A 'Handy' Win for the Blades...
Sheffield United 2-1 QPR
Rangers slipped to a narrow defeat at Bramall Lane, in a game where some awful refereeing and two fantastic saves, ultimately led to the outcome. Although not both the saves were from the goalkeeper in a proverbial game of two halves...
Despite being held up by an aaccident on the M1, we arrived in Sheffield in plenty of time. Myself and PK also welcomed Corp back to the away day fold and it was his influence that led to us enjoying our pre match drink and eats in the excellent Hellena sandwich and deli bar, rather than finding the normal, suitable public house.
So it was from there onto the ground, where a very healthy away following, saw Rangers take a deserved lead going into the break. Patrick Agyemang fired home from close range on the stroke of half time, following good work from Connolly on the right. Previous to this, Buzsaky had tested Paddy Kenny a couple of times - one notably from a vicious free kick that was brilliantly saved by the Blades keeper.
The mood around the Rangers end was naturally upbeat during the break, but we all knew that the home side would come at us in the second half - and come at us they did. Yet another own goal saw the Blades level on 64 minutes. A dubious looking corner saw the ball fall to Tonge, who forced a fine save from Lee Camp. Unfortunately, in the melee that followed, Rowlands attempt to clear cannoned off Damion Stewart and flew into the back off the net.
Five minutes later, and the Blades were ahead - the referee waved away a certain foul on Buzsaky on the edge of the box and United broke away at pace. Hendrie and Connolly wrestled in the box, Hendrie got to his feet first before firing home. Two further attempts from Rob Hulse should have made the game safe, but in the 91st minute, the ref hammered the final nail in the Rangers coffin. Buzsaky's stunning volley was brilliantly saved on the line - but not by Paddy Kenny, but Matt Kilgallon, who clearly used a hand to palm the ball away.
The R's players lengthy protests fell on deaf ears but the fact that Kilgallon was walking away from the scene of the crime, grinning and laughing, spoke volumes.
QPR: Camp, Barker (Blackstock 74), Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky, Rowlands, Connolly, Agyemang, Lee, Vine, Hall. Subs: Bolder, Ainsworth, Walton, Ephraim.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Akos Buzsaky
So, yet another disappointing defeat after so much promise from the first half performance, but the second half tactics were all wrong. We survived the first ten minutes but then after simply gifting them a goal, down went the heads and the substitution to bring on a second striker was the wrong one - as it moved Buzsaky out of the midfield to the left hand side and from there, we had no answers. Also, did anyone else spot that Agyemang played most of the second half injured??
On a brighter note, the LH betting syndicate made a winning return, with Agyemang, first scorer at 8/1! :-)