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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No More Moore...

Rangers out of favour striker, Stefan Moore has joined League One Port Vale on an initial loan deal.

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Moore has only 2 goals in 25 appearances for Rangers, and has been a forgotten man since Gary Waddock as been in charge. Readers of these pages will also know that he is by no means my favourite player either, but nevertheless, I wish him all the best...

But fear not, the terms of the loan deal means that Stefan can not come back to haunt us in the forthcoming Carling Cup tie.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Dogs Return...

Last night, the gang descended on Harrow Town Cricket Club for the return of Dog Chewed The Handle.

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The band have had a break since May, partially due to the loss of their drummer, Ivan. But they returned to Harrow last night, for an 'intimate' gig to announce the new drummer, Chalky - who had more than a passing resemblance to Babyshambles frontman, and Rangers fan, Pete Doherty.

As soon as the gig got under way, it was clear that the time away for the band had been well spent, as they kicked into a fantastic set! The small venue had almost perfect acoustics and the sound quality was not only loud, but amazing! There were a few new renditions on offer too, including the Automatics 'Monster' and the classic Clash anthem ' I Fought The Law' - both of which were delivered superbly. My personal highlight was the absolute banging version of The Who's 'I Can't Explain', which after seeing Daltry and Townshend in Hyde Park recently, was still very fond in the memory!

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To sum up, it was another fantastic evening of rock and roll. Chalky had a good first gig and looked very much at home... a fine addition! It was a great warm up gig, if you like, for the forthcoming return to the Crown and Treaty in Uxbridge.

I predict a riot...


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Port Vale v QPR

In normally unknown territory for the R's, we were in the draw for the 2nd Round of the Carling Cup this afternoon...

...and it hasn't been kind to us!

Carling Cup second round draw:
Leeds v Barnet
Watford v Accrington Stanley
Crewe v Wigan
Doncaster v Derby
Sheff Utd v Bury
Millwall v Southampton
West Brom v Cheltenham
Peterborough v Everton
Hereford v Leicester
Port Vale v QPR
Fulham v Wycombe
Hull v Hartlepool
Walsall v Bolton
Middlesbrough v Notts County
Charlton v Carlisle
Barnsley v M K Dons
Chesterfield v Man City
Scunthorpe v Aston Villa
Southend v Brighton
Brentford v Luton
Reading v Darlington
Birmingham v Wrexham
Rotherham v Norwich
Mansfield v Portsmouth


The Curse Continues...

QPR 1-3 Ipswich

Things are generally going well! The team have got off to a positive start to the season, the new signings are bedding in well, we finally win a Cup game and then what happens...

...the Sky Sports Cameras come to Loftus Road and yes, you guessed it, the R's produce the mandatory shocking performance in front of the watching nation.

The first half was even enough, with chances falling to both sides, the best falling to Blackstock who fired straight at the keeper when clean through. Confidence was high amongst the Rangers faithful as the second half started, but just as Ipswich were starting to get the better of things, Rangers took the lead on 57 minutes - Gallen bundling home the ball from a Blackstock cross.

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Sadly, the lead lasted just 4 minutes as the Tractor Boys drew level with what looked a dubious penalty. Gavin Williams went over after Stewarts challenge and Walton stepped up to score. It looked a bad decision from where we were sitting, and the pictures from Sky confirmed it!

However, the goal spurred Ipswich on as Rangers heads went down, and static defending from a corner saw De Vos arrived unmarked to give Ipswich the lead. Baidoo and Bircham then entered the play and Rangers started to look more lively, but Bowditch added to a miserable night for the R's by heading home the third on 86 minutes.

QPR: P Jones, Rose, Rehman, Stewart, Milanese (Baidoo 76), Gallen, Lomas (Bircham 71), Ward, Cook, Blackstock, R Jones. Subs: Cole, Kanyuka, Oliseh.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Nick Ward

The only positive about tonight, was that we had the chance to put the memory of this performance to bed very quickly, as Corporate, DJ and myself joined Gobi, Corinne and friends in the Walkabout pub, Shepherds Bush!

Rangers are not scheduled for another live game as yet, and I really hope the cameras stay well away from Loftus Road. We now have an International break and have to live with this performance for a further 2 weeks until we make the long trip to Plymouth and a certain, Mr Ian Holloway!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Ray of Light Breaks The Hoodoo...

QPR 3-2 Northampton - Carling Cup

Ray Jones picked a great time to score his first goal for the R's, as he headed home the winner to finally break the Northampton - and indeed Cup hoodoo!!

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A makeshift side stormed into a 2 goal lead after 50 minutes through Lee Cook and Kevin Gallen. Cookie jinked through the Cobblers defence to fire home, with the help of a deflection on 17 minutes, and okay, we missed Gallens goal through finishing off our half time beer. But in true Northampton style, they fought their way back and were soon level through Watt(55) and Kirk(78) and it looked like the hoodoo would strike again!

Then with just 3 minutes to go, Blackstock teed up Bignot to cross perfectly for Ray Jones to head home a great goal! Rangers held on for the remaining 3 minutes, plus an incredible 5 minutes of stoppage time, to go into the 2nd Round - for only the second time in god knows how long?

Northampton gave a good account of themselves and created lots of chances, but Rangers kept plugging away and got the result that they just about deserved. But just how refreshing is it, to see 6 of the Rangers side on the pitch at the end of the game, who have progressed from the Youth team!

QPR: Cole, Bignot, Stewart (Kanyuka 90), Rehman, Howell, Baidoo, Bircham (R Jones 84), Bailey, Cook, Gallen (Oliseh 76), Blackstock. Subs: PJones, Donnelly.

Lofty's Man of the Match: Lee Cook

Forgive me for asking, but what happens now then? This was a Cup game right? And we won? So does that mean another game then? There will be a draw presumably???

So we now move onto Friday and our Sky clash with Ipswich. Could we now bury the Sky hoodoo as well? The omens don't look good though - Ipswich, yet to win this season and now also out of the League Cup! Oh well...


Monday, August 21, 2006

The Boys are Back...

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Gareth Ainsworth and the boys have announced 2 new gigs:

26th August - Harrow Town Cricket Club, Rayners Lane, Middlesex - £5 on the door

23rd September - The Crown and Treaty, Uxbridge - no tickets required.

ROCK ON!!! \m/


Sunday, August 20, 2006

So Last Year...

Preston 1-1 QPR

From start to finish, this was just all too familiar. As per last season, there was a trip to Blackpool for the gang to coincide with the visit to Deepdale - and not only did the game have the same scoreline as last season, it had the same referee and the same heartbreak for Rangers fans with a late Preston equaliser. The only difference this time, is that we finally got to visit the National Football Museum.

It all started so well for Rangers when Ainsworth cleverly volleyed in a knock down from a Lee Cook corner to put us one up. Rowlands went off injured after 15 minutes, but Rangers continued to dominate and create chances. Preston started to come into the game late in the first half and created two excellent opportunities.

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The second half largely belonged to Preston as it seemed Rangers looked to protect what they had got. But attack after attack was comfortably being dealt with by Rehman and Stewart at the back. Rangers were breaking sporadically, but you just couldn't help feeling that an equaliser was on the cards... and on 87 minutes it came. Paul McKenna produced a moment of magic (sorry!) to head home a cross from the left.

I along with many others in the Rangers end, would have certainly taken a draw at the start of the game, but you just couldn't help being disappointed. To be fair, Preston probably deserved the point, but it was another case of what might have been?

QPR: P Jones, Milanese, Stewart, Rehman, Rose, Ainsworth (Baidoo 90), Ward, Rowlands (Lomas 10), Cook, R Jones (Gallen 86), Blackstock Subs: Cole, Kanyuka

Gang: Lofty, PK, DJ and Special Guests Gobi and Corinne

Lofty's Man of The Match - Zesh Rehman

Awayday Moments - the night out in Blackpool, the visit to the Footy Museum, the classic table football clash (Lofty 4-1 DJ) and not forgetting, the mention of Gaz's band - Dog Ate The Spoon!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dream Team...

England 4-0 Greece

The McClaren/Venables England era got off to a winning start, as England finished where they left off from their last home game, with a comfortable win over Greece. We all know what happened in between...

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Goals from new Captain, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch(2) in 41 first half minutes, finished off the European Champions who were a shadow of the team they were 2 years ago. In fact, in the first half especially, they were pretty woeful. To be fair to them, they came into the game more in the second half, but the damage had long since been done.

England: Robinson (Kirkland 45), Gary Neville (Carragher 78), Ferdinand, Terry, Cole (Bridge 80), Gerrard (Bent 78), Lampard, Hargreaves, Downing (Lennon 69), Defoe (Richardson 69), Crouch.

Subs Not Used: Young, Phil Neville, Brown, Dawson, Jenas, Wright-Phillips, Foster.

Loftys Man of the Match - Owen Hargreaves

All in all, this was a good work out for the new look England before the forthcoming Euro Qualifiers. There were good performances throughout and little mention of the missing David Beckham - it may have been different had the result been less favourable.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dizzy Heights...

For those who don't know yet, I am now part of the institution that is 'Rivals.Net'.

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Rivals is one of the biggest football fan sites on the net and I am looking after the News Section for the First Team, Reserves and Youth of the QPR pages.

Lofty Heights will be continuing as per normal, but if you want to have a glance over ar Rivals, then click on the link on the right hand side of this page.

It really is an honour to be chosen to work on this fantastic website and I would like to thank Clive(NorthernR) for giving me the chance!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy Days...

QPR 2-0 Southend

It seems ages ago since I have done this - reporting on a Rangers league win that is! Indeed, it HAS been ages. Rangers last league victory was 14 games ago, away at Sheffield United on February 25th! So you can probably excuse me for a being a bit rusty in this report ;)

But for all those who have seen our opening three games, you could agree that this win wasn't going to be long in coming. New boys Dexter Blackstock and Zesh Rehman lined up inthe long awaited return to the 4-4-2 formation!

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Like the Leeds game the other night, the difference was amazing as Rangers produced a sensational first half performance. An unstoppable free kick from Rowlands and Nick Ward's first goal for Rangers, saw us leading 2-0 at the break... but to be honest, it could have been 3 or 4! Rangers looked impressive in every department. Jones and Blackstock looked like they had been playing together for years, Ward and Rowlands were bossing the midfield and Rehman slotted nicely into the back four, and brought a more confident performance from Stewart into the bargain.

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The only disappointment today, was that Rangers let Southend come more into the game in the second half. We also lost our shape a bit when Rowlands went off on 55 minutes, but chances were still being created - the best falling to Ainsworth who miscued terribly with the goal at his mercy. Southend began to create plenty of chances late on, but Paul Jones was only really tested once, saving well from Guttridge.

QPR: P Jones, Rose, Stewart, Rehman, Milanese, Ainsworth, Rowlands (Lomas 55), Ward, Cook, Blackstock, R Jones (Gallen 75). Subs: Cole, Kanyuka, Baidoo.

Gang : Lofty, PK, Corp, DJ and Phil

Lofty's Man of the Match - a close call today, but his goal settled it - Nick Ward

So, things are changing for the better down at the Rangers as the team gave us all a great result. But there is one major change that has had all of the gang talking - Rangers are now selling COLD beer and HOT food inside the stadium!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blackstock and Two Smoking Barrels...

Dextor Blackstock has today signed for the R's from Southampton on a 3 year contract. Although undisclosed, the fee is believed to be around the £500,000 mark.

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Rangers beat off competition from several other clubs to sign the 20 year old forward. Blackstock is due to make his debut against Southend on Saturday which hopefully means a 4-4-2 line up.

But as myself and the gang discussed last night - who will make way? Nick Ward will drop back into his normal midfield role, but for who? Rowlands, Cook, Ainsworth or Lomas? Also, who will get the nod up front with Baidoo and Jones combining so well? Czerkas and now of course, Blackstock??

Over to you Mr Waddock ;)

Welcome and Good Luck Dextor!!


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Right Formula...

QPR 2-2 Leeds

Rangers twice came from behind to earn their first point of the season, in an enthralling game at Loftus Road.

Unchanged from Saturday, Rangers made most of the early running, but Leeds ended the half piling on the pressure, and perhaps just about shaded a goaless first half. You could sense that a Leeds goal was coming and on 65 minutes, they took the lead through Eddie Lewis - forcing home the rebound after Healy's header hit the bar. The Rangers formation then changed to 4-4-2 and when Baidoo was introduced on 76 minutes, the game changed.

It wasn't long before Rangers were level when Martin Rowlands fired home from the spot after Ainsworth was bundled over in the box. But no sooner had we finished celebrating, then Leeds were back in front - Horsefield had all the time in the world to stab home Stone's knock down.

It was then all Rangers as we really started to look dangerous. Ray Jones missed a glorious chance on 89 minutes and we all thought that was it. But in the 90th minute, Ainsworth chased a seemingly lost cause, and turned the ball back to Baidoo to turn the ball home from 2 yards out. Loftus Road erupted, and almost had a winner to celebrate in injury time as the luckless Ray Jones fired wide.

QPR: P Jones, Bignot (Baidoo 76), Rose, Stewart, Milanese, Ainsworth, Lomas, Rowlands (Bircham 89), Cook, Ward, Czerkas (Jones 54). Subs: Cole, Kanyuka.

Gang: Lofty, Corp, PK, DJ and Phil

Man of the Match: Martin Rowlands

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So an amazing end to the game brought Rangers first point of the season. The transformation when Rangers changed to 4-4-2 was incredible - we looked a good side and were so dangerous coming forward. At 4-4-1-1, or 4-5-1... it just didn't seem to work for us and I don't think Adam Czerkas relishes the role of the lone striker. Nor does Nick Ward playing just behind him. We shall see...

It's great to be back!!


Time Waits for Rehman...

Gary Waddock has wasted no time at all in finding a replacement for Dan Shittu, by signing Zesh Rehman from Fulham on a 3 year contract.

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The fee as yet is undisclosed for the 22 year old defender and he is likely to make his R's debut against Southend this coming Saturday!

Welcome and Good Luck Zesh.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Dan Shittu...

Following on from my previous post on Thursday, and after an improved offer, Dan Shittu has now signed for Watford.

After verbally agreeing a deal with West Brom, Watford came in with an improved offer for both Club and player.

As mentioned before, I am gutted to see Shittu leave Rangers, but wish him all the luck in the world and thank him again, for 4 and a half great years. I personally think he has made the wrong choice of club, but I suppose the lure of the Premiership at this stage, was too much for him to turn down. At least we will still see quite a bit of him on the telly now!

Goodbye and Good Luck Dan!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Bad Day on the Claret...

Burnley 2-0 QPR

Two second half goals from Rangers summer transfer target, Steve Jones, gave Burnley an opening day victory. But Burnley didn't have it all their own way as Rangers had much the better of a lively first half.

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An impressive gang turn out of 6, all made an early start for the long journey ahead (despite DJ's lateness) and we all met up in the impressive Burnley Cricket Club for some pre match refreshment and discussion. Anyone travelling to Burnley this year, really should give this one a try. It is a stones throw away from the ground - somewhere to safely park the car - a nice, welcoming, friendly bar to have a drink and a bite to eat - and today we were also treated to a cricket match too! Highly recommended!

Onto the game, and as mentioned, Rangers had the better of the first half. New signings Nick Ward and Adam Czerkas impressed and both had good chances to give Rangers the lead. Burnleys only real game plan was a long punt over the top, which our new look back four seemed to be dealing with comfortably.

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But in the second half, all the hard work went to waste as a terrible defensive mix up gifted the lead to Burnley on 58 minutes. Jones, Rose and Stewart all combined to let a loose ball fall into the path of Steve Jones who made no mistake.

The worrying thing then, was that Rangers seemed to have no answers and on 69 minutes , it was 2-0. Steve Jones was given the freedom of Turf Moor to run unchallenged to the edge of the box, and to be fair - finish quite superbly. The game was now over as a contest. Heartened Burnley pressed forward time and time again - and Rangers were now looking decidedly jaded and dare I say, unfit! Maybe an abbreviated pre season programme took it's toll, but it was worrying all the same. Especially after such a promising first half.

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QPR: P Jones, Bignot, Stewart, Rose, Milanese, Ainsworth, Rowlands (Donnelly 78), Lomas (R Jones 65), Ward, Cook, Czerkas (Bircham 71). Subs: Cole, Kanyuka.

Gang: Lofty, PK, DJ, Corp, Alan and Darren - plus special guests, Gobi and Vicki.

Man of the Match : Nick Ward

Moments of Interest : sitting very near a Cliff Richard look a like, the Dan Shittu conversation and the game of head tennis at Corley Services. Yep, the football away day is back ;)


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good Luck Dan...

The news that no Rangers fans wanted, if not entirely unexpected, has come through tonight - Danny Shittu is leaving QPR.

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A deal worth around 3 million pounds has been agreed with West Bromwich Albion and Dan will undergo a medical and agree personal terms tomorrow(Friday).

We have all wondered throughout the summer, what would happen. But with Dan featuring in on 45 minutes of the 5 pre season friendlies, it became obvious that the writing was on the wall.

So we sadly say goodbye to one of the most popular players to wear the Hoops in recent years. Although gutted, I am pleased for Danny that he has gone to a good club who most certainly will be going back to the Premiership soon. Although the lure of the Big Leagues could have appealled to Shittu, I think Watford would not have been the best move for him.

I also think that this is a good deal for the Club as a whole. Fair play to Gianni Paladini for holding out for his price and getting the best deal for QPR. But let's face it - we have always been a selling club.

On a personal note, I would like to wish Dan all the best at West Brom, and thank him for 4 and a half great years at Loftus Road. I have also been priveleged to meet Dan on a few occasions and not only is he a great professional, but a great guy too - not forgetting of course, a Lofty Heights reader!

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Good Luck Big Dan!!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A New Rose Blooms...

On Sunday me and Lofty ventured to Wembley to see the return of Axl Rose and the new look Guns N Roses. History shows that going to a G’N’R gig is a bigger gamble than putting money on Q.P.R. to win a cup game, but this was one gamble that paid off.

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We arrived at the arena in plenty of time and caught a bit of the 2 support acts. Neither act was really my cup of tea although Sebastian Bach came to the rescue later on in the night. Bullet for my Valentine seemed a type of goth/thrash metal hybrid that sent me and Lofty walking round the refurbished arena until G’N’R finally made there appearance at 10.30pm!!!

As we were made to wait quite a while, the mood was starting to get impatient with a slow handclap doing the rounds and isolated cases of booing. All was forgiven though as the lights went out and the opening riff of welcome to the jungle reverberated round the arena, followed by Axl very politely asking if we knew where we are :) . Hit after hit came in an opening salvo… including Mr Brownstone, It’s so Easy and Live and Let Die.

After a fast start the pace dipped slightly as Axl kept walking off stage in between songs for which turned out to be good reason (more on that later). During these intervals each of the three guitarist and Dizzy Reed, the keyboard player, took turns to give the crowd solos, which included God save the Queen, Don’t cry, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful!

There were storming versions of Knocking on Heavens Door, You Could Be Mine and my personal favourite November Rain. During Nightrain, Axl disappeared and Sebastian Bach took over on vocal duties for the rest of the song and the climax - Paradise city. After the gig it was found out that Axl had been advised to cancel the show due to illness, but elected to battle through.

Despite his illness, and as a result a slightly abbreviated set, this was a fantastic gig and it is great to see Axl back. Axl was in great voice and was looking well and the new band done the songs justice, although I can’t see anyone forgetting Slash or Duff in a hurry.

Get well soon Axl and don’t leave it so long before you are here again as I for one will be there for more of the same

Setlist: welcome to the jungle, it’s so easy, mr brownstone, live and let die, robin fink solo, sweet child of mine, knocking on heavens door, band jam, dizzy reed solo, the blues, Richard solo, you could be mine, ron solo, out ta get me, band jam, November rain, band intros, you gotta move, patience, nightrain, paradise city


Bits and Pieces...

Well, the new season is now days away and the buzz is definitely starting to return. My Season Ticket arrived weeks ago, and my Burnley and Preston tickets arrived last Friday and now it all seems real again!

The close season was nicely broken up with the World Cup, and shortly after that, the friendlies started. Okay, Aldershot, Stevenage and Gillingham were not as glamorous as we would have liked (not forgetting the short Italy tour of course), but personally, I saw enough to feel positive about the season ahead.

The new signings all look like they have settled in well, and as yet, there have been no major outgoings in the squad. Our midfield (if all fit) of Ainsworth, Ward, Rowlands and Cook, looks as good as any midfield in the division.

As for these pages, well, the new format you are looking at, was designed with the new season in mind. But thanks to the World Cup, has been largely up and running throughout the summer. Since the World Cup finished, it has been quieter than normal - some of the gang seem to have forgotten how to comment, some haven't even learnt HOW to comment yet ;) Some of the gang I have seen quite a bit socially throughout the summer, whereas some seem to have vanished off the face of the earth.

The successful 'Pie Rating' from last season will not carry on this year, although it may feature with the new arrivals to the Championship, who knows? I asked around for some ideas for some new features, and nothing has come forward as yet. The 'guest reporter' also looks like it won't happen, despite a great report from Corporate for the England v Jamaica game - but again, there has been no feedback from that. All this began to add to my lack of enthusiasm for the page, somewhere I really didn't want to go. But I will battle on for a while yet...

But there will be the same, honest, match reports - along with team listings and Lofty's man of the match. There will also be photos where possible. If you haven't heard, the Football League are clamping dowm on showing match photos on independent web pages/blogs. But until I hear otherwise (or stopped by stewards inside the stadium), they will continue on here... BUT will be my efforts with my camera!

Here's to a great season and Come on you R'ssssssssssss!!!