Christmas comes early for Boro.
Today we hosted a visiting Middlesborough side that under new manager Gordon Strachan have lost two and drawn two during his four game reign and hoped to beat an indifferent Rangers side.
In attendance today were Lofty, California Hoop, Sam and Me. Unfortunately due to a holiday and other reasons we were missing PK, Corp and Jenson. At least they didn’t miss much!
Only one change was made from last week’s 2-2 draw against Coventry and it was a forced one. Matt Connolly was replaced by Kaspers Gorkss in the heart of the defence.
In the opening exchanges it was Rangers looking the more threatening side. Three corners in the opening four minutes was the only reward Rangers had for their pressure.
Adel Taarabt had two good chances to open the scoring but his efforts went high and wide and he also had an effort deflected away for another corner. Once against the corner provided no real danger.
The momentum soon changed in favour of the visitors.
Mark Yeates unleashed a 30 yard drive, with a lethal dip on it, and Radek Cerny dived in despair as he saw the ball crash against the bar.
Moments later we had the opening goal of the game.
Boro had a free kick 35 yards out. Gary O’Neil floating in a lovely ball and Dave Kitson was on hand to flick home from 12 yards out. The marking from the set piece was once again awful and Kitson was left free in space to poke his effort home.
Boro continued to have the better of the half as Rangers looked a shadow of the team that dazzled us in October.
The half time gathering was mainly focused away from the game we had been watching as it was a pretty unentertaining half to watch.
The second half came along far too quickly for our liking but we returned to our seats to endure another 45minutes.
Boro had a corner two minutes into the half and ended up scoring from the corner but the ref spotted a handball before the goal was scored and awarded a penalty.
Leroy Lita, who Rangers fans just love to hate, stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards out.
Straight after the goal a double substitution was made. Rowan Vine and Patrick Agyemang came on for the poor Akos Buzsaky and the lonely Jay Simpson.
The substitution soon paid dividends and a goal was quickly clawed back. Vine broke away down the left hand side and squared the ball in the box for Agyemang, who was off balance, he swung his foot at it and sidefooted home from 8 yards out.
Poor Rangers defending aided Boro to get a third goal of the game. Leigertwood gave the ball away cheaply on the right hand side. Lita was given the ball and he run at Hall before turning him inside out far too easily and placing his effort home from close range.
The show wasn’t over and on 75 minutes a 4th Boro goal was added. Lita again was at the heart of it, his effort struck Cerny’s left hand post and the ball fell kindly to Gary O’Neil and he put the ball into the empty R’s net.
It was at this point Lofty made a swift exit and 5minutes later Sam and Me headed for the exit after witnessing a dismal defensive performance.
After we left a 30 yarder from Mark Yeates made matters worse for the R’s.
Defensively today we were awful and didn’t seem to have a clue. Leigertwood and Hall were really poor today. In fairness to the defence, last season we had one of the best defences in the league and that was mainly down to us having a settled back 4. So far this season we haven’t played the same 4 for more than 2games running and we need some stability in this area.
Its also evident now that Simpson really needs some proper help up front. We cant play Routledge up there with him as this takes away our width down the right hand side without him being there.
Another player that has disappointed me of late is Buzsaky. He looks a little disinterested, maybe this is because he is being played out of position? Who knows.
QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge (Pellicori 82), Buzsaky (Vine 52), Gorkss, Watson, Faurlin, Simpson (Agyemang 52), Borrowdale, Taarabt.
Subs not used: Taylor, Ramage, Stewart, Williams.
Scorers: Agyemang (54)
Middlesbrough: Jones, Pogatetz, Yeates, Lita, St Ledger, O'Neil (Digard 79), Arca, R
Williams, Wheater, Kitson, Osbourne.
Subs not used: Coyne, Hoyte, Riggott, Emnes, McMahon, L Williams.
Scorers: Kitson (31), Lita (Pen 50 & 60), O'Neil (75), Yeates (87)
Bookings: Lita (50), Osbourne (58)
Referee: Mr P N Gibbs
Attendance: 13, 949
Lofty's Man of the Match today could quite easily be awarded to Damion Stewart as he warmed up exceptionally well and was the best defender to touch the turf during the 90 mins. However just for his effort the player receiveing the award today is Alejandro Faurlin.