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, November 29, 2006

No Luck from the Black Cats...

QPR 1-2 Sunderland

Firstly, an apology for this report being later than the norm. But trying to sum this one up quickly would have probably kept me up until the early hours of this morning - and believe it or not, I do work for a living and need my sleep like everyone else ;)

To the neutrals, a 2-1 defeat would probably suggest that this was a pretty close game... don't you believe it! Sunderland were well worth their win and if they were wearing their shooting boots, the scoreline could have been a lot less flattering! Credit must also go to the travelling support. I have often wondered, especially this season, who on earth arranges these fixtures and would force fans to travel from the North East of England on a cold Tuesday night? So a turn out of 2,500 plus Mackems was impressive to say the least, although the noise level from the away end wasn't so impressive.

Another disappointment on the night, was to find that the game was being refereed by Uriah Rennie. I don't often go on about the officials on these pages, but this was yet again another shocking display! A display which shows exactly why he has been removed from Premiership duties. Sadly, the officials had a major impact on tonight's outcome, firstly, Sunderland's opening goal(from Murphy) which looked a mile offside - not only provoking an angry reaction from the players, but the supporters too! Not that I am condoning the actions of the idiots who decided to pelt the linesman with bottles! Also, the decision to rule out Blackstock's header, for offside, minutes later.

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Ironically, do these idiots realise that the incident led to 5 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half - the last of which saw Leadbitter scored Sunderland's second goal??

Rangers were always going to be up against it from there on in and despite Ray Jones pulling a goal back on 73 minutes, Sunderland went on to miss an open goal and hit the post. Incredibly, we could have stolen a draw as Nick Ward brought a fine save out of Davis in the final minute.

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QPR: Royce, Bignot, Rehman, Ward, Gallen, Rowlands, Cook (Jones 46), Stewart, Blackstock (Furlong 81), Smith, Mancienne. Subs: Cole, Bailey, Nygaard.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Martin Rowlands

If you take away the performance of the Officials, there are no complaints about the result. Sunderland were by far the better team on the night and look a good, strong side under Roy Keane. Rangers showed plenty of fight and passion of which plenty more will be needed in the weeks ahead, but it just wasn't our night.

I must just mention how great it was to see Paul Furlong make his long awaited comeback from the bench on 81 minutes. Welcome Back Furs!!

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

After The Lord Mayor's Show...

QPR 0-1 Coventry

It was certainly a case of the above today as Rangers recent good run came to a disappointing end. After recent results, especially the outstanding win at Cardiff, many must have thought that beating Coventry would be a formality... sadly, it was not to be.

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With last weeks celebrations at the Brook House still firmly in our minds, the gang seemed pretty confident. Although mediocre, the first half was pretty even with both sides having chances. But just three minutes into the 2nd half, Coventry took the lead - Stefan Bailey lost possesion, Adebola turned Rehman perhaps a bit too easily, Royce hesitated, and the big striker fired home.

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As the second half wore on, it was becoming more and more evident that it wasn't going to be our day. Although Rangers played some good, tidy football in and around the box, we lacked that killer ball. Jones, Smith, Gallen and Cook all had good chances to level the scores, but for only the third time this season, Rangers failed to hit the back of the net.

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QPR: Royce, Bignot, Rehman, Stewart, Mancienne, Ward, Smith, Bailey (Rowlands 56), Cook, Blackstock (Jones 44), Nygaard (Gallen 56). Subs: Thomas, Milanese.

Lofty's Man of the Match - without a doubt - Lee Cook - outstanding yet again today.

Okay, so it wasn't a goal fest, nor were there the thrills and spills that we have become used to over the past weeks, but one thing you just couldn't knock was the effort and work rate from the R's. Coventry were well organised, worked hard and at times, were very physical and definitely deserved something from the game. Whether or not they deserved all 3 points is another thing? Albeit assisted by one of the worst refereeing displays seen at LR this season!

It just wasn't to be...


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Keeping Up With The Jones's...

Cardiff 0-1 QPR

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Mine and no doubt most of the gangs hangovers this morning, are probably a good indication of what a great result this was! Several factors like Sky moving the game to a Friday night and work commmitments, meant it was always going to be tough to get to this one. The traffic around Cardiff city centre is bad enough at the best of times, let alone in a Friday rush hour and also, a sell out rugby match going on at the Millenium stadium at the same time - who plans these things? At this stage I would like to say a massive well done to the Rangers faithful that made the trip across the border!

So the gang decended on The Brook House in Hayes to watch on the big screen. Despite the fact that the Bluebirds were sitting on the top of the league, scoring lots of goals and unbeaten at home, I was extremely confident. My confidence was assured as Rangers simply dominated the first half with Smith, Cook and Blackstock all having great chances. The only disappointment was Gareth Ainsworth going off injured on 14 minutes. We were also now in unfamiliar territory - a half time score of 0-0 in a QPR game!

Onto the second half and as you would expect, Cardiff started to come back into the game and the gang debated whether they would take a draw if offered it there and then. McNaughton rattled the Rangers crossbar, Parry had a goal ruled out for offside and Darren Purse had a penalty appeal turned down after tangling with Rehman.

The clock was counting down on what would be a great away point for Rangers, when on 88 minutes, Nicky Ward crossed from the right for substitute Ray Jones to slide in and stab the ball home and the little corner of the Brook House went absolutely beserk!!

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QPR: Royce, Bignot, Rehman, Ainsworth (Ward 14), Cook, Bailey, Stewart, Nygaard, Blackstock (R Jones 65), Smith, Mancienne. Subs: Milanese, P Jones, Baidoo.

Lofty's Man of the Match - QPR!! Sky gave it to Stefan Bailey, but Rangers to a man were all fantastic!!

So, it wasn't the 'goal fest' we have become used too. Suprising really when you think that this was the two top goalscoring teams in the Championship? But you just can't take anything away from this result and performance. Rangers went to the League leaders, took the game to them and got a deserved 3 points! So much so, that non QPR supporting friends were texting 'well done' messages! A team that was rock bottom not so long ago are now just 2 points away from the play off positions.

Ironic really, that Rangers went to Wales and won, the winner scored by someone with the name of 'JONES'!

Come on You R's!!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dutch Courage...

Holland 1-1 England

England gave a much improved performance and gained a creditable draw against Holland in Amsterdam. Wayne Rooney's goal looked like it would settle things but bad defending saw the impressive Van der Vaart equalise with 4 minutes to go.

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England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Carrick, Lampard, Gerrard, J Cole(Richardson), Rooney, Johnson(Wright-Phillips)

Lofty's Man of the Match - Micah Richards

Okay, so a short report this maybe, but I just can't get over excited about England friendlies. Nevertheless, it was much improved from the shambles in Croatia and it was pleasing to see Micah Richards have such a solid debut. But what frustrates me time and time again with McClaren, is that he watches these players play for their Clubs week in, week out. He knows their strengths and where they play, so why does he play them out of position?? Everton's Andy Johnson a classic example tonight! At least we may now see the return to the side for David Beckham... in goal!?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Politically Correct??

By now, no doubt we have all heard about Mike Newell's comments about lineswoman, Amy Rayner after Saturday's match:

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"She shouldn't be here. I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist. This is not park football, so what are women doing here?"

Corinne asked me on Monday whether I was going to write an article about it on these pages, to which at first, I declined. I then asked if she would like to put something together to give a woman's point of view on the subject? Corinne has followed up with an excellent article and is a great signing for Lofty Heights:

Following Mike Newell’s post match remarks regarding women’s place within football, I feel I’d like to portray my thoughts on the matter – a female perspective. I guess many would be expecting this article to expound how outrageous and offensive his opinions are… However, I’m going to argue in favour of Mr Newell’s comments.

Historically football has been a ‘man’s game’! Why should this have to change because of our country’s obsession with political correctness? Obviously, I believe in equality (to most extents) but is there anything so wrong in men keeping football for themselves? We women have already established our ground within this sport with more female football fans, teams and leagues than ever before. I think it’s about time that society accepted men and women are different!! Evolution is to blame for this! We don’t need to do everything men do in order to prove ourselves – we have our own qualities.

Abusing the linesman, sorry referees assistant, has always been a part of the game. Are men allowed to abuse a female linesperson in the same way without being accused of being sexist?

There’s a rawness to football which is already being dampened by monetary focus, agents and increased rules and regulations. Can we please just leave things as they are?! Else where will this downward spiral end up – not being allowed to sing the ‘ West London is Wonderful’ song because it contains the words; tits and fanny!?!

Are the people who have been offended by Newell's comments really true football supporters?


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rangers Bounce On...

Luton 2-3 QPR

Going to watch Rangers at the moment is a bit like getting on a rollercoaster. But one thing is for sure, if you want goals and entertainment, then go and watch a QPR game. There seems to be no end to these 'goal fests' we are currently enduring, and today was no different.

With Corporate having to work, and DJ yet again joining the 'prawn sandwich' brigade at Twickenham for the rugby, the gang had a unfamiliar look about it. But due to some gratefully received complimentaries from a certain player, Myself, PK, Corinne and Dad, Becky and Pete all squeezed into those comfortable seats in the away end and suprisingly enough, managed to find somewhere to have a drink before the game!

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Onto the game and it seems that Rangers have finally put this 'early goal' thing to bed, well at least I hope so! In fact, we had to wait 33 minutes for the first goal and it was Rangers that got it. Jimmy Smith was on target yet again tapping home Cook's excellent free kick - and yes, I did say 'tap in'!

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It was all one way traffic from here but incredibly, we found ourselves trailing at the break - two quick goals on the stroke of half time from Boyd and Brkovic had the Hatters in front and it would be fair to say, it was against the run of play.

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But if you just looked around the away end during the interval, the R's fans seemed quite content and upbeat. Almost as if we knew that Rangers would come back and on 54 minutes, we were back in front! A Heikkenen own goal had brought us level, before the hard working Dexter Blackstock fired home Nygaard's flick on.

The game then suprisingly went a bit quiet and during the last 20 mintues, Luton started to put us under a bit of pressure. But Rangers defended superbly (did I just say that?) and held on for a great 3 away points.

QPR: Royce, Mancienne, Stewart, Rehman, Bignot, Ainsworth, Bailey, Smith, Cook, Nygaard, Blackstock (Gallen 79) (Ward 89) Subs: Jones, Milanese, Baidoo

Lofty's Man of the Match - again, some superb midfield performances from Cook, Ainsworth, Smith and Bailey. But the winning goal and yet another 'run himself into the ground' effort, clinched it for Dexter Blackstock.

Well what else is there to say? I could pinpoint the defence again, but when we are scoring so many goals and now turning these performances into victories - who cares??

Come On You R'sssssssssss!!!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dog Chewed The Handle

Regular Lofty Heights readers will no doubt have caught many articles and reviews about Dog Chewed The Handle. Myself and the gang have been following the band since February and in this short space of time, they have gone from strengh to strength.

The changed their regular drummer Ivan recently and 'Chalky' has slotted in nicely to what is an extremely tight unit. They have well and truly cornered the pub/club market and are packing out every gig they play. The sets are very 'live', energetic and they never fail to deliver a raw rock sound.

The band have been working on their own, original material and last weekend, we were treated to 3 new tracks - Chasing Dragons, Tell Me and Crash and Burn of which were superbly received from the packed audiences at the Crown and Treaty and The Black Bull on Saturday and Sunday. There is more new material in the pipeline and a CD is scheduled for Spring 2007.

Dog Chewed The Handle have firmly taken the next step forward...

For info on further gigs etc, please visit the bands website, either click the link on the sidebar, or the icon below:

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Here are some pictures from the Crown and Treaty gig on Saturday 4th November:

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Gaz and Lee

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Colin and Clive

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

That's Entertainment...

QPR 4-2 Palace

Well, it certainly isn't dull being a QPR fan at the moment! Defensively, we have been poor but going forward, we have been fantastic - which all leads to a recipe of goals. One things for sure since Gregory has taken over, is that you are almost guaranteed entertainment, which is an absolute joy to watch, but not so good on the blood pressure! The main difference today was that Rangers scored more than they conceded, and what a game it was!

In fact, things had improved from the start, as it took Palace a massive 30 minutes before they took the lead through Soares. But as seen many times over the past few weeks, Rangers fought back and were level through yet another screamer from 'Chelsea Reject', Jimmy Smith. This boy just does not 'do' tap ins! Well, not till a bit later on anyway!

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Rangers again made it difficult for himself by conceding a soft goal just before half time through Clinton Morrison, but it set the stage for an amazing second half performance from Rangers!

Steve Lomas levelled the scores on 59 minutes, before the outstanding Lee Cook left 3 Palace defenders bamboozled before being felled in the box on 65 minutes - Kevin Gallen cooly sent the keeper the wrong way. But Rangers weren't finished there as Jimmy Smith blew his reputation to pieces, by suprisingly just tapping home Gallen's flick on from Cook's corner on 69!

QPR: Royce, Bignot, Rehman, Gallen (Nygaard 81), Ainsworth, Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Blackstock, Smith (Ward 91), Mancienne. Subs: P Jones, Milanese, Rose.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Lee Cook - even two goals from Jimmy Smith couldn't outshine a simply outstanding display!

I thought that the Norwich and West Brom games would be hard to beat for entertainment value. But for me, this one tops the lot, simply because Rangers got the right result and the result that they deserved! It does make me wonder when will be the next time we see Rangers grind out a scrappy 1-0 win? It also makes me think that if we could tighten things up at the back, what a team we would be?!?

The celebrations were then taken to the Crown and Treaty in Uxbridge for the Dog Chewed The Handle gig. Gaz took his good performance on the pitch, onto the stage with him and another great night was had by all. The band also treated us to some of their own material and all I can say after hearing the three tracks performed live is - watch this space!!

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Ray Jones Situation...

The absence of Ray Jones from the Rangers first team is now a topic of discussion on various message boards and has also prompted an article in the Kilburn Times. Is the future of one of Rangers brightest young stars in jeapordy?

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Ray Jones has been discussing his first professional contract with both his parents and the club for some time and by all accounts, the deal was imminent.

However, similar to the situation that almost lost us Shabazz Baidoo in the summer, his agent has now apparantly got involved and is keen that Ray gets paid a similar amount to Dexter Blackstock and the other forwards at QPR.

QPR and John Gregory are understandably furious as this is an extremely dangerous precedent to set i.e. all the YTS players will be wanting similar deals! Further anger is aimed at the agent who the club believe have led Jones astray.

The situation at present, is that Ray is unlikely to play for the club until this situation is resolved. Hopefully, this complete shambles will be sorted very soon and Jones can continue with his VERY promising career at Rangers!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Apologies for the report being later than normal, but how on earth do you begin to write a report on a game like that? Especially in the early hours of the morning!

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Anyone that knows me, will realise that Albion have been adopted as my second team for the past 3 and a half years. But quite strangely, we have managed to avoid eachother in any sort of competition until this season and I have to admit that this felt a bit weird at times...

Well by now, we have all read the papers, message boards etc, and perhaps even seen the goals? So I think the best way to do this one will be to basically, sum things up:

Even the most optimistic of Rangers fans could not have hoped for anything but a defeat last night, against arguably the best team in the Championship. Two nil after 40 minutes was probably a fair reflection of Albion's dominance but I think what changed the game was Damion Stewart's goal in first half stoppage time. After 45 minutes of being under the cosh, we were very much still in the mix!

On 48 minutes, we were level through Kevin Gallen and the game then went from end to end. Kamara restored Albion's lead 5 minutes later, which settled the Baggies down. To be truthful, they could and should have killed us off from here on, but Rangers fought, scrapped and battled away and got their reward seven minutes from time when Nygaard headed home.

Rangers: Royce, Bignot, Rehman, Gallen, Ainsworth, Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Blackstock (Nygaard 62), Smith, Mancienne Subs: Milanese, Ward, Rowlands, Jones

Lofty's Man of the Match - Simon Royce

What more can I say about this one? It was a great match and credit must go to both sides for playing football the way it should be played! I could go on about our defence etc, but I will put that aside for now and enjoy both the result and performance from the R's.

West Brom are a quality side and the best I have seen this season. But what was so pleasing was the pride and passion in the Rangers side and the never say die attitude, which undoubtedly, earned us a great away point!


Trick or Treat...

West Brom 3-3 QPR

The scoreline will probably tell you what a game this was! The report will follow later after I have got my breath back...

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