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, October 18, 2009

Rangers say Taa-ra to Preston.

After what seemed like an eternity since the last home fixture, we finally returned to the home of football for the fixture against a Preston side that has had a fantastic start to the season and were sitting in the top six after a strong start to the season.

As per usual we headed straight for the Springbok for a pre match beverage. Today’s group was Lofty, PK, Corp, California Hoop, Justin, Sam, Mark and Me. At half time we were joined by Darren and Paul, which completed the line up of the original Lofty Heights crew from back in the day.

Onto the day’s game.
Jim Magilton had a few selection headaches ahead of today’s game and a lengthy injury list. With Martin Rowlands (ACL), Mikele Leigertwood (virus), Alessandro Pellicori (knee), Matthew Connolly (glandular fever), Lee Cook (knee), Angelo Balanta (groin), Hogan Ephraim (ankle) and Ben Watson (suspended) there were spots available in defence and midfield for Rangers fringe players. The decision was to bring in Peter Ramage at right back, Gavin Mahon and Alessandro Faurlin took the two available centre midfield spots and the final change was Rowan Vine dropping to the bench and Adel Taarabt took his place in the starting line up for the first time since the away victory at Scunthorpe. Patrick Agyemang and Gareth Ainsworth completed 60 minutes in the reserves on Tuesday and took their place on the bench for today’s match.

Rangers started off the brighter of the two teams and the passing was of the same slick style that we have been treated to over the past few games but this time there was a lot more conviction in the passing and movement as Rangers attacked Preston.
After a good opening ten minutes we were treated to a very special opening goal.
Cerny took his goal kick and it was Taarabt who chested the ball down and in one movement turned from his back to goal and was facing towards the Preston goal with a little bit of space in front of him. Before you knew it Taarabt had unleashed a beautiful curling effort from a full 25-30 yards out and it floated into the top right hand corner! Absolutely fantastic goal, was reminiscent of Buzaky’s second goal against Barnsley in the last home fixture.


Having got the opening the R’s continued to pressure a vulnerable looking Preston side and really stamped their authority on the game. Routledge had two efforts well saved before Preston finally tested the Rangers defence and merely tickled efforts towards Cerny’s goal.
Five minute before half time we so nearly witnessed a goal that would’ve easily been goal of the season and would’ve gone very close second to Trevor Sinclair’s bicycle kick back in the 90’s.
The ball dropped to Buzaky a full 25 yards out at the right hand edge of the penalty area and he had the cheek to unleashed a thundering volley at goal, the effort took a few layers of paint off the crossbar and if you have the chance to see the highlights then this will be included in there, my words cannot give the effort enough justice.
Half time was soon forced upon us and leading 1-0 there only looked to be one winner in the game but as we all know and feel, the longer the game stays 1-0 to Rangers the longer you doubt that we’ll be able to hold out, a second goal was not only needed but it was truly deserved. We were all just hoping that the second goal would soon fall in the R’s favour.

Rangers started the second half as they ended the first, in total ascendancy.
We were soon to witness a near spectacular goal from the most unlikely of sources. After a string of neat passes it was Gary Borrowdale who found himself some way from goal and advanced towards goal and let go with a superb left footed drive into the top corner only to see Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan pull off a brilliant save. Was shocking yet inspirational and lead the R’s faithful into singing his name, and the crew looking at me singing his name after I had criticised him for his pre-season efforts but even I cannot deny Borrowdale of the praise he really deserves after showing so much improvement in recent weeks.
From the corner that followed Gorkss put his header narrowly wide and left Rangers still searching for that all important second goal.
Preston finally put some pressure on the R’s rearguard after this and had a few of us biting a few fingernails when Chris Brown had his effort saved well by Cerny.
Soon after the R’s were back on the attack and were handed the opportunity to double their lead.
The on-song Taarabt received the ball just outside the 18 yard box and advanced into the area before being tripped and winning a definite penalty. Taarabt grabbed the ball and marched towards the penalty spot but after a chat with captain Gavin Mahon it was Buzsaky that was handed the responsibility of despatching the chance. He made no mistake and thumped the ball low into the bottom left corner of the outstretching Lonergan’s goal.
It was nice to see Taarabt go over into the corner where Buzsaky was celebrating and congratulate his team mate and showing that his is a team player for us. Was a nice touch.
The game was still far from over as Rangers looked to continue to attack a Preston side that were clearly having a bad day at the office.
More slick, neat passing found Buzsaky who in turn flicked the ball over the Preston defender and in the path of Jay Simpson. The Preston defender could’ve really dealt with the ball a hell of a lot better but instead hesitated and let Simpson ghost around him to nick the ball off him and placed his low curling effort into the right corner for another well taken goal.
After the third goal Magilton made two changes and clearly had Tuesday’s game in his mind as he took off Buzsaky and Simpson for a well earned rest and let Agyemang and Vine take to the field for the final 15 minutes.
The substitutions didn’t have any affect on the attacking performance put on stage for us today and it was only a matter of time until we got a fourth.
Routledge picked up the ball in midfield and his driving run showed that he only had one thing in mind, he let loose with a low drive from 20 yards out and found the bottom right corner for another great goal. It was just what Routledge deserved for yet another brilliant display, only this time in a less familiar role of playing up front for the majority of the game.
Having got his goal Routledge was taken off for the final five minutes and Gareth Ainsworth entered the fray for the first time in the league this season and was giving a fantastic and well deserved reception from the R’s fans after his hard work behind the scenes over the past few years.
Ainsworth was so close to having an audacious scissor kick from the edge of the 18 yard box fly towards goal but at the last second a Preston defender nipped in front of him and headed away from danger.
In the last action of the game Vine was so close from getting himself on the score sheet and was denied by a great save and the crossbar.

We can safely say that was probably one of the best performances at Loftus Road for many a year and will live long in the memory. The passing throughout the game was fantastic and everything just seemed to click into place today and we showed what we really are capable of today and with some key players out injured today it just showed what strength in depth we have in the ranks.

The hardest decision for us today is the Man of the Match award. Taarabt put in a truly inspired performance today and looked extremely dangerous today, the midfield duo of Mahon and Faurlin were brilliant all day and looked in control, the back four were solid and Damion Stewart in particular stood out there as he was immense throughout the 90 minutes, Buzsaky again had a great game out wide and really looks as if he is back in the form of two seasons ago and is a true delight to watch. However despite all this today’s man of the match as selected by Lofty is Wayne Routledge. Today Routledge played just behind Simpson in an unfamiliar role and was a thorn in the Preston defence throughout the game and could’ve easily ended up taking up the match ball home if it wasn’t for some good goalkeeping by Lonergan in the first half but his persistance was rewarded in the end after he bagged the fabulous fourth goal of the afternoon.

After the game the old gang as well as myself and the new members of the group went to enjoy a light beverage down the British Queen to toast a magnificent performance and geared ourselves up ready for Tuesday’s game against the plastic hoops. Beer always tastes sweeter after a victory like this and hopefully there is plenty more to come from our team that is showing plenty of promise.

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart, Mahon, Routledge (Ainsworth 87), Buzsaky (Agyemang 66), Gorkss, Faurlin, Simpson (Vine 66), Borrowdale, Taarabt.
Subs not used: Heaton, Hall, Alberti, Harris.
Goals: Taarabt (11), Buzsaky (Pen 63), Simpson (75), Routledge (86).

Attendance: 12, 810


  • At 7:29 am, Anonymous RoyBoy said…

    Well observed as usual, Mr H; agree MoM impossible to call but I'd cast a vote for Faurlin, looking increasingly the finished article, his radar was spot on all game; he instinctively knew where every team member was and his one touches were delivered to perfection

  • At 7:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    a great game Lofty , nearly , very nearly back to De Canio days. We really have a super talented squad .
    Many thanks for the all the blogs , keep them coming


  • At 1:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I will go along with RoyBoy MoM it has to be Faurlin for me too. The man is getting better & he controlled the midfield on Saturday only having played a few games since he arrived. He reminds me a little bit of Ces Fabagas when he started at Arsenal & hopefully will be as good if not better then him. The game was the best I have seen from a Queens Park Rangers team for a long time, may it continue to last.

  • At 7:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good report again sir...what a joy it is to watch the Rs play at the mo. we got a big wk ahead with 2 games we can might be early days but maybe we can start dreaming of bigger for mom if bruce can av becks you should av had ainsworth.ah ah see ya tue U Rs... pk

  • At 1:34 pm, Blogger Bobo said…

    Great win against a team in the top six and great writeup, thanks. Great to see Taarabt getting some applause for not passing this week!

    As soon as I heard the report about Rowly going down I had horrible feeling about this game but the team really stepped up.

    My only surprise is the attendance. Considering the Rs good run lately I thought it would start to tick up a bit.



  • At 1:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lofty / Lee

    Great report good call on MOM Preston did not know what to do!! Or how!!

    Great to see everyone BQ was very funny.
    Must come up with some new nick name’s?? for all the newb’s..


  • At 2:40 am, Blogger Lee said…

    Thank you to everyone for all the kind comments that have been left.
    Saturday was by and large the best match I have seen down at rangers for many years and throughly enjoyed every minute of us picking Preston apart like they were a sunday league team.
    I hope that the fans will slowly come back through the turnstiles if we continue to play this kind of football and I'm sure more of us are now feeling a little more positive about the direction we are heading.
    Totally agree wth Corp, we need to sort out some nicknames for all us newbies in the LH crew and I'm sure they will be discussed before the Reading game tomorrow.
    Will look forward to seeing everyone there on Tues =)


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