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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

R's On The Road to Barnsley...

Lee Brown brings you some info, hints and tips for those R's fans making the weekend trip Oakwell.

On Saturday we embark on another challenging away trip, this time Barnsley host the superhoops.

The Stadium.

Current Capacity - 23,009 (all seated)

Oakwell was heavily invested on in the 90's with 3 of the 4 stands being redeveloped and the remaining stand, The West Stand, keeping its classic look from when it was originally built in 1904. The only changes made to it have been converting it into an all seater stand to comply with regulations in the mid 90's.

Away fans are usually housed in the North Stand which was the last of the 3 to be developed in 1999. It also provided a state-of-the-art home for the Academy Complex, changing rooms, class rooms and physio facilities. It has a capacity of 6000. Away allocations usually start at 2000 but can be extended to 6000 upon request.If there are only away fans in the North Stand then alcohol will be available on the day, however if home fans are mixed in with us then the bar will be available to the away supporters as the bar is located on the far side of the stand.

An unusual feature of the ground, is a purpose built stand for disabled supporters. This is a three floor structure that sits at the corner between the East & South Stands. There is also a new electric scoreboard at one corner of the North Stand, on top of a newly constructed security control room.

In the future the West Stand will be re-developed but no plans or timescales have been put in place as yet so we will await further news there, if and when we have to travel back up to Oakwell.

The History between the teams at Oakwell.

Played 21
Barnsley 12
Q.P.R. 3
Draws 6

Barnsley 44
Q.P.R. 21

In recent years Rangers haven’t enjoyed much, if any success up at Oakwell but Mon 12th April 2004 saw one of the most memorable clashes between the sides to date. Rangers were 5 games away from clinching the remaining automatic promotion spot in League 1, Bristol City were 1 point behind (I think) and will be playing the day after so it was vital to get a positive result to maintain momentum.

Things started off fantastically when a Tony Kay own “goal” gave Rangers the lead as Rangers pressure finally got the better of the home team. However after seeing a photo of whether the ball had actually gone fully over the line at was evident that it was nowhere near crossing the line, the ball had hardly even touched the line let alone gone over it!

With Rangers 2-1 up, Ian Holloway sacrificed a striker and Marcus Bean entered the fray to solidify the midfield and bring home the points for the visitors. Disaster stuck in the final 10minutes when Barnsley, looking buried, shocked the Superhoops and went 3-2 up, an unstoppable 25-30 drive into the top corner looked to of broken the hearts of the travelling faithful.

Yet there was still life in the travelling side and Paul Furlong grabbed which proved to be a vital vital goal for Rangers, a soft shot dribbling into the bottom left corner in injury time to send the away fans into what was an absolutely mental celebration, it was almost as if we had won the league with it. That point proved to be a telling one as Rangers went on and got promotion by a single point from Bristol City. A fantastic day of entertainment!!

How to get there.

If you are travelling by car the journey couldn’t be any easier, apart from the time and distance of course. Travel up the M1 and leave at junction 37. Head for Barnsley and the ground is clearly signposted all the way in. The signs will lead you to the visiting car park which is also extremely handy.

By train, again it couldn’t be any simpler. Once u get off at the station, the town is on the right, do avoid it as it can get uncomfortable when you are in colours, if you go left and start walking up a hill it will lead you to the Metro leisure centre (which I shall mention in a sec) just before you get to the leisure centre if you look to the left the ground will be staring you in the face and is a mere 2-5 minute walk from there via the car park.

Pubs n Grub.

Drinking in the town centre is generally not recommended, especially near the Bus & Train Stations, if you are not in colours you may have a hassle free time getting a drink but I highly recommend the Metro Dome leisure centre to be the choice of boozer for the match day experience.

There is a mixture of home and away fans in here but it is predominantly there for away fans. You can either just enjoy a pre match beverage there or if you are feeling peckish then a full menu is there for your choosing. A large area behind the bar for you to enjoy your drinks awaits, there is even a balcony there for you to go outside and enjoy the surroundings, fresh air or even crafty fag if you choose.

There is a McDonalds and KFC in town, but it is a bit of a walk from the ground. A burger van or 2 await to feed your hungry souls, or maybe u would take the risk to enjoy the food inside the ground (it is generally quite good). A few prices to list are - 'Football's Famous Chicken Balti Pie' (£2.30) is available inside the ground, along with cheeseburgers (£2.80), hot dogs (£2.70), sausage rolls (£2) and chips (£1.70).

Game Preview.

After the disappointing defeat to Ipswich the previous Saturday and the tough away trip to Cardiff on weds, this will be a far from easy game for Rangers.

Barnsley themselves are in a bit of bad form having won only 1 of the last 7 league games and that was against Sheffield Weds 2weeks ago. Barnsley have also won just 6 of their 16 home league games , so maybe this could be the day where Rangers can sneak a very much needed victory, especially as we look more likely to win away than we do at home currently.

Barnsley are currently 19th in the table and 3 points above the relegation zone, so Simon Davey's side will be out fighting for a vital win. Jamal Campbell-Ryce will be the danger man to look out for, he is the current top scorer on 8 goals. He has always looked a promising player when playing against us and totally outshines those around him.

The opportunity is there to put ourselves right back in the play off hunt and a battling away performance will be needed to bring the points back to West London.

U R'ssss

QPR Clip Bluebirds Wings...

Cardiff 0-0 QPR

QPR put last Saturday behind them, with an excellent point away at Cardiff, of which could well have been all three...


Myself and PK had tickets for this one, but as it was re arranged to a midweek affair, we had to give it a miss. Although I struggled to get any sort of commentary, I nervously watched on the BBC text service and it certainly appeared that the R's had made a decent account of themselves against their high flying opponents and personally, am delighted with this result.

After the game, R's boss, Paulo Sousa said (from;

'We played very well against a team that wants to be in the Premier League next season. After last week's poor performance against Ipswich, we showed everyone that we can play good football.

We have played well and created a lot of chances but we still need to win these games. When we don't get three points after playing so well it is frustrating but I'm always proud of the players, especially after coming here to a difficult place and doing so well.'

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon (Blackstock 88), Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly, Cook, Miller (Alberti 58), Helguson (Di Carmine 90+1). Subs: Hall, Lòpez.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

R's On The Road to Cardiff...

Lee Brown brings you some info, hints and tips for those R's fans making the midweek trip across the Welsh border to Ninian Park.

Wednesday 25th January see QPR travel to Cardiff City in the re-arranged fixture at Ninian Park. This will also be the last time that Rangers travel to Ninian Park before Cardiff move into the nearby St. Davids stadium ready for the 2009-2010 season.

The Stadium.

Current Capacity - 20,376

Ninian Park can only be described as one of the remaining 'proper' football grounds in the football league. With so many clubs moving into the new bowl style stadiums this can only be described as a must visit ground as this will be the final chapter that QPR can impose themselves on the Ninian Park history books.
Ninian Park was built in 1910 on what used to be a rubbish tip (I will refrain from the many jokes in my head) and was named after Lt.-Col. Lord Ninian Edward Crichton-Stuart.
The atmosphere is also something that you can enjoy, although it can get quite heated, you can really make some noise and support the hoops as we look to gain further revenge and put a dent in the Bluebirds promotion push.
Away fans are located in the John Smiths Grange End. The stand is shared with home supporters so do expect a lot of banter between the fans. At the front of the Grange End there is seating available to some of the away section, but I would recommend enjoying using the terracing for what is such a rarity these days. Usually there are around 1000 tickets allocated to the away section but that can be increased to 2000 upon request by the club.
I would recommend keeping colours to a minimum also as walking out and around Ninian Park can be fairly intimidating. Cardiff fans are well known for being very passionate about their club so the least attention you bring to yourself the better (speaking from experience). A large police presence will be in force I'm sure.

The History at Ninian Park.

Results Total

Cardiff City 16
Q.P.R. 8
Draw 7
Goals Total

Cardiff City 49
Q.P.R. 38

Friday 17th November will always hold a place in Rangers hearts. The game was at Ninian Park and with the Sky cameras there one of our bright prospects enjoyed what was his finest moment, and all his last goal in the famous blue and white hoops. Yes you've guessed it, the day that Ray Jones scored a dramatic 88th minute winner for the superhoops and secured what would prove to be a vital 3points in a relegation threatened season.
Rangers have enjoyed mixed fortunes at this ground in recent years having won 3, lost 2 and drawn 2 in the previous 7 meetings (not including the play off final) in South Wales, could this be another win on the board for the superhoops?

How to get there.

To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the B4267 exit, signposted 'Cardiff (Leckwith) Athletics Stadium'. Follow the signs for the stadium and after about half a mile you will see Ninian Park over on your right. There is a huge car park across the road from the ground and at the nearby Athletics Stadium.
Alternatively if you are going by train the nearest train station is Ninian Park Halt, which is only a couple of minutes walk from the ground. This station is on a local line which is served by trains from Cardiff Central.

Pubs n Grub.

Most of the pubs near to the ground can be quite intimidating for away supporters and are not recommended. However there is the Lansdowne Hotel on Beda Road which is a ten minute walk away from the stadium.
There are no nearby restaurants or take aways nearby (from what I remember) so you may have to settle for a burger van or food inside the ground. Here is a rough price guide of some of the food inside the ground....
pies (£1.90), pasties (£1.60). hot dogs (£2.50). bacon rolls (£2.50). cheese burgers (£2.60), and chips £1 and the intriguely named 'Welsh burger' (£2.50).

Game preview.

Cardiff go into this game after a battle against a struggling Wolves side on Sunday and before that a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Before the weekends fixtures Cardiff lay in 5th place, 12points behind table toppers Wolves but with a huge 4 games in hand on the leaders. This fixture will play a key part in their promotion push, yet a defeat for Rangers will put a dent in our quest to lauch a play off push that we have begun to put together.
Cardiff, who have lost goalkeeper Peter Enckelman to injury for 8 weeks after having a knee operation, have been further rocked by finding out that on-loan 'keeper Tom Heaton, who was man of the match in the 4-0 defeat of Arsenal, will be out of action for 4-6 weeks after tearing a thigh muscle in the fixture. This leaves Cardiff with only 1 recognized 'keeper, Dimi Konstantopoulos, who impressed during a 3month emergency loan period at fierce rivals Swansea.
QPR now armed with another midfielder to hand in the presence of Jordi Lopez, look to start another unbeaten run and continue to make an impact on the play off positions. With Helder Helguson and Lee Cook returning, from injury and suspension respectively, and the form of the lightening quick, former Cardiff loanee Wayne Routledge, QPR have the ideal opportunity to unsettle the bluebirds and bring back the 3points to West London.

TV Nightmares...

QPR 1-3 Ispwich

Second-half strikes from Counago and Walters saw Ipswich come back from a goal down to deservedly beat QPR, in front of the Sky TV cameras at Loftus Road.


What with adverse weather, FA Cup games etc, it seemed like an eternity since the last QPR game, especially at home and what with the R's being 9 games unbeaten, the mood was certainly an upbeat one approaching kick off time. But in fact, as PK pointed out, the fact that the media and in fact, QPR themselves, kept mentioning the unbeaten run at every single opportunity, was certainly bringing a few nerves and doubts and as it proved, rightly so...

Onto the game and although the team selection was somewhat surprising, the doubts were eased on 3 minutes as Rangers took the lead - Wayne Routledge tricked Ben Thatcher and crossed from the right for Italian striker Di Carmine to score from close range. But the joy was shortlived as just 11 minutes later, some comedy defending brought Ipswich level - Stead got in front of defender Matt Connolly to collect David Norris' deflected shot and bundle the ball past keeper Lee Camp. It was no more than the Tractor Boys deserved though as they had threatened since the R's took the lead.

Onto the second half and Ipswich looked to step up a gear and went ahead in fine style just after the hour mark, when Counago robbed Mahon and went past Kaspars Gorkss before firing into the corner of the net. On 70 minutes, the game was all but over. Alan Quinn's superb crossfield pass, found Walters, who controlled brilliantly before slotting past Lee Camp in the R's goal. I guess by now, those who were at the game and those watching on Sky have all seen the goals again, but I reallt cannot say enough about Quinn's pass for thi goal, it was sensational and the finish from Walters was worthy of the delivery he received.

QPR: Camp, Delaney (Blackstock 67), Mahon, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly, Cook, Miller (Balanta 73), Di Carmine (Helguson 55). Subs Not Used: Stewart, Alberti.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Mikele Leigertwood

I thought I would make the match report brief because, as mentioned, we have probably all seen the goals etc now seeing as the game was on Sky TV. But I cannot write this report without mentioning the disgraceful behaviour of a minority of QPR 'supporters'?, which sadly, was also shown live to the watching Sky public. Yes, it was a disappointing performance and yes, we were all disappointed when Ispwich went 3-1 up. But if the chants of 'you don't know what your doing!' to Paulo Sousa following the substitution of Liam Miller, was bad enough, the booing of Gavin Mahon was nothing more than a disgrace and at the time, I was ashamed to be sitting in the same stadium as these so called supporters.

People can and will argue that you pay a lot of money and your entitled to have your say and in QPR's case, it is considerably more expensive to do so than in previous years, fair enough. But paying extra money does NOT guarantee that QPR will win every week, as much as we would like ot to be the case. Yes, it was a poor performance from the R's yesterday and yes, I'm sure everyone watching the game would agree that Gavin Mahon had a shocker, but he certainly wasn't alone. But for supporters to boo him, one of our own players, every time he got the ball?? AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!!

I can say no more...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome Jordi Lopez...

QPR have today signed 27 year old Spanish Midfielder, Jordi Lopez.

Lopez was released from Real Mallorca in December and was on Real Madrid and Barcelona's books before joining Sevilla, where he made 37 appearances. He joined Real Mallorca in 2006 and can play in both central and wide midfield positions.

Good Luck Jordi and WELCOME TO QPR!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

108 Not Out for Beckham...

David Beckham equalled the great Bobby Moore's record of 108 England caps for an outfield player after coming on as a second half substitute in England's 2-0 defeat in Spain.


Beckham, currently on loan at AC Milan, now joins Moore behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton, England's record appearance holder with 125 caps.

Congratulations, David Beckham!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LH New Mascot...

QPR have 'Spark' the Tiger, now Lofty Heights is proud to announce it's very own mascot, in the shape of Corp's Family dog, Coco.


More pictures of Coco will be appear on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Good Result???

Forest 2-2 QPR

Matteo Alberti scored his first goals for QPR in a 2-2 draw with Forest at the City Ground, but could and should have taken all three points.


The City Ground in Nottingham, is a ground that QPR have never won in what is now 27 attempts at and without question, we should have done today. But despite a good away point, I am sitting here writing this with slight disappointment. But the day started on a positive enough note. What with all the snow and everything in the week, there was never any doubt that this game would go ahead and myself, PK and the Henley mob enjoyed a trouble free journey and arrived at around 12.30. From there, we took a walk and after years of not quite making it, we FINALLY made the famous 'HOOTERS' bar for our pre match entertainment. One for the lads this one, definitely, with TV's everywhere showing the lunchtime Sky match. But in truth, many other distractions meant that the TV's were hardly even given a second glance.


The American Style food on display also looked appetising enough, but our lack of foresight in booking a table, meant that we turned to a burger van for our pre match food.

Onto the game and Rangers largely controlled the first half and certainly looked the more threatening, with a double goal line clearance from the home side and Liegertwood hitting the post, were all that were keeping the scores level. But on the stroke of half time Forest won a penalty when McGugan chipped in a superb ball for Chambers and he was quite stupidly pulled back by Alberti. McGugan made no mistake from the spot. Three minutes into first-half injury time, Alberti redeemed himself when Matt Connolly pulled the ball back from the right byline and the Italian fired beyond Paul Smith to bring the sides level.

Alberti added his second two minutes after the break, latching onto Wayne Routledge's flick on, holding off the defender and firing a superb shot across goal and into the top corner.


Routledge missed a golden chance to make the game safe, minutes later, but on 66 minutes, Forest were level. Chambers cross in looked like Camp's all the way, but it went over the R's keeper, too the unmarked Cohen to nod past the standing Stewart and Gorkss on the goaline. Lee Camp cried foul, after the match, Paulo Sousa has cried foul, but to me, it looked like Camp made a complete mess of it. Either way, the scores were level. Mikele Leigertwood thought he had put QPR ahead again with a superb header, only to be denied by a stunning save from Smith.

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly, Miller (Ephraim 70), Alberti (Balanta 82), Di Carmine (Blackstock 59). Subs: Hall, Rose.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Kaspars Gorkss. Hard to look elsewhere than the Rangers centre backs this afternoon, but Gorkss just shaded it for me today.

In summary, it probably shows how far we have come that most are disappointed with a draw away from home, especially as Forest have been in such good form recently. Both sides had key players missing, but Rangers were so much better than Forest in all departments. Forest in comparison, were pretty poor I have to say, which makes it even more frustrating that two mistakes have cost us another good three away points.

And finally, I mentioned in last week's report, I mentioned Vickie's cool new gloves which have proved to be a godsend for her in this bitterly cold weather. I am pleased to announce that Vickie kindly agreed to model them for us today...


Friday, February 06, 2009

Forest Away, UPDATE

From the Official QPR Website;

Nottingham Forest v QPR - latest update 11.00am

The Club has received an e-mail from the Secretary at Nottingham Forest Football Club this morning (Friday) to confirm that their pitch is currently playable.

As long as there is not a severe deterioration in the weather overnight, the fixture at The City Ground will go ahead as planned.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lofty Needs You...

If you don't know already, the Football Fans Census awards have come around again and much to my surprise, LH was nominated in the Best Blog in The Championship category this time last year. Unfortunately, it didn't make the final 10, but it would be great to think that LH could do well again and if not, get a bit further.

So, if you have a moment and would like to vote, please click here.

Whilst your there and in a generous mood, you may also like to consider voting for the excellent site I do a few bits for, Loft for Words in the best online fanzine category, along with Clive Whittingam as best writer/editor. Clive's work is excellent and an award would be richly deserved.

The closing date is tomorrow (Friday), I thank you!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

R's On the Road...

Weather permitting of course, QPR's next game is away at Nottingham Forest this coming Saturday 7th February. Lee Brown brings you some info, hints and tips for those R's fans making the journey to the City Ground.

Rough Guide to Forest, by Lee Brown

The City Ground, Current Capacity 30,576


Nottingham Forest play at The City Ground situated south of Nottingham City Centre and the River Trent opposite Trent Bridge Cricket Ground. The visitors are accommodated in the Lower Tier of the Bridgford Stand. The capacity is 4,750 but this is usually reduced to about 3,000. Access to the visitors turnstiles is through The Brian Clough Stand car park via Scarrington Road off Lady Bay Bridge. It
is also possible to follow Colwick Road (and Orston Road), to get to these turnstiles, this can be found halfway along Radcliffe Road next to a pedestrian crossing.

Parking prohibitions are in force on match days around the ground. Nottingham City Council operates a paying car park 15-20 minutes walk away on Victoria Embankment. Access is via Clifton Bridge complex to Queens Drive and then
Riverside Way. South of the river in West Bridgford it is permitted to park in the side streets; however, it should be noted that this parking is in short supply and is unpopular with residents. There are also a number of places on the opposite side of the Trent, including Notts County's Meadow Lane ground, which charge about £2 to park.

As you may or may not know, Rangers away form at the City Ground is dreadful! QPR have never won there in their history, making it one of the only grounds they have failed to pick up a win from. Having only scored 16 goals in the previous 26 fixtures at Forest, it is essential that Rangers continue their rich vain of form away from home having scored 5 and kept 2 cleans sheets in the previous 2 away games.

On top of the 2 clean sheets in the last 2 away games, Rangers also have a clean sheet from the weekend game against league high-flyers Reading. Defensively QPR now look very stable, the combination of Connolly, Stewart, Gorkss and Delaney now looks a settled and well oiled back four. It's all a question of who has their shooting boots on to go and score the vital goal(s) that their smooth passing and counter attacking football deserves.

It may only be a matter of time before we start finding the net on a more frequent basis. Forest themselves have been in good form and were on a 6 match unbeaten streak until losing to Cardiff on Saturday. Since being under the guidance of ex Preston and Derby boss Billy Davies, Forest have clawed themselves away from the relegation scrap and are now climbing the league at a healthy rate and are currently laying in 17th place. The main dangerman for Forest has been Rob Earnshaw, whose 11 goals in all competitions, 4 in the last 5 games before missing the Cardiff game, has helped lift Forest up the table and also defeat Man City up at Eastlands in the FA Cup.

Pubs, Grub and Sights

The Meadow Club on Meadow Lane has now become the 'unofficial' pub for away supporters it adjoins Notts County FC. The Trent Bridge Inn and Larwood and Voce do not allow away supporters in. There are a large number of food outlets around the ground including a McDonalds, which is less than 5 minutes walk down Radcliffe Road. If you have time to spend in the city centre there are a vast number of pubs, clubs and eating places. For those of you who like a bit of culture when it comes to a good old fashioned pub with some light hearted entertainment then I would highly recommend Hooters, although it is not suitable for some of our younger viewers.


If you are looking at buying any football memorabilia then I would strongly advise a trip to the MSR memorabilia shop located in the Broadmarsh shopping centre. For a bit of history visit the Trip to Jerusalem near the castle, or even take a trip to the castle itself.

Monday, February 02, 2009

QPR v Swansea Postponed...

QPR's home clash with Swansea tomorrow has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

At the time of writing, the games at Palace and Deby have also fallen foul to the snowy weather. Cardiff's cup replay at Arsenal has also been called off, meaning the R's trip to Wales on the 15th February, will also have to be re-scheduled.

In better news, QPR striker, Rowan Vine has been given the all clear to resume training, after breaking his leg at the end of last season.