Lofty Heights... 'Faurlin in Love Again..'

A look at Queens Park Rangers F.C. through the eyes of the fans - follow us on twitter @loftyheights70, @LoftyQPR and @qprleeroy








Saturday, January 31, 2009

QPR Begin to Prove a Point...


QPR 0-0 Reading

An entertaining goalless draw at Loftus Road meant Reading lost ground on Championship leaders Wolves, while sadly, QPR missed the chance to move into the top six.


Photobucket

Well, despite the somewhat negative opening line, this was a decent game which I thoroughly enjoyed. Following Lee's excellent report from Blackpool, it is back to my ramblings for this one, in what was labelled the Battle of the Hoops?!? You will hear no more of this from me, simply because Reading do NOT wear hoops, end of story!

After back to back away wins, the mood was clearly upbeat around the stadium before the game and although the temparature was rapidly dipping as the day was moving on, my heart was certainly warmed by the return of the SOUP in the Lower Loft kiosk - something of which I am now assured will be a permanant fixture from now on. Winter Vegetable was the order of the day and although it was no means my personal favourite, it went down well all the same. I was also warmed by the sight of Vickie's cool new white gloves, Lee Cook take note!!

Onto the game and despite the lack of goals and overall opporunities for either side, this was thoroughly enjoyable game of football played at a high tempo in front of the R's biggest crowd of the season. QPR's best chance of the match came on 11 minutes when Heidar Helguson somehow headed Damien Delaney's left-wing cross wide from inside the six-yard box.

Reading almost went ahead when Cisse's shot was tipped away by Rangers goalkeeper Lee Camp, who also did well to keep out Leroy Lita's deflected effort early in the second half.


Photobucket

Rangers had the lions share of possession but Reading always looked capable of nicking a goal when coming forward - and very nearly did so with 20 minutes to go, when a goalmouth scramble ended with defender Matt Connolly blocking Kevin Doyle's attempt to bundle the ball over the line. But with the two sides so well matched, the draw was probably the right result on the day.

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon (Ephraim 77), Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly, Cook (Di Carmine 90), Miller, Helguson (Blackstock 84). Subs: Hall, Alberti.

Lofty's Man of the Match - a good few contenders for this one I'm pleased to say, with Delaney having his best game in a QPR shirt to date. Gorkss and Stewart were immense against a very good Reading front line. Wayne Routledge was a constant threat, but today's award goes to home debutant, Liam Miller.

I have to be honest and say, that I maybe just am a tad disappointed that Rangers didn't 'go for it' as such with say, 20 minutes to go and put two up front. But nevertheless, this was another decent performance against a very decent side and for the second time this season, have shut out the league's top scorers.

Come on You R'ssssss!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winning in the Rain - Match Report


Blackpool 0-3 QPR


by 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!

Photobucket

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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winning in the Rain...


Blackpool 0-3 QPR

QPR chalked up their second consecutive away win, with a convincing 3-0 win at a rain soaked Bloomfield Road. Heidar Helguson bagged two goals, with one coming from the penalty spot and Hogan Ephraim added a third late on.


Photobucket

This was a big ask for most midweek, including myself who sadly, had to give it a miss. But both the Henley and Leeds mob were amongst the 202 drenched supporters and Lee has kindly offered a match report, which will go online tomorrow.

QPR: Camp, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Connolly (Hall 88), Cook, Miller (Ephraim 55), Helguson (Blackstock 74).Subs: Bulmer, Di Carmine.

Photobucket

Sam's Man of the Match - with Fitz Hall coming on after 88 minutes, the award surely would have gone to Kaspars Gorkss? But sadly, no and I quote - Wayne Routlegde, by a mile!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rowlands Out For The Season...


QPR Captain, Martin Rowlands will sadly, miss the rest of the season. After being stretchered off in the 11th minute of Saturday's win over Derby, the worst fears were confirmed after scan results revealed he has suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury on his right knee.



R's Boss, Paulo Sousa said of his Captain on the Official QPR Website;

'Martin is our captain and our leader - he epitomises everything we are about.

We have lost him as a player, but we will not lose him as a personality, because he is a huge character around the Club and I will continue to involve him as much as possible. He is a player we all hold in extremely high regard and we will be doing everything we can to get him back to full fitness as soon as possible.'


WISHING YOU A VERY SPEEDY RECOVERY!!!, Martin!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

QPR Ram Raid Clough's Big Day...


Derby 0-2 QPR

QPR turned in their best away performance of the season to spoil Nigel Clough's first game in charge of Derby County, by claiming a well deserved win on the road - their first since Norwich on September 17th.


Photobucket

For one reason or another, I was alone in my travels to Pride Park this morning, but had a breeze of a journey and arrived at midday to share an enjoyable pre match with the Leeds based contingent. Although QPR have yet to lose at this ground, there was perhaps slight apprehension of today's outcome, what with it being Nigel Clough's first game in charge of the Rams and the famous 'New Manager Syndrome'. But sadly for Derby, nobody told QPR...


Photobucket

Rangers, to a man, were awesome today and the only disappointment came with the news that Martin Rowlands knee injury, sustained in the first half, could well be serious. On 11 minutes, a tackle from Addison, led to the R's Captain falling awkwardly and after treatment, he was eventually stretchered off and replaced by Hogan Ephraim. As mentioned, since arriving home, it seems that the injury could well be serious and Rowlands is being sent for scans on Monday - fingers tightly crossed for you Rowly!!!

Photobucket

The R's went deservedly ahead on 22 minutes - Ephraim played in Helguson, who was challenged by Albrechtsen, but the ball fell to the impressive Routledge who fired home in front of the R's fans!

Photobucket

Rangers went further ahead just 14 minutes later, with Routledge involved again. The winger beat his man and squared the ball to Mikele Leigertwood to fire home from 12 yards. The first half ended with Rangers as comfortable as the scoreline and the 'Mighty Sousa - win away' chant, amongst others was been sung loudly and with confidence by the R's fans.

Photobucket

As you would have expected, Derby did rouse themselves briefly at the start of the second half, but Radek Cerny saved well from Addison and later, Hogan Ephraim headed off the line. Rangers could have had a third when Carroll saved well from Ephraim, but the final whistle brought much celebration in the away end.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, Mahon, Leigertwood, Routledge, Gorkss, Rowlands (Ephraim 11), Connolly, Cook (Alberti 90), Helguson (Di Carmine 63). Subs: Hall, Blackstock.

Lofty's Man of the Match - I could quite easily give this award to the entire team! It was a fantastic team performance and QPR to a man, were simply awesome. Matt Connolly, Hogan Ephraim, Kaspers Gorkks and Wayne Routledge were all excellent, but today's award goes to Mikele Leigertwood for his goal and an outstanding performance in the R's midfield.

In summary, QPR were outstanding! There really isn't any more I can add to this except long may it continue! However, I am pretty gutted for my fellow away game sufferer, PK, who had to miss this one due to unexpected work commitments. Don't worry mate, there will undoubtedly be more away wins for you to enjoy!

Altogether now - 'a win away, a win away, a win away, a win away'.....


P.S.Thanks for the tickets, Gaz!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Miller Time at Loftus Road...


QPR today clinched the signing of Republic of Ireland International midfielder, Liam Miller from Sunderland.



The 27 year old, former Celtic and Manchester United midfielder was originally due to join on loan, but an undisclosed fee was agreed for Liam to join the R's until the end of the season.

GOOD LUCK LIAM and WELCOME TO QPR!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Late Show in Lancashire...


Burnley 2-1 QPR (aet)

Substitute, Jay Rodriguez fired Burnley into the FA Cup fourth round with a goal in the last minute of extra time at Turf Moor.


Photobucket

I am gutted, choked, p*ssed off, annoyed etc, I could go on. I didn't travel to Burnley tonight and to be honest, with still counting the cost of Christmas and stuff, I had no intention of doing so. Staying with the honesty theme, I also didn't think for one minute we would win the game and was even more convinced when I saw Paulo Sousa's team selection. But for 6 minutes, I was starting to think about the trip to West Brom on Saturday week and very much looking forward too it, as Samuel Di Carmine gave the R's the lead on 54 minutes.


Photobucket

Martin Rowlands hit the bar shortly after, but the home side equalised just 6 minutes later through Thompson after a mistake from Radek Cerny. As the game came to a close and indeed, went into extra time, I was wondering just how Rangers hadn't wrapped this game up, but I was mentally preparing for the pain of a penalty shoot out, when in the last minute, the commentator on Radio London screamed - 'that's a terrible mistake by Damion Stewart, Rodriguez is in and Burnley are through to the next round...

QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, G. Mahon (Rose 79), Hall, Leigertwood, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ledesma (Ephraim 55), Alberti, Di Carmine (Helguson 84). Subs: Crowther, Ramage, Connolly, Borrowdale.

Lofty's Man of the Match -
Courtesy of Paul, Joe and Vickie - Samuel Di Carmine

How weird it is that I never thought we would win this game, yet am writing this report extremely dejected. Possibly due to the fact that the two goals came from mistakes, but credit to Burnley and I wish them all the very best in the next round against West Brom. Credit also to the R's travelling support, estimated between 350 and 500 who made the difficult midweek trip and gave fantastic support, if what heard on the radio was anything to go by.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dexter Catches Sky Blues Cold...


QPR 1-1 Coventry

Dexter Blackstock saved QPR's blushes with an equalising goal with only three minutes to go against ten-man Coventry at Loftus Road.


Photobucket

Well, one word and one word only can be used to describe today at football and that is 'COLD'. I think I am right in saying that the temparature didn't rise anywhere above freezing all afternoon and I personally, would not have grumbled too much had the game been called off today. But unlike our Premier League neighbours just down the road, the game was on and one thing myself and PK were very much looking forward too on a freezing cold day, was the now becoming famous soup, which was back on sale today, but remarkably and VERY disappointingly, sold out by twenty to three!?!

Onto the game and QPR had the better of the first half with new signing, Wayne Routledge looking extremley lively, but, while they enjoyed the majority of the possession, they found little end product. The highlight of the half, came when the Championship's most annoying whingebag, Clinton Morrison, whinged and moaned his way into winding up the home supporters and then was just inches away from slicing the ball into his own net. Had it gone in, it would have brought the house down.


Photobucket

The Sky Blues were reduced to 10 men on 35 or so minutes, when Wright's high and reckless challenge on Helguson warranted a red card from referee Keith Stroud and this was probably the worst thing to happen to the game from Rangers point of view. Delaney stung the hands off Westwood in the Coventry goal just before half time.

Rangers were well on top in the second period, with Blackstock and Helguson missing great chances to give the R's the lead. In fact, Helguson was not having the best of days at all and gave away a needless, if not debatable free kick on the right hand side of the box on 72 minutes. With everyone expecting a cross, Fox caught everyone out and curled his free kick low into the right hand corner to give the ten men the lead.

Rangers then began to pour forward and Helguson's day got even worse. When the Coventry defender micued, the ball fell to Helguson, who sliced his effort that actually went out for a throw, when in truth, he had the time to take a touch and wave at the cameras before putting the ball home. But with all these decent chances missed and two VERY decent handball penalty appeals waved away, a bizarre goal brought the R's level with three minutes to go - Cerny's long punt upfield somehow found Blackstock in the box who bundled the ball past the advancing Westwood and into the net.

QPR: Cerny, Delaney (Ledesma 73), Stewart, Leigertwood (Di Carmine 81), Routledge, Blackstock, Gorkss, Rowlands, Connolly, Ephraim (Hall 88), Helguson. Subs: Mahon, Alberti.

Lofty's Man of the Match - Gorkss and Stewart were pretty much solid in the R's defence, which looked more assured with Matt Connolly returning to it, but today's award goes to R's debutant, Wayne Routledge.

In summary, this was yet another disappointing result and for me, although there was lots of possession, there didn't seem to be enough movement and people making runs and space in the QPR side. As mentioned, Coventry going down to 10 men certainly didn't help the game as when they went one up, the defended for their lives and credit to them for their performance. But if you look at things positively, despite 5 draws, we are now unbeaten in 6 games. In Routledge, I think we have made an excellent signing and when Lee Cook returns, I have no doubt these two wingers will supply the ammunition for the forwards and the goals will surely arrive.

Come on you R'sssss!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cookie is a Ranger...


Lee Cook has become QPR's fourth signing of the transfer window and has signed a three and a half year contract at Loftus Road, returning to the club permanently after a six month loan spell from Fulham.



On his return to W12, 26 year old winger, Cook told the Official QPR Website;


Everyone knows QPR are my Club and I'm delighted to be back here. This Club is really going places and I'm just delighted to be part of what we all hope will be a very successful chapter in its history. I feel as though I'm getting back to my best and I can't wait for the second half of the season.

GOOD LUCK COOKIE and WELCOME HOME!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

F.A.Cup 4th Round Draw...


If QPR were to win their 3rd round replay at Burnley, a trip to Peterborough or West Brom will be the reward. The two sides drew 1-1 at the Hawthorns yesterday.

Photobucket

Personally, I think this tie will be Peterborough v Burnley in the 4th Round, but here's hoping...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

QPR To Face A Night On The Claret


QPR 0-0 Burnley

QPR are in the hat for the F.A.Cup Fourth Round Draw, but first, face a tough looking replay at Turf Moor as the two sides played out, what was by all acounts, a dire 0-0 draw at Loftus Road this afternoon. New signing, Wayne Routledge was paraded to the crowd before kick off...


Photobucket

I wasn't at the game today and it was very deliberate. In fact, out of the 11 of the gang that regularly go to games, only one 'may' have attended. I can't speak for the rest of the gang, but for myself and PK, it was a matter of principle of why we decided not to go. With many clubs having a ticket promotion for their third round ties, QPR excelled themselves once again by doing the same. I am being sarcastic of course and as they stated, were 'delighted' to offer a massive £5 off from the normal match day prices. For me, this was insulting. Just after Christmas, a £15 or so ticket offer would have got a few more bums on seats for sure - for what was hardly, with due respect to Burnley, a glamour tie. For the league match, 13,226 was the attendance and with the fiver off, today, with Season Tickets not valid, the fixture pulled in just 8,896!! Whether or not me or the gang could afford to go today is beside the point, it was and indeed is, a matter of principle. Obviously, we were not the only ones...

After the considerable increase in Season Ticket prices, this was a MASSIVE opportunity for the club to let the fans see a match in the World's most famous cup competition at a reasonable price and do something that hasn't happened at Loftus Road so far this season - fill the Stadium.

Anyway, that's quite enough of me ranting and I will move swiftly on to posting the brief match report from the BBC, of which if it goes by any of the texts from friends I have received since the final whistle, it probably sums the game up perfectly...


QPR and Burnley fought out a drab draw in their FA Cup third round tie.

Photobucket

The home side, who are without a win in this competition since 2001, failed to make the most of three early chances.

Brian Jensen denied Samuel Di Carmine, Wade Elliot volleyed against the bar from 25 yards and Mikele Leigertwood miscued when well placed.

After the break, Chris Eagles ran clear for Burnley but could not keep the ball in play as he tried to round QPR keeper Radek Cerny.

The replay will take place at Turf Moor on Tuesday, 13 January.


QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, G. Mahon (Ephraim 61), Leigertwood, Blackstock, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ramage, Cook (Ledesma 46), Di Carmine (Agyemang 72). Subs: Cole, Connolly, Alberti, Oastler.


Normal service will be resumed next week as QPR welcome Coventry to Loftus Road.

Friday, January 02, 2009

QPR Smash Open the Transfer Window...


With the transfer window barely open, QPR have made three permanant additions to their squad. Firstly, I had great pleasure in sending the texts to the gang this morning with the news that the Iceman, Heidar Helguson had made his loan move from Bolton permanant by signing a 2 and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee. Helguson has made seven appearances for the R's so far, scoring 3 times.

Photobucket

With me being at work and finding web access tricky, Sam took over the text duties and I was thrilled to see the one saying that QPR had signed Wayne Routledge from Aston Villa.

Photobucket

With a good few clubs, including Cardiff who he was previously on loan with, chasing his signature, the 23 year old winger has signed a 3 and a half year deal with QPR for an undiclosed fee, believed to be around the £300,000 mark.

Hot on the heels of that news, came another text from Sam saying that Coventry left back, Gary Borrowdale had also signed on the dotted line and made his loan deal a permanant one.




Borrowdale, who is yet to make an a first team appearance during his loan spell, has also signed a three and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee.

With the excitement brewing following a morning of text messages (thanks, Sam), it was almost disappointing that no further news came forward today, but hey, the window has only been open two days. I am absolutely thrilled with the signings of Helguson and Routledge. Not so much with Borrowdale as I have yet too see him play, but am happy all the same that Rangers are bringing new faces in. A striker, a full back and a midfielder will hopefully be forthcoming and I will be a very happy bunny indeed!!

But for now, GOOD LUCK Heider, Wayne and Gary and WELCOME to QPR!!!