Blackpool 0-3 QPRby Lee Brown
As promised, Lee Brown of the Henley Mob, has kindly written
War and Peace
the match report from last night's superb win at Blackpool. Many thanks to Lee, for an excellent report and I am delighted to announce that with the transfer window still open, negotiations are currently ongoing to bring Lee to Lofty Heights!Thanks to Sam for the photo :o)Rangers went into this game looking to build on an impressive away victory at Derby by following it up against a Blackpool side that had beaten promotion chasing Birmingham in their last home fixture. This looked as if Blackpool would provide a stiff test and with the cold, wet conditions this was going to be anything but a stroll in the park.
Rangers had also been rocked by the news that Radek Cerny had picked up a hamstring injury, so Lee Camp returned in goal, despite the rumours that this could in fact be his last game for the superhoops. The only other change from the team that started at Derby was Liam Miller making his debut in place of the injured Martin Rowlands.
Myself and fellow Henley Mob members Sam and Justin took to the journey at 3 o’clock really not knowing what to expect from the game but as our long, accident ridden journey unfolded and the great selection of cheesy music keeping our spirits up in the car, the positivity grew and we got the feeling that we would get the result the R’s required.
Blackpool started the game the brighter of the two teams and it was QPR supporter DJ Campbell that had the first opportunity to test the R’s defence, his shot was comfortably saved at Lee Camp’s near post. Rangers first real attack came through some good clean passing through the Rangers midfielders and Routledge passed inside to Liam Miller, who couldn’t get the ball from under his feet and the Blackpool defence were able to clear their lines.
On 17 minutes Rangers took the lead. A long ball found Helguson 25 yards from goal, he took the ball down before finding Routledge on the right wing. Routledge delivered a fantastic ball far post cross to find the Icelandic striker who nodded the ball into the bottom right hand corner, sending the helpless Rachubka the wrong way. 1-0
Routledge was running riot down the right wing giving Blackpool left back Harte a torrid time. Rangers clearly saw this as Blackpool’s achilles heel and proceeded to use this route on quite a regular basis as we counter attacked. It was on 40 minutes that Routledge picked up the ball deep inside the Rangers half and ran and the Blackpool defence to the edge of the 18 yard box, passing 3 Blackpool players on his way, he found the on-coming Lee Cook just inside the box who chose not to try and double Rangers lead but instead found Helguson who had strayed into an offside position. Had we taken advantage of this opportunity it would’ve been a goal that the travelling 202 fans would’ve been talking about all the way home.
At the start of the 2nd half 2changes were made, the 1st was a change of ref, so the tubby guy that was quite kind to us with a few decisions came off and was replaced by a much more mobile ref. Blackpool made the 1st change of the game, bringing on Owens for Martin. It was Owens who made an instant impact, running at Delaney before jinking inside to put in a teasing cross which the Rangers defence dealt with efficiently.
On 55 minutes Sousa made the 1st Rangers change taking off Miller for Ephraim and only minute later Rangers doubled their lead. Cook delivered a teasing corner, the Blackpool defence cleared but only to Helguson who was on the penalty spot, as he tried to play the loose ball back out to the left wing former R Ian Evatt slid in and swept Helguson off his feet. Definite penalty! Helguson rolled the penalty into the bottom right corner, sending Rachubka the wrong way.
Rangers then began to take control of the game and were seeking to put the game to rest. That man Routledge again was causing all kinds of trouble down the right hand side, he cut inside and found himself inside the Seasiders penalty area after a mazy run and unleashed a drive that Rachubka dually dealt with. He really should’ve put the game away and send the travelling fans into raptures again.
Just 2 minutes later Routledge was in an identical position and he again chose to shoot across Rachubka and the Blackpool stopper produced a carbon copy of the previous save. Would Rangers be made to pay the price for missing these clear cut opportunities? With 20 minutes to go Liegertwood found himself in acres of space in the centre of the field, he managed to find the advancing Cook who beat the offside trap and sent his drive wide of the right hand post.
Helguson then made way for Blackstock.
On 77 minutes disaster stuck for the home team. Routledge was blocked on another one of his mesmerising runs by Blackpool sub Crainey, on landing Routledges leg dug into the hip of Crainey causing him a lot of discomfort and forcing off the field. Blackpool had already made all 3 of their substitutions so for the remaining 13minutes had to play with 10 men. Unfazed by the numerical disadvantage Blackpool enjoyed their best period of the game for the next 5minutes. Taylor-Fletcher sent a drive wide and Fox forced the underworked Camp into a fine save.
With time coming to a close and the Blackpool players heads dropping Rangers found time to pressure the home team and their efforts were rewarded. Routledge cut in from the right hand side, laid the ball off to Cook who played a fantastic ball for Ephraim who was advancing into the 18 yard box, he sent a low drive into the bottom left corner and wrapped the game up.
In summary, I have to say the Rangers backline were as solid as ever, Stewart and Gorkss were immense again. Mahon and Liegertwood protected the back 4 extremely well, Hogan added another dimension to the midfield when he came on. Helguson worked hard up front on his own and took both his goals well. Routledge was the undoubted star of the show. A good all round performance away from home. 5 goals and 2 clean sheets from the last 2 away fixtures, now hopefully Rangers will take great confidence going into Saturdays tough challenge against a Reading side that are looking strong contenders for promotion.