A Point Won or Two Lost??
Charlton 2-2 QPR
Struggling Charlton twice came back from behind to deny QPR, at an extremely cold Valley on Boxing Day.
The tradition of the Boxing Day fixture, which was a lot kinder to us than the trip to Plymouth last season, brought a full car load as Corp and California Hoop joined myself and PK, with the Henley contingent following us in from South Mimms as we made the relatively easy trip to the Valley. With food and alcohol indulgence the day before, the mood was a little subdued than the norm, but certainly cheerful enough as we decided to walk straight past the pub and onto the chip shop instead.
Onto the game and with Charlton 14 games without a win, I am sure I wasn't alone in amongst the healthy R's support in absolutely dreading this game! With two games in two days, the team was much changed and initial fears were starting to drift away as the R's dominated the first half and were deservedly ahead on 17 minutes, as Lee Cook gave PK a belated Xmas pressie, curling a superb free kick into the top corner.
QPR were made to pay for not putting this game to bed in the first half, when Charlton equalised just three minutes into the second half when Nicky Bailey headed home from the impressive, Lloyd Sam's cross. Charlton had a decent little spell after the goal, but slightly against the run of play, the R's went back in front on 68 minutes - Leigertwood headed a pass to Blackstock who coolly slotted the ball past Elliot for his 11th of the season.
With ten minutes remaining, Charlton were level once again when Radek Cerny could only punch out a Martin Cranie cross and Bailey headed the ball into the net for his second goal of the afternoon. Lloyd Sam had a great chance to clinch the points for Charlton late on, but Rangers themselves were denied three points in stoppage time - Helguson struck the foot of the post, with the rebound falling kindly for Ledesma, who smashed home what was seemingly the winner - only for referee Taylor to adjudge that Blackstock had committed a foul and the wild celebrations in the away end came to an abrupt halt.
QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Blackstock, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Connolly, Cook (Ledesma 67), Alberti (Ephraim 59), Di Carmine (Helguson 81). Subs: Mahon, Agyemang
Lofty's Man of the Match - Kaspars Gorkss
Although an entertaining game, I came away from the Valley very disappointed that the R's had dropped two points, especially after dominating the first half and sitting back somewhat in the second. Would love to have another look at Ledesma's disallowed goal as I didn't see an awful lot wrong with it at the time. But I guess as many times as I do look at it, it won't change the result so a point it is. There will probably be wholesale changes in the R's line up again for Sunday's clash with Watford as Rangers will be looking to get a decent return from the Christmas games.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!!