Stead-y Jon breaks Paul's Hart
Rangers headed into their second game in three days as the busy festive period continues to entertain all football lovers. Today gave us the opportunity to go to Ipswich and pinch three points in East Anglia.
For the first time this season, and the first time in quite some time, there was no representation from the Lofty Heights crew so a full match analysis and our frank opinions will be slightly less accurate as I lay here listening to the match on the radio trying to write this as it happens. Reasons for us boycotting the fixture were the price of todays ticket, £33 for a championship game is too much especially at this time of year, mind you we do charge £30 don't we? Ah well I'm sure away fans moan at us for being money grabbers as well.
Paul Hart made two changes from the battling victory over Bristol City. Damion Stewart and Adel Taarabt returned to the starting line up in the the place of Fitz Hall and Alejandro Faurlin.
The game started frantically with both teams looking to break quickly but it was Ipswich that dealt the first blow of the afternoon. Shortly after a Rangers attack was broken down it was Ipswich that attacked Ramage down the Rangers right and when the cross came over Jon Walters was on hand to tuck the ball into the back of the net and give Rangers the worst possible start.
After the goal Ipswich dominated proceedings and had the Rangers defence in all sorts of trouble and looking very shaky. Damion Stewart managed to get back and clear an effort off the line and from the resulting corner former R's defender Damien Delaney came very close to putting the home side 2-0 up as his effort flashed over the bar.
Finally with 25 minutes on the clock Rangers started to get themselves in the game and were guilty of two fantastic chances, both of which fell to Taarabt, the second chance being a header from a full four yards out!
For the remainder of the half Rangers slowly came more into the game and started to stifle out the Ipswich attacking threat whilst creating chances albeit none of them clear cut. Taarabt was a constant thorn in the Ipswich and Rangers sides as his trickery was being superb but was always ending the end product. Gorkss in the R's defence was by and far the best performer and was highly praised for his efforts as the half came to a close.
Half time for me was slightly warmer than usual and was treated to an ice cold pint of water and a delightful ham sandwitch to keep me going. A few text updates were sent to members of the Lofty Heights crew that had been dragged out to do other menial tasks.
Rangers started off the second half the better of the two sides and retained most of the possession without creating any telling chances. From hearing many of the commentators comments it sounded as if Adel Taarabt was having another one of those frustrating games and was hogging the ball more often than not instead of playing in players in space, it happened quite a few times and they just laughed every time he lost possession.
As always the pressure didnt tell and the R's were punished for it. Jon Stead picked the ball up and curled a tidy effort around Cerny into the back of the net to put Ipswich well and truly in the driving seat.
I could faintly hear the chants of "U should've kept Magilton" as Akos Buzsaky was taken off shortly after that second Ipswich goal.
Things really didnt get any better and I must admit I started to switch off and missed the build up to the third goal, I can tell you that Jon Stead scored it though, he just loves playing against us doesn't he!! Ipswich fans continued their goading by singing "You're getting sacked in the morning....." With our lot who knows!!
Well it really did sound as if Rangers were not at the races today. The attacking options were limited and once again Mr Taarabt seemingly had a very selfish game. Our defence last year was one of the best in the league last year and yet they are atruglling to keep things tight, only three clean sheets this season tells its story! What does Paul Hart do to sort out an out of sorts Rangers?? Only time will tell.
Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, McAuley, Leadbitter, Norris (Colback 54), Peters, Stead, Walters, John (Wickham 75), Rosenior, Edwards (Garvan 54).
Subs not used: Bruce, Counago, McLoughlin, Brown.
Goals: Walters (4), Stead (63 & 78)
QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart, Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Agyemang 66), Gorkss, Watson, Williams, Simpson, Taarabt (Balanta 78).
Subs not used: Hall, Connolly, Faurlin, Taylor, Borrowdale.
Referee: Mr S Tanner
Attendance: 25, 340