Friends Reunited as QPR beat Forest...
QPR 2-1 Nottingham Forest
After the much welcome International break, QPR returned with a welcome three points in what was a narrow, but deserved victory at Loftus Road.
Well, over the past few season, the gang of friends which have been very much an influence to what gets written on these pages, has dwindled somewhat for various reasons and many new friends have been happily found along the way. But today seemed very much like the old days as Paul, Darren and Billy returned to join us all and when we all met up at the Springbok before the game, it was like they had never been away. I only hope they continue to come back as the reunion continued at the British Queen after the game and a great time was certainly had by all!
Onto the game and as previously written, I had never before looked forward to an International break as much as I have the one just past and two good results and dare I say, performances from England made it even better. But we returned today for a fixture that I guess most were dreading, for the simple fact that it had a 'QPR' factor written all over it. Forest came into the game, bottom of the table, without an away win all season and without a goal in four. There could only be one result, surely? Confidence was not at all restored with the name of 'Andy Cole' being on the Forest team sheet and I don't think anyone needs reminding of Cole's last visit to Loftus Road...
After a largely forgettable first half, Rangers went ahead three minutes after half-time when Fitz Hall's long throw was headed on by Damien Delaney and Balanta's volley went in off the underside of the bar. It was 2-0 on the hour mark and again a Hall throw proved to be Forest's undoing. This time the defender's delivery from the right was cleared only as far as Buzsaky, who fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
The impressive Buzsaky sent another cracking shot inches over, before Cerny tipped away Nathan Tyson's 25-yard drive. Rangers at least kept loyal to one of their unfortunate traditions as Lewis McGugan pulled a goal back for Forest with a brilliant 30-yard free-kick, which made it an unnecessary, nervy final seven minutes.
QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Hall (Connolly 64), Leigertwood, Blackstock, Buzsaky (Mahon 90), Rowlands, Ramage, Cook, Balanta (Di Carmine 75). Subs: Camp, Ledesma.
Lofty's Man of the Match - 2 main contenders today, with the superb Buzsaky being one of them, but today's award goes to Fitz Hall, as depite leaving the game on 64 minutes, had in my opinion, his best game in a R's shirt to date.
In summary, this was an important win for QPR with two tough away games coming up next. With the recent dip in form, you could see that the confidence was lacking in the first half, but despite the narrow scoreline, Rangers dominated the second half. But to those disappointed with the progress so far - the win today has put us 6th in the table. This time last year, we were rock bottom with just one win and seven points...