Lofty Heights... 'Ohhh Bobby Zamooooora!!!'

A look at Queens Park Rangers F.C. through the eyes of the fans - follow us on twitter @loftyheights70, @LoftyQPR and @qprleeroy

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Eph-ing party is getting started.

Today Rangers' travelled to Doncaster in search of their first win there since 1951, could they beat another hoodoo this season or would Doncaster gatecrash the R's party as the business end to the season really starts hotting up? All is about to be revealed.......

The group had one of the best turn outs today as myself, Sam, Jess, Callun made our way over to Jenson's house and jumped into his car before whizzing of to pick up Smithy and then finally Lofty. We set away from Hemel at just past 11.30.
With us all crammed into the seven seater there were times that comfort became an issue but we braved through it but as we got within half an hour of Doncaster we had to quickly pull into the hard shoulder as Sam was feeling very sick and launched herself out of the car and getting some fresh air to settle her down. As we stood on the hard shoulder with Lofty and Callun making the most of the break by enjoying a sneaky fag or two, Smithy then got out the car and walked up the hard shoulder before bring sick on the roadside.
We put all our predictions down as we had three debutants in the game so there was every chance that the prize money was going to make its way into a new pair of hands.
We arrived at our car park in Donny at 1.30 with another passenger feeling sick and having a cramped up thigh, quite an eventful journey!
We made our way into the stadium for a cheeky beer, pie and a few bets.
We met up with Clingy, Michael, Fiona and Debbie.
Iceman, Nik and Luke just made kick as they were stuck in traffic in a taxi. I made the late dash down from my seat to hand over the match ticket to Iceman and he took his seat just in time for kick off.
The news that Adel Taarabt was missing from the squad was slowly filtering through to everyone with several rumours flying around. It was confirmed later on that there was a family tragedy, our thoughts go out to the Taarabt family.

With Adel missing for the squad the starting place went to Hogan Ephraim. Patrick Agyemang returned to the bench as Ishmael Miller dropped out.


The first half wasn't the greatest halves of football that I have ever witnessed so I can keep the round up short and sweet.
Rangers' were comfortable to say the least. Doncaster created few chances and in fairness chances were rare throughout the first 45 minutes.
The R's best chance came when Tommy Smith's shot had to be turned around the post with Rangers' first real shot of the half 20 minutes in.
Doncaster's best chance came during a a scramble in the box as Hayter's shot deflected off of Fitz Hall and onto the outside of the post and wide........ for a goal kick.
Doncaster did finish the stronger of the sides but 0-0 was a very fair reflection on a not so entertaining game of football.

At half time the gang met up on the concourse for a wuick natter about the half, it didn't last very long as there wasn't anything to talk about. Me and Luke did however come to the conclusion that Hogan needed to come off at somepoint as we were not impressed with his opening 45 minutes.


We got to our seats in time for the start of the second half and within three minutes we had the first goal of the game.
Ephraim had the ball down the R's left and got deep into the Donny penalty area before cutting back onto his right foot and found the far corner with a neat curling shot that evaded the fingertips of Woods in the Donny goal.
The goal did spur Rangers' on and they enjoyed a good 15 minute spell afterwards.
Heidar Helguson was gifted a great opportunity to double the lead as a beautiful cross found him at the far post but his header went wide of the far post.
Rangers' continued to look comfortable as Alejandro Faurlin ran the show in centre midfield, he was at the heart of every R's move and was also there to block the Donny attacking presence.
Donny did have us pretty nervy for the final five minutes plus added time but it proved to be too little too late as the R's held out to secure another crucial three points.


This really was a comfortable three points for the R's as Doncaster looked a shadow of the side that has previously played sides off the park and it looks as if injuries have taken their toll on the squad as they are a much better side than this performance showed.
Having said that the R's still had to be professional and get the job done.

Man of the Match had two candidates put forward. Fitz Hall was solid at the heart of the Rangers' defence and once again the chosen one is Alejandro Faurlin. He's been superb as of late and is really showing what a quality player he is.


Doncaster Rovers: Woods, Friend, Martis, Stock, Hayter (Euell 75), Moussa, Oster (Mason 67), Gillett (Dumbuya 84), Mills, Hird, Coppinger.

Subs: Sullivan, Wilson, Shiels, Kilgallon.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall, Helguson (Hulse 80), Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge, Smith, Ephraim (Buzsaky 63).

Subs: Cerny, Agyemang, Vaagan Moen, Chimbonda, Shittu.

Goals: Ephraim (47)

Referee: Mr P N Gibbs

Attendance: 11, 747

For the journey home we swapped a few places in the back seat to make things a little more comfortable for all of us.
With me being right at the back of the car I didn't really hear much of what was said with everyone so I sat back and enjoyed Jess' company.
However what I did hear is the result of the prediction competition. It all went down to the final two evening games as myself and Smithy were separated by only two points. It was decided when the final whistle went at Everton and secured me victory and finally claiming a prize for the first time in ages.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

R's on the Road................ To Doncaster Rovers.

On Saturday Rangers' travel to Doncaster looking to record their first victory there since 1951, the first ever visit to Donny at their old Belle Vue Stadium. Having been played off the park in our previous two visits to the Keepmoat Stadium against a good Donny side that plays good attractive football, hopefully we can take advantage of the home sides inconsistent form and keep the gap between us and Norwich at seven points.
Here are a few hints and tips for your journey to Doncaster Rovers.


The Stadium.

Current capacity - 15,231

Doncaster moved into the Keepmoat stadium at the start of 2007, playing Huddersfield Town on New Years Day . After spending 84 years at their previous home, Belle Vue. The stadium is very similar to the new stadium that are built nowadays, it is shaped like a bowl, is used as a multi purpose venue and is the host to not only Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster Belles and Doncaster Lakers Rugby league team also have The Keepmoat as their home.

The stadium cost £21million to build and is the only stadium in the Football League(apparently) to be housed next to a lake.

Away fans are housed in the North Stand that traditionally holds 3,344 supporters. The view of the pitch, leg room and facilities in this stand are all said to be pretty good. The one downfall about the stand (and the rest of the ground included) is that there is a substantial tarmaced strip that runs around the outside of the pitch and pushes the fans further away from the pitch than we would all like.


The History between the teams.....

At Doncaster Rovers (7)

Doncaster Rvs. 5
Q.P.R. 1
Draws 1

Rangers' have been unsuccessful in winning at the Keepmoat in their two previous visits. Both games were dominated by Doncaster and the end result in both games was 2-0. Hopefully we will actually give the home team a run for their money for once!

How to get there.

By Car :- The post code being used for todays journey is DN4 5JW

This is a very easy ground to find, the hardest part of the journey is the distance. Travel up the M1 and leave at junction 32 to join the M18. Leave the M18 at junction 3 and you are only a mile away from the ground. There are a limited number of parking spaces at the stadium, around 1000 i am lead to believe and it will cost about £5 to park there. I am unaware of any other parking opportunities in and around the ground but I am sure there will be an alternative option if needed.

By Train :- The train station is roughly two miles away from the stadium so it would be best advised to get a taxi to the Keepmoat. There is also a dedicated bus service to the ground available from the Doncaster Interchange bus station which is adjacent to the train station. The bus to catch is the route 75X service and runs roughly every 10 minutes and taking just under 10 to get to your destination.

Pubs 'n' Grub

As the stadium is on the outskirts of town, there is not much choice in pubs.There is one pub on the retail park just around the corner from the Keepmoat and if you do require a tipple I would guide you there. It is a Beefeater so you can really kill two birds with one stone and eat as well as drink there. There is also a Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC in the same area. There is also another option if needed. There is a bowling alley by the Vue cinema on the other side of the lake that may appeal to some of us.
Food inside the ground includes- Pies (including the Chicken Balti pie), Pasties and Vegetarian 'Pizza Pods are supplied by Shire Foods and cost £2.30 each. Burgers and Hot Dogs are also available.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


QPR 2-1 Palace

A double from Heidar Helguson, helped Rangers extend their lead at the Top of the Championship to 10 points, Crystal Palace being the R's latest Loftus Road victims...

With the events, talk and speculation off the pitch during the week, it seems an age since the Millwall defeat and it was dicussed as the gang descended on the upstairs bar of the Springbok once again for our pre match, inluding a surprise and very welcome visit from my friend Laura and Tony and it was great to spend some time and have a decent catch up with them both. The bouncers, although it is hardly their fault, where thankfully a bit more laid back this week with the new anti-drinking outside rule and we were eventually shuffled away from the balcony at 2.45 and we made our way into another sold out Loftus Road.

Well, despite the scoreline, the R's dominated the match and were gunning straight for Palace from the off . Adel Taarabt looked like he was definitely in the mood and the first chance of them match fell to the Moroccan, who fired just wide from 25 yards out. It wasn't long before the R's dominance turned into a goal and on 20 minutes, we were deservedly in front - Taarabt received the ball on the edge of the box and shot across the face of the goal and Helguson was on hand to slide in his 11th goal of the season at the back post. For the Statistician's amongst you, it was Taarabt's 19th assist of the season, 9 more than any other Championship player.

Chances continued to come for Rangers with Taarabt again testing Speroni and Helguson heading Smith's cross just over the bar. But against the run of play, the Eagles found an equaliser and an extremely good one it was - a superb passing move ended with Ambrose feeding Vaughan who made no mistake. The goal seemed to panic Rangers for the next few minutes, but the R's managed another effort just before the break with Routledge firing just over.

The R's started the 2nd half in positive fashion and on 56 minutes, the lead was restored - Wayne Routledge's through ball found Taarabt in the box but as he was about to let fire, was felled by a rash challenge from McCarthy, which saw the centre-back receive a red card and the referee point to the spot. Helguson stepped up and cooly slotted the ball down the centre.

Rangers continued to dominate but that all important, killer third goal was not to be, leading to a very nervy ending as Palace started pushing bodies forward. But the R's rearguard held firm and the final whistle brought much joy to the Loftus Road crowd.

QPR: Kenny; Orr, Hall, Gorkss, Hill; Derry, Faurlin; Routledge, Taarabt (Buzsaky 89), Smith (Ephraim 86); Helguson. Subs not used: Cerny, Connolly, Hulse, Miller, Chimbonda.

Man of the Match - again brought much discussion and there were some individual votes for Taarabt, Derry and Faurlin, who were all superb, but unanimously, with 5 votes, today's award goes to two goal, Heidar Helguson.

In summary and as mentioned, this was a far more comfortable victory than the scoreline suggests and with results going our way again, the lead now is 10 points. Of course, this may well be brought back to 7 or 9 over the next couple of days with the Cardiff and Norwich results, but with 9 games to go, is it now time to believe....

After the match, we made our way to the British Queen where a few of us, picked up fellow R's fan, Mel's, eagerly awaited book - Grounds for Divorce. The book is described by the Author as - An irreverant and honest look at the world of football taken during the course of the 2009-10 season. This, as viewed from a seat in the stands, a spot on the terrace, the confort of a sofa and the bottom of a glass.

I for one am looking forward to reading it and all of us at LH, wish Mel all the very best with his venture!!

The gang are in good numbers going up to Doncaster next weekend and a HUGE R's following is expected. Lee will return with one of his unique away game reports and will be capturing the days events for us all to enjoy.

Come on You R'ssssssssssssss!!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Rangers' hit by a brick 'Wall.

Tonight the R's faithful made the daunting trip to The New Den in lovely South Bermondsey. After the events of what happened at Loftus Road in late September following the gang travelled in hope of avoiding seeing any trouble at all.

The gang tonight was down to four as Jenson drove down myself, Sam, Lofty and Jenson's friend Smithy.
We hit the road at 3.50 and went to pick up Lofty from Northolt and hit the popular M25 traffic hot spots on our way round one of the most loved motorways in the country. One of the more popular topics on the way was whether there was going to be any trouble tonight and Sam was worried that we might get caught up in it but the four of us lads were there to reassure her and we were all in hope that with Cardiff being down the road at Crystal Palace that it would take the eye of the Millwall lot and would take the trouble as far away from us as possible.
We arrived at the ground in good time and met up with Nik, Iceman and Luke for a good pre-match chin wag, pie and a pint before taking to our seats in the middle of the upper tier and well out of missile launching distance.

Neil Warnock made one change from Saturday's win against Leicester. Fitz Hall dropped out through injury and he was replaced by Kaspers Gorkss.


With 2,200 Rangers' fans behind them it was the R's that started this London derby the better of the two teams.
Millwall's game plan was evident from the start, park the bus and hit Ranger's on the counter and also be very physical. That physical side showed when the first challenge was put in on Taarabt, sending the R's captain flying with a tackle well worthy of a booking and the referee set the tone for the game by bottling it and not producing a yellow card.
From the resulting free kick Taarabt dusted himself down and floated his cross over to the back post and found Kaspers Gorkss who's bullet header was tipped around the post for a corner.
From that corner Taarabt found Clint Hill and he placed his header just wide.
Both Millwall and the R's were battling in midfield throughout the half it was Rangers' that were just about the better team as the half came to a close, Millwall were putting up a good fight on the field and were making it incredibly hard for us to break them down. Helguson was being pushed and pulled all over the place and as soon as an R's player tried doing the same to a Millwall player the ref instantly gave the decision to the home team.


Half time came around and we all decided to stay in our seats as only one kiosk downstairs was open and the space on the concourse wasn't great at all. instead we reflected on the half, which took all of 30 seconds and looked at the other Championship scores.
It was also nice to see the lovely Millwall fans either side of us relaxing after what must've been an exciting half of football for them, especially as they probably only watched about 10 minutes of it at most!

The teams came out for the second half, no changes were made so it was game on.
Rangers' had the first chance of the half when Routledge crossed to the back post and Orr headed straight at the Millwall keeper. All that was needed was a bit of composure and maybe the R's would've taken the lead.
The game then went back to a midfield battle and really killed the atmosphere amongst the fans, it really wasn't pretty to watch but it suited Millwall down to the ground and they were beginning to take charge and were becoming the team in the ascendancy.
On 63 minutes the opening goal of the game came.
A long ball over the top cleared Morrison of Shittu and Gorkss and he raced on before smashing home into Kenny's near post. It was a simple route one passage of play that caught us out but the finish by Morrison left Paddy with no chance what so ever.
In scenes that I've rarely seen before, as soon as the ball hit the back of the net all you could see was half the stand on each side of the ground just charge towards you to goad, not because they cared but because they wanted a reaction off of us. It honestly looked like Morrison had just scored the goal that won the European cup for them, thats how much of a big deal they made of it.
The goal gave the Lions the extra impetus to go and kill us off as we really did not come out in the second half at all.
Ten minutes later and Rangers' were caught out again.
Another long ball caught us out and Morrison broke clear again, this time Shittu caught up with him but was judged to of unfairly fouled him inside the box and as the last man Shittu was given a red card to give him the worst possible return to The Den, especially with all the racist abuse he was getting from the home 'supporters'.
Liam Trotter stepped up and sent Kenny the wrong way and doubled the lead for Millwall. Having already celebrated in front of the away support with his team mates Trotter then decided to dance away in front of us and further goad the away support, as he done for the entire game referee Tanner failed to even have a word and bottled giving Trotter a yellow card for inciting the away supporters.
The second goal killed the game off as a contest but that did not stop the ref and his fellow officials to fail to give decisions in our favour and give everything against us. An extremely frustrating night south of the river for us Rangers' fans!


As you can probably tell I personally am not happy with the officials performance in tonight's game. There were too many occasions were they bottled decisions because of the atmosphere within The Den tonight, there were scared to give anything against them in case they upset the home support.
Despite this though you cant take it away from Millwall, they were the better side in the second half and in the end you have to say that we were maybe lucky to only lose by two in the end.
On a final note I have to mention the Millwall fans.
This was my first visit to The Den with the gang and I knew that things were not exactly going to be comfortable but I have come away with a stronger dislike for them after what happened tonight and the past events in September. The set of 'fans' to our right clearly were not there for the football as they taunted fans and even racially abused members of the travelling support whilst the stewards and police around them just watched them do it. Plus the racial abuse they were Danny Shittu was a complete disgrace, however I'm sure nothing will be done about it and it'll be brushed off as their fans just being 'passionate about the club', what a load of rubbish that is!!!
Then after the game as the R's fans were trying to make their way to their trains it was the Millwall fans that begun to pelt the Rangers' fans with bricks, seats and coins amongst things. It was the police from the R's side that had to step in as nothing was being done on the other side. It was a relief that the gang along with Callun hung around at the other end of the gates as we waited to exit onto the streets and walk back to our car and hope we didn't bump into any unsavoury characters. We all got back to the car to find Jenson had got a parking ticket and bundled in, with Callun having to laying in the boot for the first 10 miles of the journey as we quickly escaped.
As we got back north of the river and in cleaner air we made a quick stop at a Shell garage for a quick bit of food and drink before Jenson whizzed us back home and in the warmth of our homes.

Our Man of the Match only has two runners in it today and they were both of our holding midfielders. Shaun Derry was immense today and was always covering defensively when we were wayward, putting in some important challenges. However once more it was Alejandro Faurlin that caught our eye as he looked to be involved in everything and really got stuck into the nitty gritty tonight and because of this he gained a unanimous vote from everyone to get tonights award.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson, Trotter, Harris (Lisbie 66), Henry, Craig, Mkandawire, Ward, Morison, Townsend.

Subs: Mildenhall, Eastmond, Schofield, Hackett, Barron, McQuoid.

Scorers: Morison (63), Trotter (73)

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Smith 71), Helguson, Buzsaky (Miller 71), Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge, Shittu.

Subs: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Vaagan-Moen, Ephraim, Chimbonda.

Red Cards: Shittu (72)

Referee: Mr S Tanner

Attendance: 14, 104 (2186 QPR)

I hope everyone managed to get home safely from The Den, I have been recieving texts saying that a lot of people are getting home and managed to avoid all the trouble afterwards.

Lofty will be back on Saturday with the Palace round up and hopefully it will be a lot happier than what we have had to endure tonight.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

It's Miller Time as Ishmael Fox Leicester...

QPR 1-0 Leicester

Ishmael Miller came off the bench to fire QPR eight points clear at the top of the Championship, as Neil Warnock's tactical masterstroke, out foxed Leicester at Loftus Road.

Okay, no more puns, I promise...

A Saturday home game, a rarity in these parts for R's fans... and the gang, all bar California Hoop, missing due to family commitments, met in the Springbok. Due to the new regulations regarding drinking outside the pub, we made our way to the newly decorated and very blue, upper bar and stood on the balcony overlooking South Africa Road. We soon found that standing on the balcony is also against regulations as we were soon to be shepherded inside and with only four chairs available, it was standing room only as we enjoyed a pre match pint.

With 15 minutes to spare, we made our way, slowly into the ground to join another sell out Loftus Road crowd and with Rangers unchanged from last weeks victory over Middlesbrough, the match against Sven-Goran Eriksson's much improved Leicester side, got underway.

The first half was a tight but full blooded affair, with Taarabt getting plenty of 'treatment' from the Leicester back line. It was 26 minutes before the first chance came, with Helguson's low drive being blocked by the legs of Ricardo. Hall went close for the R's soon after before Paddy Kenny was brought into action - Yakubu's esquisite lob being superbly tipped over by the R's Number One.

The game opened up somewhat after the break with Buzsaky's powerful drive from the right being forced away by Ricardo. Helguson headed just over minutes later from Taarabt's teasing free kick and Wayne Routledge hit the side netting. But it wasn't all one way traffic and Waghorn nearly made Matt Connolly pay for his indecisiveness, but poked his effort just over the bar.

Helguson was inches away from giving Rangers the lead, by sliding full stretch and just failing to connect with Taarabt's cross/shot that flew across the face of the Leicester goal. Paddy Kenny was at his brilliant best yet again - Yakubu's cross was headed towards the top corner by King, but Kenny superbly tipped his goalbound effort over the bar.

But the masterstroke came on 86 minutes when Ishmael Miller entered the play in place of Adel Taarabt. Within 2 minutes of him coming on,he big striker collected Routledge's through ball, powered past the impressive Sol Bamba, before slotting his effort cooly under Ricardo. It was all a bit of a blur after that to be honest as 3 sides of Loftus Road went absolutely beserk and the celebrations went on right through the remaining two minutes and stoppage time, before the final whistle went on another massive victory.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall (Connolly 31), Taarabt (Miller 86), Helguson, Buzsaky (Ephraim 90), Faurlin, Routledge, Shittu. Subs: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Vaagan Moen.

Man of the Match - plenty of candidates here and for the first time this season, the gang could not find an out right winner and we had a three way split! To be honest, I can't quite remember who voted for who, but there were 3 votes each for Helguson, Kenny and Faurlin. So, Sam came up with the novel idea of putting it to our adoring public to decide, so the question was asked on the Lofty Heights facebook page. We accumulated just 5 more votes but they were all in favour of the R's Number One and today's award goes to Paddy Kenny.

In summary, Rangers won, Cardiff, Swansea and Forest lost and Norwich drew - a perfect day and the R's are eight points clear. As mentioned, this was another massive victory against an in form Leicester who are, in my opinion, the best side I have seen at Loftus Road this season.

The gang will be smaller, but will be at The New Den on Tuesday night as the R's take on Millwall and Lee will return with one of his legendary away match reports no doubt, but until then...

COME ON YOU R'ssssssss!!!!!