind Bignot and made no mistake. But as in recent games, Rangers continued to battle and on 22 minutes, we were level. Moore fed the ball through to Blackstock who touched the ball round the keeper, only to be brought down and the ref pointed to the spot. Blackstock was clearly denied a goalscoring opportunity and in any other game, the keeper would have been given his marching orders... BUT, this is Super Sunderland we are talking about and he wasn't even booked!?!
However, it mattered little shortly after as Rowlands sent the keeper the wrong way to level the scores and cue wild celebrations in the away end. Well, with the exception of the two that just couldn't hang on any longer for a visit to the toilet - sorry Vix and Joe ;-). Credit must yet again go to PK who started the chant 'that's why we're staying up!' shortly after.
Onto the second half and Rangers were more than a match for their high flying opponents. So much so that the near 40,000 crowd were so very quiet and obviously becoming very nervous. But, in the 76th minute and just as it was looking like we would hold out, Sunderland made the breakthrough - Leadbitter drilled home from the edge of the box after a free kick and the home fans suddenly woke up again!
QPR: Camp, Bignot, Cullip (Kanyuka 43), Bolder, Rowlands, Lomas (Idiakez 83), Moore (Furlong 69), Stewart, Timoska, Blackstock, Smith. Subs: Cole, Nygaard.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Damion Stewart
This was always going to be one of our toughest games in the run in and despite a narrow defeat, we were very close to winning a valuable point. The heart and passion was again there for all to see and was reflected in the ovation from the travelling faithful at the end of the game. So why Inigo Idiakez and Jimmy Smith felt the need to trudge of the field without acknowledging the fans is beyond me. Yes, we know you must be gutted, but hey, we have just travelled hundreds of miles to see you and give you tremendous support!!
The long journey home was pretty upbeat with all things considered and we were joined at the Watford gap service station by disappointed Watford fans after their 4-1 Cup Semi Final defeat against Man United. Al did however try to console them by reminding them that they could now concentrate on the league...
I would very much like to introduce you all to Rangers newest supporter, Holly.
Holly is 9 years old, from Hayes and the daughter of our mate Mark. Due to the absolutely ridiculous ticket prices from down the road, football mad Holly has decided NOT to follow in her Dad's footsteps and follow Chelsea! Holly has been to the Preston and Luton home games and is now totally hooked. She also has a new favourite player - Gareth Ainsworth.
Two games and two wins, Holly seems to have definitely brought us luck and we are trying to persuade Dad to bring her to Sunderland on Saturday ;-)
I am sure you would all like to welcome Holly aboard and hope she will continue to bring us luck!
The Final Furlong...
QPR 3-2 Luton
Rangers stepped ever closer to safety as Paul Furlong scored in the final minute to snatch victory for the R's in a topsy turvy game at Loftus Road.After Saturday's win at Coventry, everyone was in upbeat mood as Rangers took on a Luton side in terrible form. So much so that it seemed their fans have already given up - if the pitiful away following was anything to go by? So upbeat was California Hoop (who incidentally was sporting a Whoopi Goldberg look for the day), that he was constantly predicting a 6-0 win!
But in a disappointing first half, Luton had the better of the chances before Rangers took the lead - Dexter Blackstock firing home from close range on 41 minutes. However, it came as no suprise when in stoppage time, Luton were level through Coyne who headed home almost unchallenged from Bell's cross.
Onto the second half and disaster struck when on 50 minutes - Nygaard seemed to punch away a cross to give Luton a penalty, from which Bell made no mistake. The atmosphere was now becoming tense as frustration started to creep in. Not helped at all by some diaboical refereeing. I don't think anyone could quite believe how Heikkinen's trip on Furlong didn't result in a penalty? But on 81 minutes, a less clear cut penalty was given - Heikkinen again the offender, bringing down Furlong. Blackstock stepped up to cooly send the keeper the wrong way.
There was now only going to be one winner as Rangers piled forward and in the very last minute, Lomas crossed for Furlong to head the ball into the bottom right hand corner to cue some of the wildest celebrations so far this season.
QPR: Camp, Bignot, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth (Smith 22), Lomas, Moore, Kanyuka (Timoska 61), Stewart, Nygaard (Furlong 63), Blackstock. Subs: Cole, Ricketts.
Lofty's Man of the Match - well, some people may look at the goalscorers and Furlong's match winning performance from the bench. But for me today, it goes to Adam bolder who just never stopped battling for us in the centre of midfield.
To sum up, this was a poor performance in comparison to recent weeks, but our 'never say die' attitude got us through. I have no doubt that many R's fans would have been more than happy with a 4 point return over Easter? But to get all 6 and climb seven points ahead of the safety barrier, is a fantastic achievement!
Last but by no means least, the day and the result has come with a tinge of sadness, with the news that Gareth Ainsworth has suffered a fractured fibula. Gaz went off after 22 minutes and an X Ray has confirmed a spiral fracture of his left leg.
Gaz has had terrible luck this season with injuries but has continually fought his way back time and time again. His heart, passion and performances since his return have been exceptional, especially in recent weeks and he has played a massive part in the recent turn around that looks like it will now keep us in the Championship.
On behalf of myself and all the gang - GET WELL SOON GAZ and Thanks!
We look forward to seeing you back even stronger next year!!
Jimmy Fixes It...
Coventry 0-1 QPR
Jimmy Smith's second half goal earned three more valuable points as Rangers continued to take massive steps closer to staying in the Championship. The day started well enough as a rare full car load set off from London with myself, PK, Al and California Hoop all making the relatively easy journey to the Ricoh Arena - and after Tuesday's win over Preston, we were all in good spirits and in an upbeat mood. The day continued to get even better as news filtered through that the referee for the day, Uriah Rennie had been replaced. So after what seemed like a mountaineering expedition to get to our seats and despite almost being distracted by a certain young lady's legs on my right, we settled down for the game...
...which wasn't at all pretty, but Rangers fighting spirit was again on full display. The first half was a scrappy affair and there were chances for both sides. But Lee Camp was probably the busier of the two keepers and made some vital saves. But the general feeling around the Rangers end at half time was that Coventry were there for the taking.
Rangers started the second half well and were ahead on 53 minutes. Andy Marshall somehow kept out Furlong and Moore's efforts, but it was third time lucky for Jimmy Smith who hammered the ball home.
There were a few minor scares as the clock counted down but Rangers continued to fight and looked pretty comfortable when the ref blew the final whistle.QPR: Camp, Cullip, Bolder (Lomas 71), Ainsworth, Moore, Kanyuka, Stewart, Timoska (Bignot 55), Furlong (Nygaard 63), Blackstock, Smith. Subs: Cole, Ricketts.Lofty's Man of the Match - well, QPR to a man did us all proud, but the Captain's armband brought a Captain's performance from - Danny Culip
Overall, results were pretty kind to us yet again, but at least now we are doing it for ourselves! With Monday's game against Luton probably at the back of his mind, Gregory made some changes to the line up and at first glance, it looked a bit of a makeshift XI. But any R's fan at the game will tell you, that every single Rangers player today would have died for the cause this afternoon and we were all rewarded with another fantastic result and a great day out!
Lastly, for those interested in the gangs fortunes at the bookmakers - well, Coventry sadly didn't provide any facilities for us today so the Preston winnings will roll over to the Luton game.
The Great Escape...
QPR 1-0 Prestom
The Great Escape theme tune was ringing around Loftus Road tonight as Dexter Blackstock's stunning goal gave Rangers a well deserved and crucial victory against promotion chasing Preston.
After Saturday's performance, the gang were again, reasonably upbeat. So much so, that another raid on the bookmakers was on the cards and at the end of the game, the three points must have also help ease the pain on Al Murray/Corporate's frequently whacked, new tattoo.
After just 60 seconds, it looked as though it was going to be our night as England International, David Nugent somehow managed to poke the ball wide from just yards out. From there on in, it was all Rangers and how we were not ahead by half time was anyone's guess? Chances fell to Ainsworth, Blackstock and Nygaard and at times, it seemed as though Rangers wanted to walk the ball into the net.
Onto the second half, and on 51 minutes, Loftus Road was jumping as Nygaard found Blackstock who cushioned the ball with his first touch, then rifled the ball home from 25 yards with his second - a stunning goal!Rangers then fought for their lives as Preston came back into the game and the tension was becoming quite unbearable as the clock seemed to take an age to count down. Towards the end, Preston had four strikers on the pitch but Rangers held firm and should have made the points safe in injury time as Blackstock was denied by a great save from Loneghan. But after 5 agonising minutes, the ref finally got something right and blew the final whistle.
QPR: Camp, Bignot, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth, Lomas, Cook (Ricketts 46) (Smith 82), Stewart, Nygaard, Blackstock, Mancienne (Kanyuka 46). Subs: Cole, Furlong.
Lofty's Man of the Match - and back to his best - Gareth Ainsworth
It certainly felt good to be an R's fan this evening. This was Rangers game in hand and there is no doubt just how crucial this win is as it gives us a 4 point cushion on the bottom three. Our superiour goal difference on the teams below us could also be said to be an extra point. But although this wasn't the best footballing performance, the spirit, fight and passion shown by every R's player on the pitch saw us through tonight... and more of the same may well keep us in the Championship.
A correct match prediction from myself meant that the gang were again successful at the bookies, and it has been decided that the winnings will roll on to Saturday's game at Coventry.
To end a fantastic night, a Special mention must go to Leeds based R's fans Vickie, Joe and Paul. I haven't known them that long and this is probably the norm for them, but travelling down from Yorkshire for a Tuesday night game is impressive support indeed! Vickie, this pic is for you!
QPR 1-2 West Brom
Despite a fine performance, Rangers were again left empty handed after a stunning goal for Zoltan Gera six minutes from time, gave Albion the victory in an enthralling game at Loftus Road. But certainly not for the first time this season, it was a classic case of 'what if?' for the R's.
Before the game, it was great to welcome back and catch up with 'California Hoop' Alan for the game and after a two week break, the gang were all upbeat and after the success at Leicester... and decided to attack the bookmakers again.
Onto the game and the first half was pretty even with both sides having chances and generally, Rangers were more than holding their own against their high flying opponents. But the second half sprung into life as the Baggies took the lead after 48 minutes - Koumas threaded the ball through to Phillips who turned Stewart to finish well.
The game looked to be slipping away from Rangers as Albion went looking to finish us off. But on the hour, Dexter Blackstock came off the bench and made an immediate impact - With the excellent Paul McShane keeping Cook quiet on the left, Rangers were using the right flank and on 63 minutes, Ainsworth crossed and the substitute headed home, 1-1.Rangers then had a golden chance to take the lead as Furlong broke through and was brought down by Clement for a penalty. Furlong took the kick himself and Dean Kiely broke Rangers hearts by diving to his right to save. The game could now have gone either way and on 84 minutes, it was Albion who made the breakthrough. Ellington eventually got the better of Mancienne to cross for Zoltan Gera - who finished with a stunning volley.
QPR: Camp, Bignot, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth (Ricketts 82), Cook, Stewart, Idiakez (Lomas 13), Furlong, Nygaard (Blackstock 61), Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Kanyuka.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Gareth Ainsworth
The manner of the Rangers performance, meant that I hadn't felt so choked at the end of a game for a long time. I have no doubt that if Furlong's penalty had gone in, we would have gone on to win the game. Sometimes, it can just be a case of taking your chances and sadly for Rangers, Albion took theirs. However a lot of heart can be taken from the performance and also that yet again, other results meant that we are still out of the bottom three.
As for our result at the bookies this week... well, let's not talk about this one ;-