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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Point Won or Two Lost? part II...

QPR 0-0 Watford

QPR's biggest home crowd of the season saw a hugely disappointing goalless draw against Watford in the final game of 2008.


I have to be honest, I expected to be writing this report with Rangers now sitting in the top six. After the win over Preston before Christmas, I was extremely hopeful of 6 points over the festive period and would certainly have taken 4. But to say I am disappointed to get just 2, following games against Watford and Charlton, is an understatement.More disappointment today, was that for the second home game running, there was no soup on sale in the kiosk in the lower loft!!


The first half particularly, was extremely poor and Watford had much the better of the chances. Heidar Helguson missed QPR's best chance of the half by heading wide from Lee Cook's free-kick.

Watford had to defend for much of the second half but were unlucky not to go ahead through Lee Williamson, who's free-kick from the edge of the area struck the post, then Cerny before going out for a corner on 82 minutes. Previous to that, Martin Rowlands' free-kick was headed back into the danger area by Helguson and an unmarked Blackstock was unable rise high enough to add the finishing touch.

Rangers had a soft appeal for a penalty waved away after Agyemang went down in the area under a challenge from Lloyd Doyley and almost went ahead when a goalmouth scramble ended with Helguson's close-range shot being pushed away by Loach and from the resulting corner by Rowlands, Blackstock headed over.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon (Leigertwood 84), Hall, Agyemang, Rowlands, Ramage, Cook (Blackstock 46), Ephraim, Helguson. Subs: Connolly, Ledesma, Alberti.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Patrick Agyemang

In summary, this was disappointing, both in result and performance but in saying that, credit to Watford who came and had a go, hassled Rangers, worked very hard and were deserving of their point. With plenty of rumours starting, it remains to be seen just what business QPR will do, if any, in the January transfer window.

Before I close, I managed to scoop another exclusive LH interview, this time with PK's favourite player, Lee Cook as he was leaving the stadium and discussed his impending permanant transfer back to Loftus Road.

Lofty - Hi Lee, Happy New Year

LC - Hi mate, thanks

Lofty - so, are you signing, has your deal been done yet?

LC - not yet, next week

Our thanks go to Lee Cook for his time in conducting this interview...

And finally...

As this is the last match report in 2008, I would to sincerely thank you all, so much, for your continued support of these pages and wish every single one of you, A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2009!!!

Come on You R'sssssssssss!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Point Won or Two Lost??

Charlton 2-2 QPR

Struggling Charlton twice came back from behind to deny QPR, at an extremely cold Valley on Boxing Day.


The tradition of the Boxing Day fixture, which was a lot kinder to us than the trip to Plymouth last season, brought a full car load as Corp and California Hoop joined myself and PK, with the Henley contingent following us in from South Mimms as we made the relatively easy trip to the Valley. With food and alcohol indulgence the day before, the mood was a little subdued than the norm, but certainly cheerful enough as we decided to walk straight past the pub and onto the chip shop instead.

Onto the game and with Charlton 14 games without a win, I am sure I wasn't alone in amongst the healthy R's support in absolutely dreading this game! With two games in two days, the team was much changed and initial fears were starting to drift away as the R's dominated the first half and were deservedly ahead on 17 minutes, as Lee Cook gave PK a belated Xmas pressie, curling a superb free kick into the top corner.


QPR were made to pay for not putting this game to bed in the first half, when Charlton equalised just three minutes into the second half when Nicky Bailey headed home from the impressive, Lloyd Sam's cross. Charlton had a decent little spell after the goal, but slightly against the run of play, the R's went back in front on 68 minutes - Leigertwood headed a pass to Blackstock who coolly slotted the ball past Elliot for his 11th of the season.


With ten minutes remaining, Charlton were level once again when Radek Cerny could only punch out a Martin Cranie cross and Bailey headed the ball into the net for his second goal of the afternoon. Lloyd Sam had a great chance to clinch the points for Charlton late on, but Rangers themselves were denied three points in stoppage time - Helguson struck the foot of the post, with the rebound falling kindly for Ledesma, who smashed home what was seemingly the winner - only for referee Taylor to adjudge that Blackstock had committed a foul and the wild celebrations in the away end came to an abrupt halt.

QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Blackstock, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Connolly, Cook (Ledesma 67), Alberti (Ephraim 59), Di Carmine (Helguson 81). Subs: Mahon, Agyemang

Lofty's Man of the Match - Kaspars Gorkss

Although an entertaining game, I came away from the Valley very disappointed that the R's had dropped two points, especially after dominating the first half and sitting back somewhat in the second. Would love to have another look at Ledesma's disallowed goal as I didn't see an awful lot wrong with it at the time. But I guess as many times as I do look at it, it won't change the result so a point it is. There will probably be wholesale changes in the R's line up again for Sunday's clash with Watford as Rangers will be looking to get a decent return from the Christmas games.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

QPR Reap The Rewards as Sousa Gambles...

QPR 3-2 Preston

Dexter Blackstock came off the bench to score a superb late winner, in what was a very entertaining afternoon at Loftus Road.


Before I go on, my apologies for the lateness of this report, but straight after the game, myself and the gang celebrated the victory by going into Shepherds Bush for a few Christmas drinks and if the way my head feels this morning is anything to go by, a very good time was had by all.

Onto the game and Rangers started extremely well and it was no surprise when we took the lead on 16 minutes. Lee Cook's inch perfect cross from the left flank was met by Helguson's head at the far post, who cleverly nodded into the left corner, giving Lonergan no chance.


After dominating the early stages, Rangers were pegged back on 28 minutes and some bad defending let Mckenna cross to find Sedgewick in space to head past Cerny in the R's goal. But just five minutes later, the R's were back in front - former Preston man, Agyemang headed Martin Rowlands' corner back across goal where Cook and Helguson were the first to react and from three yards out, the pair managed to bundle the ball into the net, though the goal was attributed to Helguson.

Onto the second half and why do the Championship have to suffer when a Premier League referee has a bad game and is hence demoted for a week? Alan Wiley went on to stamp his mark on the second half with a quite awful display of refereeing, which included an diabolical penalty award to Preston on the hour - when Wiley deemed that Cerny had felled Sean St Ledger in the area, much to the disgust of the home supporters. At the time, I was personally undecided, but as I have mentioned before, player reaction speaks volumes. Neither St Ledger, or any of the Preston players appealed for it, their fans in the upper School End didn't appeal for it and the R's players looked completely gobsmacked as they surrounded the referee. But, given it was and Davidson brought the two sides level.

Paulo Sousa then went for it and changed the formation to a 3-4-3 with Blackstock and Hall coming on in place of Delaney and Ramage. Alan Wiley again angered the R's supporters when he waved away a penalty appeal as Blackstock was sent flying in the 6 yard box. But when the game was looking like it was heading for a draw, Cook was awarded a free-kick on the left and Rowlands cross was nodded powerfully into the net by Blackstock for his 10th goal of the season.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney (Hall 81), Stewart, Mahon (Leigertwood 62), Agyemang, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage (Blackstock 81), Cook, Ephraim, Helguson. Subs: Ledesma, Di Carmine.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Lee Cook


We needed to win this one to keep in touch with the play off pack and we did just that! Huge amount of credit goes to Paulo Sousa. He took a massive risk and got a massive reward. After losing the lead twice to a strong, physical side, how many previous Managers would have thrown on a defender and gone to a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1 in an effort to hold on to the point? Sousa went for the three points and they duly arrived.

On a negative note, there was no soup available for today's game, but the lady has assured me it will return for the Watford game on the 28th.

After the game, we were fortunate to catch Heidar Helguson for a Lofty Heights exclusive interview as he, along with most of the team, made a brief appearance at the LSA Childrens Christmas Party at the Spingbok.

Lofty - good game today, Heidar.

HH - Thank you

Lofty - will you be signing for us in January?

HH - yes, hopefully

Our thanks go to Heidar Helguson for his time in conducting this interview...

Moving on to Charlton away on Boxing Day and a fixture I am now dreading. After yesterday, Charlton are now fourteen games without a win and you know what that normally would mean?? We shall see...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parejo Returns to Real Madrid...

Daniel Parejo's loan at QPR has ended after Real Madrid recalled him to help with an injury crisis.

Parejo played 18 games in all for QPR and I was slightly surprised to see the following on the BBC Website;

'Parejo played 18 games for QPR during an impressive spell at the London club.' ??!!??

I have made no secret on these pages that I am not his biggest fan and certainly, Christmas has come early for me. However, I do actually think there is indeed a quality player in Daniel Parejo and I wish him well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

QPR in Away Goal Shock...

Plymouth 1-1 QPR

It's finally happened!! After more than 13 hours without one, QPR finally ended their away goal drought with Heider Helguson hitting the back of the net and giving the R's the lead after 16 minutes at Home Park.


Well, I'm truly ashamed to say that I also missed this one too. With PK stocking up for Christmas on a booze run across to France and a distinct lack of interest from anywhere else, I didn't fancy the long and cold journey alone. So, instead my boss used it as an opportunity to drag me into work and thankfully, I will not be boring you with the life and times of an alarm engineer on these pages. With the above in mind, HUGE respect and acknowledgement goes to the 657 R's fans who did travel to Home Park today despite many, many problems on the rail and road!

I did however, manage to catch some of the commentary on QPR World and much was discussed with regards to Martin Rowlands disallowed goal, which it seemed, was wrongly chalked off for offide!? As time went on, it looked as though the R's would hold on for three valuable and most welcome away points, but on 83 minutes, substitute Steven MacLean levelled the scores.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Agyemang (Blackstock, 76), Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage (Hall, 81), Cook (Ephraim, 68), Helguson. Subs: Cole, Tommasi.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

View From The North...

Leeds based R's fan, Paul Dennison has been kind enough to send me a brief summary of last nights game, so I thought I would share seeing as I was not in attendance myself. Thanks Paul...

Last night – very disappointing, played well until penalty miss, up to the Rowly was outstanding and his penalty was a good one, although straight down the middle, but Lee Grant made an excellent , if lucky save. Helguson missed another very easy chance after about 10 minutes and was invisible all match (although I thought he did play well on sat) – My ratings would be:

Cerny – solid, but maybe at fault for the goal

Ramage – worked hard, his run and cross led to the pen

Delaney – struggling big time (although I thought he did play a bit better than usual on Sat)

Mahon – held things together

Stewart – solid

Gorkss – good

Leigertwood – ineffective

Rowly – excellent until penalty miss – faded away

Agyemang – excellent – caused problems all night, let himself down though in front of goal

Helguson(?) – totally invisible

Ephraim – worked hard, caused problems


Hall – came on in 91st minute as a striker!

Cook – involved a lot in his 20 mins

De Carmine - -on with 10 mins to go, did well – why is he always brought on when its too late!!

Overall – missed chances galore, now nearly 12 hours without an away goal – seems to be getting to the players

Atmosphere – almost non existent

Freezing Cold!!!!

Value for money 3/10

Summary – different Manager, same s@@t!!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

And So It Continues...

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 QPR

Following Saturday's excellent win over League Leaders, Wolves, QPR crashed to a disappointing defeat away at Sheffield Wednesday. Leon Clarke snatched the Owls winner as the Hillsborough side staged a late smash-and-grab raid after keeper Lee Grant had kept QPR at bay with a string of stunning saves, as the R's away goal drought sadly continues...


Well, work committments, Christmas coming and no annual leave left etc, meant I had to sit this one out as the age of the ludicrous midweek away trips for football fans continue. So, it was a nervous evening with the commentary and Sky Sports news planned and despite hearing of the R's creating plenty of chances, the 700 plus minute, 8 away game goal drought would surely come to an end as QPR were awarded a penalty after a foul on Henderson. Saturday's goal hero, Martin Rowlands stepped up...


...but he smashed his spot-kick straight at Grant in the Wednesday goal, much to the delight of the home crowd.

The inevitable happened on 75 minutes and as described by the Official QPR Website - When Watson's cross was only headed upward by Gorkss, the resultant scramble saw Small's snapshot saved by Cerny, only for Clarke to tap home the rebound to put the Owls ahead.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney (Hall 87), Stewart, Mahon (Di Carmine 78), Leigertwood, Agyemang, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Ephraim(Cook 53), Helguson. Subs: Cole, Tommasi.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

QPR Keep The Wolves From The Door...

QPR 1-0 Wolves

A stunning 20-yard strike from Martin Rowlands earned QPR a much deserved victory over Championship leaders Wolves.


It seems hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago, I was writing about a diabolical R's showing away at Watford - and now, three games and seven points later - and writing about an awesome performance against the runaway league leaders. It just shows what a funny old game football can be.

Well, with the game being selected as the evening kick off by Sky, it meant a late start to the proceedings and what with Wolves being unbeaten in their last nine games, there seemed little confidence around the ground. However, the top teams coming to Loftus Road often brings the best out of the R's and it was most certainly the case today.

Rangers had much the better of the first half and could and maybe, should have been three up at the break. Blackstock, Helguson and Agyemang all had good chances. Despite going close when David Jones curled narrowly wide from a cleverly-worked free-kick, Wolves were fortunate to reach the interval on level terms.

Onto the second half and Wolves again relied on Hennessy to prevent them falling behind just after the break when he blocked Helguson's shot with his legs, just after the break. The visitors then started to come into the game, but found Radek Cerny in superb form once again in the R's goal, saving well from Jones and Ebanks-Blake. But just past the hour, Loftus Road erupted as Rangers went ahead - when Rowlands scored with a stunning 20-yard effort that flew over Hennessy before dipping into the net.

As you would have expected from a team at the top of the league, Wolves then came at Rangers and Cerny had to produce two more world class saves, both from Sam Vokes efforts. Rangers defended suprebly as the clock ticked down, but nearly made the game safe in stoppage time when Samuel Di Carmine shot narrowly wide as Rangers caught Wolves on the break.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Blackstock (Cook 27) (Di Carmine 89), Agyemang, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Ephraim, Helguson (Tommasi 77). Subs: Cole, Borrowdale

Lofty's Man of the Match - so many contenders for this one and it's hard to fault any of the players after that performance. Agyemang, Helguson and Rowlands were excellent and there were awesome performances from Cerny, Stewart and Gorkss. Hard to call a man of the match from the last three, but Kaspars Gorkss JUST shades it for me!

There really isn't much more I can add to this. It was an awesome performance from QPR and one of the best, if not THE best of the season so far and Watford now seems a million miles away. I am also happy that the Sky audience got to see it too.

And finally, the Soup Watch. As mentioned in the Charlton report, the soup sold at the bagel bar in the Lower Loft was simply, superb! - as it didn't let us down again today with myself and PK sampling the excellent Minestrone at half time. On the subject of the catering, Corp has insisted that I mentioned the Swordfish pasta that was served in the QPR Restaurant today - and yes, he was in Corporate Hospitality again!!! ;o)