Two Points Dropped...
QPR 2-2 Bristol City
QPR ended the busy Xmas period, five points clear at the top of the Championship, but will be kicking themselves it isn't 7, as one of the most one sided games I have ever seen at Loftus Road, ended 2-2.
Well a full strength LH gang assembled at the Springbok before the match and Happy New Year greetings were exchanged between those who's paths didn't cross at Carrow Road on New Years Day. We also discussed, Jenson's appearance on Sky's, 'Take it like a Fan' programme of which goes to air on Friday. Although Jenson came to the pub £40 better off, he sadly didn't win and have the chance to take a penalty on the Loftus Road pitch at half time for £500 - which I believed was eventually missed, but not sure if this is 100% correct.
Onto the game and as mentioned, it was one of the most one sided affairs witnessed at Loftus Road, not only this season, but many a season gone by. If I sat here and described every chance Rangers created, I would be still writing this report tomorrow afternoon, but it was quite astonishing just how this game wasn't all but over at half time. A cliche I know, but if it were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it.
After what seemed a very quick Half Time break, we were back to our seats and what often happens after a side are so dominant, happened - a rare mistake from Clint Hill - who headed a hopeful long ball into the path of the in form Brett Pitman and the frontman made no mistake in cooly slotting the ball past Paddy Kenny. The lead though, lasted just 3 minutes - Adel Taarabt wriggled himself to the touchline before brilliantly laying the perfect ball back to Alejandro Faurlin who side footed the ball past David James to level the scores and Loftus Road was jumping.
The half continued much like the first with the R's completely in control and chance after chance followed. Rob Hulse was guilty of two glaring misses as well as a point blank header superbly saved by James in the first half. But although the majority of people will be quick to get on Hulse's back, his finishing was all that let him down and his approach, support and hold up play this afternoon was quite superb and you just get this feeling, that once he hits the net again, there will be no stopping him! Watch this space....
On 84 minutes, Rangers finally got the breakthrough they deserved when the referee, correctly adjudged that Elliot had climbed all over Hulse in the box and pointed at the spot. Adel Taarabt stepped up and with nerves of steel, sent James the wrong way for what everyone must have thought was the winning goal.
But as we were about to find out, the game was far from over. In stoppage time, a quite superb save from Paddy Kenny brought Loftus Road to it's feet after he pushed away Campbell-Ryce's effort. But sadly, our hearts were broken as from the resulting corner, Caulker outjumped Gorkss to head home from close range and give City a point that in all fairness and without bias, they barely deserved. Not before one final attack from the R's when substitute, Petter Vaagen Moen's cross was nodded on by Hulse to Tommy Smith, who fired agonisingly over the bar from close range.
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Vaagen Moen 87), Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Walker, Hulse, Smith. Subs: Cerny, Clarke, Rowlands, Agyemang, Borrowdale, German.
Lofty's Man of the Match - brought great discussion from the gang, which unfortunately, was cut somewhat short by an extremely unsavoury incident in the British Queen of which I won't go into. But the discussions led to votes for Faurlin, Hulse and Paddy Kenny once again. But with 3 votes, primarily voted by PK, California Hoop and Jenson, the award today goes to Tommy Smith, who has happily now signed a two and a half year deal with the R's following his loan spell.
On the subject of loan players, I thought I would just spare a few lines with regards to on loan defender, Kyle Walker.
Kyle joined the R's on loan from Spurs back in September, due to injuries to Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage. He went straight into the side against Ipswich and has been there ever since. But sadly, the news today is that he will not be pursuing his season on loan with QPR as many hoped and predicted, but instead with Aston Villa. Kyle has been absolutely superb during his time with QPR and all of us at Lofty Heights would like to wish Kyle all the best in his time with Aston Villa and indeed, in his future career!
GOOD LUCK, KYLE and THANK YOU!!!