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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rennie Rules at the Brittania...

Stoke 3-1 QPR

Another slow start to a game, this time cost Rangers dearly as Stoke ran out 3-1 winners at the Brittania Stadium. We have been lucky enough previously, that Uriah Rennie has been out injured when he was scheduled to referee an R's match. But, he returned for this evenings encounter and boy, didn't we know it!!

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Well, due to a very busy personal schedule, Joe Dennison has kindly stepped forward as a guest reporter tonight as I take a rare, but well earned night off...

As per Saturday, Rangers took 20 minutes to wake up and get going, but by this time, we were two down with goals from Cresswell and Lawrence. For the remainder of the first half, it was a case of step forward, Uriah Rennie - who went on to anger both Rangers players and supporters alike with his whistle happy antics. So much so, that when he finally gave a decision Rangers way, the away end celebrated as they would had Rangers scored!

Rennie stamped his authority on the second half by giving Dexter Blackstock a straight red card on 47 minutes for a foul on Shawcross. It certainly looked harsh and a yellow at best, but the decision was even more surprising as Rennie was also looking in the opposite direction!

As it always seems the case when a side goes down to 10 men, Rangers battled bravely on and a sweet strike from Rowan Vine on 62 minutes reduced the deficit. But Cort made the game safe and eased the home sides nerves on 76 minutes, heading home his first goal for Stoke.

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QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne (Malcolm 19), Blackstock, Buzsaky, Rowlands (Bolder 82), Vine (Nygaard 78), Timoska, Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Ainsworth.

Joe's Man of the Match - well, if a man of the match is given to someone who's performance has influenced the game, then it would definitely go to Uriah Rennie. However, that is never going to happen on these pages and for another hard working midfield performance, tonight's award goes to Mikele Liegertwood.

To sum up, with other teams around us winning, this was an extremely disappointing result following some more than decent performances. Even more disappointment came with the injuries to Mancienne and Buszaky, who both had to leave the field - especially with the ridiculous amount of games that teams in the Championship are being asked to play in the month of December! Not forgetting of course, the impending 3 game ban for Dexter Blackstock.

Many thanks to Joe for his match notes tonight! :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Everything But...

QPR 0-0 Sheffield Weds

Rangers second half dominance was again, not enough to bring maximum points this afternoon as two in form teams, played out a goaless draw. But quite how the game ended 0-0 was anyones guess and goals were the only thing lacking in what was a cracking game of football.

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It seems an absolute age since I was writing my last report following what was, a devastating International break - in which after being given a huge 'get out of jail free' card, Steve McClaren and England somehow managed to book themselves a long, summer International break of their own. Okay, so the good news was that it saw the end of Steve McClaren's reign, but it was a massive price to pay.

Anyway, I could continue to rant on about that, but will move swiftly on to todays game and Rangers took about 20 minutes to wake up and in which time, Wednesday hit the Rangers crossbar. But the R's soon got into their stride and Sinclair was unlucky to see his shot from the left smack the post - and from the resulting corner, Rangers were denied again as Liegertwood's header come back off the crossbar. Sinclair was again denied in a one on one with the keeper and although Vine had the ball in the Owls net, it was ruled out for offside.

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The second half largely belonged to Rangers and for the second game running, found the opposing keeper in tremendous form. Lee Grant denied Vine and went on to deny Scott Sinclair three times in what was looking like a personal battle. In between, the crossbar again came to the rescue, this time for Rangers as O'Briens curler hit the frame of the goal before being cleared to safety.

QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock (Nygaard 82), Buzsaky, Rowlands, Malcolm (Timoska 65), Vine, Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Bolder, Ainsworth.

Lofty's Man of the Match - an extremely close call for me between Buzsaky and Liegertwood, but Mikele just edges it with another commanding midfield performance.

To sum up, this was one of the best 0-0's I have ever seen. Both teams were on form and both wanted to win the game and I am sure everyone in the ground enjoyed the game. But Rangers football again, especially in the second half was a joy to watch. We now have two tough away games against Stoke and Blackpool. Sadly, due to work committments, there is a chance that I may miss my first game of the season at Stoke, but normal service will be resumed at Blackpool next Saturday and yes, we are making a weekend of it in honour of Vickie's birthday!! The Blackpool report may be VERY late indeed... ;-)

Come on You R'ssssssss!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Welcome Bob Malcolm...

With Martin Cranie returning to Portsmouth QPR have moved to strengthen the centre of their defence with the loan signing of Derby County's and former Glasgow Rangers defender, Bob Malcolm until January.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Late Show, Again...

Palace 1-1 QPR

Crystal Palace literally stole a point this afternoon as Clinton Morrison, scored his regular goal against us, to deny Rangers the win they so richly deserved.

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Well, people that know me and indeed, regular readers of these pages will know that the fixture - Crystal Palace away, is probably my least favourite of the season. Although a London derby, you could get to a northern away game quicker. PK, Vickie, Joe, Paul and myself squeezed into the car for a journey in that we hardly moved out of second gear. We did however, arrive in good time to take our seats, £25 seats come to that, but at least it is worth paying extra for the wonderful view... I am joking of course ;-)

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Anyway, thats my annual moan about Selhurst Park out of the way and onto the game and if you would have offered me the draw before the match, I would have taken it, without a doubt. But at the final whistle it almost felt like a defeat as Palace stole a point in the 88th minute. Morrison headed home Kennedy's free kick - a free kick which was dubious to say the least and the incident will be omitted from tomorrow's Championship programme I'm sure (it was!). Rangers had led since the 44th minute after Scott Sinclair headed home the impressive Buzsaky's cross.

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But in the second half, Rangers dominated proceedings and eventually, were left to rue their missed opportunities. The Palace keeper, with an extremely dodgy looking hairstyle, Julian Speroni, had an absolute blinder and got the better of two one on ones - denying firstly, Adam Bolder and later, Scott Sinclair who were both put through by Buszaky. Speroni then denied Rowan Vine with another fine save and at this point, you just couldn't help feeling that we would be made to pay for the missed chances and pay for it, we certainly did. Vine was replaced by Ben Sahar in the final minute and although I don't recall the Chelsea loanee touching the ball, I'm sure his Mum will be proud of him all the same... sorry, just couldn't resist.

QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Bolder (Rehman 90), Buzsaky, Rowlands (Ainsworth 86), Vine (Sahar 90), Timoska, Leigertwood, Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Nardiello.

Lofty's Man of the Match - well, for me today there were 3 main contenders - Akos Buzsaky had an inspired game sitting just behind Rowan Vine and was at the heart of most of what Rangers created. Timoska had a superb match at the back. But with a performance that completely determined the outcome of game, the award goes to Palace keeper, Julian Speroni.

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To sum up, this was a good result on paper and as mentioned, I would have certainly taken a point before kick off. But this was definitely a case of two points dropped. Luigi De Canio has now had a win, a loss and a draw but the early signs are more than encouraging with some lovely football being played by the R's. Must also mention the fantastic R's support at Selhurst today, officially given as 2,205 - never stopped singing and supporting the team throughout. However, I was slightly disappointed that many didn't spot Chris 'Incredible Jeff' Kamara in the TV gantry - would have dearly loved some choice, but obviously light hearted banter there, especially when he was going live on air back to the Sky Sports studio.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Late Show...

QPR 1-2 Coventry

Rangers five match unbeaten run came to an end as a last minute header from Kevin Kyle gave Coventry all three points in what overall, was a disappointing night at Loftus Road.

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Well, firstly, it was great to welcome back California Hoop, Darren, Mark and Holly back to the fold, as well as yet another impressive midweek turnout from the Leeds contigent, despite a few minor hiccups on route ;-). But before the game, the first disappointment of the night came when the team was announced, with no Hogan Ephraim in it? Now, some are saying that his loan finshed at midday and others that Sinclair was picked ahead of him and he left the stadium. Whatever it was, I hope it was amicable and we can look forward to seeing Hogan back in January?!

Onto the game, and the events of a drab first half, probably went a long way to determine the final outcome as we lost Martin Cranie, Mikele Liegertwood and Marc Nygaard, all to injuries. It was clear that the constant reshuffling completely rattled Rangers and we were looking lost at times. On the subject of injuries, the news that Martin Cranie has a suspected fractured fibula is extremely disappointing and I am sure you would all join me in wishing him well in his recovery.

The second half started more lively and on 50 minutes, Rangers were in front. A long ball from Damion Stewart wasn't dealt with by Coventry and new signing, Akos Buzsaky picked up the ball before lashing the ball home from 20 yards. I hope I have described the goal accurately for PK who sadly, was still finishing his half time pint ;-)

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The lead lasted just 10 minutes when the inform Mifsud, brought the Sky Blues level, when despite looking a mile offside - rounded Camp and slotted home despite Timoska's best efforts to clear. The goal seemed to spark the Coventry fans into life, but why on earth would anyone want to sing a song written for them by Jimmy Hill?? Anyway, with no further options to change the game for Luigi De Canio, it began to fizzle out towards a draw. But in stoppage time, Kevin Kyle headed home to give Coventry all three points.

QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Buzsaky, Rowlands, Vine, Nygaard (Nardiello 44), Leigertwood (Bolder 39), Cranie (Timoska 20), Sinclair. Subs: Cole, Ainsworth.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Damion Stewart who led the line superbly following Cranie's departure.

On balance, Coventry probably just about shaded it for me. They looked well organised and although physical at times, worked their socks off throughout. Cranie, Liegertwood and Nygaard have all been superb in recent weeks, so to lose all three was bound to unbalance the team and I am happy to put this one down to being 'one of those nights'. It will also be interesting to see how the new regime will respond to this last gasp defeat and prepare the team for Saturday, at Palace. Best we just put this one to bed I think...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Welcome Scott Sinclair...

QPR have today sign the highly rated Chelsea midielder, Scott Sinclair on loan. The 18 year old is eligible to play against Coventry tonight and will remain at Loftus Road up to and including, Saturday 15th December.

Welcome and Good Luck Scott!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Deja Vu...

QPR 2-0 Hull

The beginning of a new QPR era saw superb goals from Hogan Ephraim and Mikele Liegertwood - as the R's beat Hull 2-0 at Loftus Road to get new boss, Luigi De Canio off to a winning and perfect start. The result was a repeat of last years against the Tigers, which ironically, was John Gregory's first game in charge.

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The day started well enough for me as on route to the Stadium, I was lucky enough to get one of the R's benefactors and formula one supremo, Bernie Ecclestone to sign my match programme (thanks Sammi!). So, onto the stadium and although there was a definate upbeat mood around the place, many were expressing concerns about the team selection. But fortunately, there was only one change from last weeks impressive win at Charlton, as Adam Bolder made way for new signing, Akos Buzsaky.

Onto the game and in truth, Rangers started nervously as you would probably expect with all things considered and Hull, although without threatening, were setting the early pace. But the impressive Rangers midfield soon began to get grips with the game and on 26 minutes, we saw the first goal of the De Canio era and what a goal it was too! Rowlands superb pass found Hogan Ephraim, who against my better judgement of screaming for him to hit the touchline and cross, made me eat my words and cut inside, before smashing the ball into the net from 25 yards.

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If Hogan's goal wasn't good enough, then enter Mikele Liegertwood, who when joining us, it wasn't really for his goalscoring record - if you saw his miss at Charlton, then you will know what I am talking about. However, that miss was considered by many as an easy chance, but Mikele just doesn't do easy chances - take his 25 yard rocket away at Leicester for example. Today, he picked up a loose ball outside the penalty area, evaded a challenge and curled an absolute beauty into the top right hand corner.

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QPR: Camp, Barker, Stewart, Mancienne, Buzsaky (Ainsworth 86), Rowlands, Ephraim, Vine (Nardiello 90), Nygaard (Bolder 82), Leigertwood, Cranie. Subs: Cole, Timoska.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Mikele Liegertwood - an awesome midfield performance and an awesome goal to boot.

Well, if any one had any doubts about how the players would react following Mick Harford's departure, then you can put them straight to bed now. This was a very decent all round team performance and we are finally now out of the dreaded bottom three - and rightly so. The players are looking so hungry and confident, which certainly is refreshing to say the least and we played some real good football along the way. Also, we are now unbeaten in 5, with another clean sheet and only one goal shipped in that time - which incidentally was a quality goal from Ipswich's Legwinski - not to be sneezed at!

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We now have a situation where Rowan Vine's loan has come to an end and Hogan plays the last game of his loan spell against Coventry on Tuesday night. But for now, I am not even thinking about that, all in all, it was a great performance, a great result with some great goals - a great day for all at QPR!!