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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Donny like the performance.

Today as we woke up we could see that we were going to be greeted by miserable weather as the Lofty Heights crew took to the road for the long trip to South Yorkshire as Doncaster Rovers played hosts for the day.

The Crew consisted of 5 members today. Jenson was the driver as Lofty, Sam, Justin and myself took to the road without PK due to his work commitments.
We had a pretty smooth journey up the M1, apart from the roadworks at Nottingham, and promptly arrived at the Keepmoat at around 2pm.
Lofty and I indulged in a few pre match beers, for tasting purposes only. Lofty also checked out how the football famous chicken balti pie, as made by Hollands, which has been awarded by Lofty as "the best pie of the season so far." Once that was polished off we took to our wet seats just behind the goal as the rain poured down in Doncaster.

Jim Magilton made 4 changes from the 2-1 win at Sheffield Wedsnesday two weeks ago. Tommy Williams and Steven Reid came in to make their debuts at the expense of Peter Ramage and Adel Taarabt. Matt Connolly and Alessandro Faurlin took the place of the injured duo Gavin Mahon and Fitz Hall.


The first half was a very poor and scrappy affair with no real chances to note and caused no excitement at all for us in the visiting end.

As the 45 minutes dragged on it was time for half time. The queue for another drink was unbearable so we didnt brave it at all so decided to stand around and view the half time scores and checking the various accumulators that had been bet as well as checking the scores for our in car score predictions throughout the league.

We got back to our seats a few minutes before the start of the second half, which made a change, and witnessed the first Rangers sub of the day. Adel Taarabt entering the fray at the expense of Faurlin.


The substitution instantly injected some much needed urgency at the top end of the field and we looked a little more dangerous.
Three minutes into the half and Rangers had there first real chance of the half. Taarabt played in Simpson who was through on goal and just outside the Doncaster 18 yard box. Rather than take a touch and advance into the box, the Arsenal loanee instead hit the ball first time and pulled his shot harmlessly wide.
Minutes later Taarabt ran at the Rovers defence as space just seemed to keep appearing in front of him. He got to the edge of the box and created the opportunity to shot but refused it and ended up over playing and the chance was wasted.

Disaster soon struck!
Doncaster with their first telling attack of the half ended up having a shot deflected wide for a corner. From that corner the R's defence fell asleep and allowed Rovers to take it quickly and advance so easily inside the 18 yard box. The cross was delivered and who else but Billy Sharp got on the end of it to score against the club he just loves scoring against.

Rangers seemed to be gettin on top of the game before the goal but found themselves a goal behind.
Five minutes after the goal Magilton decided to put all his eggs in his basket and made a double sub. Agyemang and Pellicori came on for the out of sorts Buzsaky and Simpson.

Before we knew it Doncaster grabbed a second.
Dean Shields was allowed to run through the midfield and hit a curler from 20 yards out which slipped past Cerny and was well worthy of winning the game.

Doncaster continued to play their passing game and on 75 minutes they managed to string together around 30 odd passes and were really starting to take the preverbial out of the visiting team.
This was enough for us and we uncharacteristically left the ground with 15minutes of the game left to play.

This was a very bad day at the office against a Doncaster side that did keep the ball on the floor well and made us look extremely poor. We once again lacked leadership in the centre midfield and with Mahon and Rowlands on the sidelines for a sustained period of time we really do need someone to stand up and be counted and rally the troops when we need it.

Lofty's Man of the Match would remain vacant for this game but the contribution by Adel Taarabt when he came on was hard to ignore and therefore has to be awarded it.
Watson and Williams didnt enjoy good games at all and will need to buck their ideas up in time for the next game at home to Coventry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ainsworth departs to Wycombe as Taylor arrives

Today QPR announced two more loan deals, one departing and one arriving.
Gareth Ainsworth has joined Wycombe on a months loan and Chelsea youth goalkeeper Rhys Taylor on a six week loan deal.

Gareth Ainsworth joins a Wycombe side that now has former R's player and manager Gary Waddock in charge. Wycombe are rooted to the bottom of the table in League 1 and gradually losing touch with the teams around them, so the addition of Ainsworth's passion and commitment to the teams cause will no doubt be a great benefit to Waddock and his side.
Ainsworth is a very popular character around Loftus Road and after six years with the club, is the longest serving player at the club alongside Martin Rowlands.


Rhys Taylor has come from the Chelsea youth ranks and is highly rated by the coaching staff over at Stamford Bridge. He has penned a deal until the 4th January and will provide competition for Elvijs Putnins for the number two slot in the goalkeeping order.

I hope you join us all here at Lofty Heights in welcoming Rhys Taylor and wishing Gareth Ainsworth a very successful spell at Wycombe before returning back to continue helping us with our charge up the league.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reid books in at Loftus Road

Today QPR announced the one month loan signing of Blackburn Rovers midfielder Steven Reid.


The loan signing comes after the R's have been dealt with two massive blows to the midfield, Martin Rowlands sidelined with his ACL injury and as announced last week Gavin Mahon is to be out for four months after his knee injury.

Jim Magilton told the Official QPR website "He's a class act. He can pass; he can tackle; he can shoot; he's box-to-box - he's a very, very good player."

Reid himself is looking forward to playing some competitive football having suffered a string of injuries over the last few years but having been fit for the last few months but has found it difficult to break into the Blackburn first team.
Reid has Championship experience as well after playing for Millwall during their time in the second tier of English football.

I hope you join everyone at Lofty Heights in welcoming Steven Reid to Loftus Road and hope he enjoys his time here.

R's on The Road.......... To Doncaster Rovers

This Saturday we return from our International break recharged (hopefully) and raring to go as we take another trip to South Yorkshire to take on Doncaster Rovers.
As always we provide with a little snippet of what to expect upon your arrival.


The Stadium.

Current capacity - 15,231

Doncaster moved into the Keepmoat stadium at the start of 2007, playing Huddersfield Town on New Years Day . After spending 84 years at their previous home, Belle Vue. The stadium is very similar to the new stadium that are built nowadays, it is shaped like a bowl, is used as a multi purpose venue and is the host to not only Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster Belles and Doncaster Lakers Rugby league team also have The Keepmoat as their home.


The stadium cost £21million to build and is the only stadium in the Football League(apparently) to be housed next to a lake.

Away fans are housed in the North Stand that traditionally holds 3,344 supporters. The view of the pitch, leg room and facilities in this stand are all said to be pretty good. The one downfall about the stand (and the rest of the ground included) is that there is a substantial tarmaced strip that runs around the outside of the pitch and pushes the fans further away from the pitch than we would all like.

The History between the teams.....

At Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rvs. 4
Q.P.R. 1
Draws 1

The game between the two sides at the Keepmoat last year was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1984/85 FA Cup tie ,that Rovers won 1-0. Unfortunately Rangers were not able to buck the unsuccessful trend here and ended up losing the game 2-0 courtesy of a Damion Stewart own goal and a close range header by Paul Heffernan. The game really was one to forget and had very few exciting points to note. Lets hope that isn't the case this time around!

How to get there.

By Car :- The post code being used for todays journey is DN4 5JW

This is a very easy ground to find, the hardest part of the journey is the distance. Travel up the M1 and leave at junction 32 to join the M18. Leave the M18 at junction 3 and you are only a mile away from the ground. There are a limited number of parking spaces at the stadium, around 1000 i am lead to believe and it will cost about £5 to park there. I am unaware of any other parking opportunities in and around the ground but I am sure there will be an alternative option if needed.

By Train :- The train station is roughly two miles away from the stadium so it would be best advised to get a taxi to the Keepmoat. There is also a dedicated bus service to the ground available from the Doncaster Interchange bus station which is adjacent to the train station. The bus to catch is the route 75X service and runs roughly every 10 minutes and taking just under 10 to get to your destination.

Pubs 'n' Grub

As the stadium is on the outskirts of town, there is not much choice in pubs.There is one pub on the retail park just around the corner from the Keepmoat and if you do require a tipple I would guide you there. It is a Beefeater so you can really kill two birds with one stone and eat as well as drink there. There is also a Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC in the same area. There is also another option if needed. There is a bowling alley by the Vue cinema on the other side of the lake that may appeal to some of us.
Food inside the ground includes- Pies (including the Chicken Balti pie), Pasties and Vegetarian 'Pizza Pods are supplied by Shire Foods and cost £2.30 each. Burgers and Hot Dogs are also available.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Williams Returns......

Today QPR have announced the short term loan deal of former Rangers left back Tommy Williams.


He comes in on a short term loan deal until the 4th January and is available to play in the FA Cup for the Superhoops as long as we avoid Peterbrough in the 3rd round draw.
Williams is out of contract in the summer at The Posh and doesn't look to be close to signing a new deal, hence why he has become available.

Williams comes in to provide competition for this seasons first choice left back Gary Borrowdale. Its pretty safe to say that Borrowdale has come on leaps and bounds from the start of the season and is one of the R's most improved players of the season (he's certainly made me eat some of my pre season comments about him) and I hope that he is given a fair crack of the whip.

Jim Magilton told the Official QPR website "When we heard that Tommy might be available on loan, there was no holding us back. To be fair, Gianni Paladini has worked wonders to get it done so quickly and we couldn't be more delighted to bring in a player of his calibre and experience."

Tommy Williams also expressed his delight at returning to W12 by saying "I enjoyed my time here previously and I can't wait to pull on the jersey and hopefully cement my place in the side."

I hope you will join us here at Lofty Heights in welcoming Tommy Williams back to Loftus Road in what will hopefully be a successful second period at the club for him.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Kaspars spooks the Owls

Today we saw the last game before an international break that I’m sure a few of us will welcome to recharge our batteries before the long run into the festive period of fixtures. Sheffield Wednesday was our destination.

The Lofty Heights took to the road in a full car with Jenson driving Lofty, PK, Sam and Me to took the “long ol poke” up to Sheffield Wednesday mid-morning and encounter no drama’s on the road and once again made our predictions for the weekends fixtures in the Premiership, Championship and FA Cup 1st round ties to see who would take home the £20 prize money at the end of the day.

Two changes were made to the team that drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace. Peter Ramage came in for Gary Borrowdale (stomach bug) at left back and Gavin Mahon returned from injury at the expense of Alessandro Faurlin.
Matt Connolly, who had been ruled out for a few months with glandular fever, returned to the R’s bench.


Rangers started the game off with the lion share of the possession and had a good effort on goal after Mahon and Taarabt exchanged passes before the Moroccan fed in Buzsaky but he wildly blazed over the bar.
Soon the possession would have its reward and on 10 minutes it came.
Taarabt stroked a lovely reverse pass into the path of Jay Simpson and he raced past the Wednesday defence and slotted calmly past Lee Grant in The Owls goal.
Four minutes later and it really should’ve been 2-0. Taarabt once again was the provider as he played Routledge in and with only Lee Grant to beat his shot hit the left hand post n was cleared to safety.
Rangers were ruing the missed opportunity as the scores were levelled soon after.
Johnson was played in down the left side of the Rangers stretched defence and curled around Cerny, who did get a slight touch on it, and brought the game back level.
The goal shifted the power to the home side and they really should’ve taken the lead. The Owls attacked the R’s right hand side, Varney beat the sliding Fitz Hall (who was injured in the challenge) and then took aim at goal and Cerny was able to tip the ball with his foot onto the post and then the Rangers defence managed to scramble the ball away.
Due to Hall’s injury it gave Matt Connolly the opportunity to come on and return in his favoured centre back position.
Rangers did have a few efforts on goal before the half ended but the game went in evenly and was pretty fair in my eyes.

Half time saw us wonder around the poor facilities that were on offer today. Just one refreshment bar was available to us and the queues were pretty ridiculous. Even when the good were finally received the cup of tea and coffee that Lofty and Jenson had purchased were described as just slightly flavoured warm water. We soon went back to our seats to take our places ready for the second half.


In fairness the second half wasn’t the most entertaining encounter and I really have few things to offer here.
The Owls enjoyed a good start to the half before Rangers created a few half chances but it looked as if the game was going to be heading towards a draw.
With 20 minutes left Alessandro Faurlin entered the fray at the expense of Buzsaky, which shocked a few of us, and this helped Rangers take a little more of a hold on the game.
With 82 minutes on the clock we had our winning goal of the game.
Faurlin took the corner on the right hand side and ,as many of our corner usually do, the corner went to the front post and there was Gorkss to thump a header home for his first ever goal for the Superhoops.
Following a few nervous moments at the end of the game followed but we managed to hang on and bring the three points home to West London. This also meant that the R’s rose to 4th in the table.


In reflection of the game you would have to say that a fair result would’ve been a draw but considering that we have dropped two points against Blackpool, Plymouth, Newcastle and Palace it was nice to see us win in an ugly fashion for once. The International break now will give the players a chance to rest up ready for what is going to be a busy period between the end of November and mid January so hopefully this will help us to continue our charge up the table and racking more points up.

Sheffield Wednesday: Grant, Spurr, Buxton, Hinds, Miller (McAllister 72), Tudgay, Potter, O'Connor, Varney, Simek (Wood 72), Johnson (Clarke 76).

Subs not used: O'Donnell, Sodje, Esajas.

Goals: Johnson (14)

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Mahon, Hall (Connolly 30), Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Faurlin 68), Gorkss, Watson, Simpson, Taarabt (Vine 88).

Subs not used: Heaton, Agyemang, Alberti, Ephraim.

Goals: Simpson (10), Gorkss (82)

Referee: Mr N Miller

Attendance: 19, 491

We now move onto the Man of the Match. There were some encouraging performances out there. Gorkss and Connolly played very well at the heart of the back four. Mahon was exceptional on his return and showed us exactly why we missed him. Today’s Man of the Match, as selected by Lofty, has been awarded to Jay Simpson. He worked his socks off up front on his own and was chasing everything he possibly could. He also took his goal very well indeed!

Well that is us done for two weeks now and we will look forward to returning back just before the Doncaster visit. Hope you all enjoy the break!


Thursday, November 05, 2009

R's on The Road.......... To Sheffield Wednesday.

On Saturday the R’s hit the road once again and we make our first trip to Sheffield. As usual here are a few hints on how to enhance your trip up in Yorkshire.


The Stadium.

Current Capacity –
39, 812

Hillsborough has been the home of The Owls since 1899 and is currently the 12th largest ground in the country.
Plans to improve the stadium were announced in August 2009. The improvements include :-
• Increased capacity to 44,825 seats with no viewing restrictions
• Removal of pillars and building of a new 'iconic' roof structure for the Kop
• Removal of pillars and building of new 'iconic' roof structure for the West Stand
• A new specific learning zone in the West Stand overlooking the pitch
• Extension of the North Stand to create the biggest classroom in the country and enterprise zones for use by local business and community organisations
• New corporate facilities - 17 new executive boxes in the North Stand
• Improved stadium access and increased car parking spaces
• Making Hillsborough into a 'green stadium' through rainwater harvesting and solar cell technology to power learning zones


The History between the teams.

At Sheff Weds (30)

Sheff Weds 20
Draw 3

Since Rangers won promotion at Hillsborough on 8th May 2004 this away trip has not been a happy one for the R’s travelling supporters with three losses and a draw coming out of the last four meetings in Sheffield. With only two fixtures ending in a goalless draw and Sheffield Weds averaging two goals a game to QPR’s one a game you can pretty much guarantee there is going to be goals in the game on Saturday.


How to get there.

By Car:-
The post code for today is S6 1SW.
The easiest way to get to Hillsborough is to leave the M1 at junction 36 and then follow the A61 for eight miles towards Sheffield and you will eventually come across Hillsborough on your right hand side.
If you arrive early enough then you may be able to park your car for free on the street. Otherwise you can use the car park just behind The Kop end which should cost you £5. There are also some unofficial car parks dotted around the area leading into the stadium.

By Train:- Sheffield Railway Station is situated in the town centre, two miles from the ground. Either get a taxi up to the ground or the bus station is a one minute walk from the railway station. Cross over at the pedestrian crossing, and follow the signs. Head for the far side of the terminus. Bus no. 53 to Ecclesfield runs regularly to the ground (every ten minutes), the journey time is about 30 minutes.
Another option is to use the trams that are also available from the station. Jump on the blue tram and then once you are in the city centre you jump onto a yellow one that will take you to the Leppings Lane End which is where all the away supporters will be today.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

There is one pub I highly recommend from previous visits to Hillsborough and that is the Wadsley Jack pub up on Rural Lane. From outside the away stand you head left and then climb uphill. It is a 20 minute walk and is all uphill. The pub is really friendly and does tend to get busy. Other pubs that I have been told do welcome away fans are The New Bridge Inn, Rose and Crown and The Red Lion. If coming from the City Centre then you may be welcomed by some of the pubs there including a Wetherspoons.
The city centre will offer you an array of restaurants and outlets for food, if you choose not to use them then burger vans will await your arrival at Hillsborough.
Alcohol is not served in the ground so if you want a drink before the game then make the most of the pubs available to you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A tale of two penalties.

Tonight saw the first league London derby of the season for QPR and this time we played hosts to South Londoners Crystal Palace.

After losing the last home game by an impressive looking Leicester side, we gathered at the Springbok with no real feeling or whether we thought a win, loss or draw was on the cards. Traditionally a draw is usually played between the two teams so that would’ve been the safe bet for any gambler out there.
In attendance for the Lofty Heights crew were Lofty, PK, California Hoop, Jenson, Sam, Justin and Myself. We had two guests with us today, Christian (a Palace fan) and Pete (a Chelsea fan). The Chelsea fan is a good friend of mine and has followed Rangers progress quite closely and having seen us on the box quite recently he asked to come to a game and even decided to miss their game on the box to see us. Corp was also at the game but this time around he was in the comfort of the boxes, true Corp style.
There were two changes from the side that lost on Friday night. Fitz Hall and Ben Watson came into the side for Damion Stewart and Peter Ramage. This meant that Mikele Leigertwood dropped into the right back position.
This also meant that there were five, yes five former Palace players in our starting eleven. Leigertwood, Hall, Borrowdale, Watson and Routledge having played for the Eagles previously.


The game started off pretty evenly and if not for a smart stop by Speroni in the Palace goal from a low drive from Wayne Routledge. Leigertwood soon fired in an effort which was slightly wayward and didn’t trouble the Palace defence.
Those were the two only real chances in the opening 17 minutes of the game, however in the 18th minute we got a great piece of attacking play.
With passes being exchanged between Simpson, Routledge and Taarabt it left the Spurs loanee on the left side of the penalty area and looking to beat the last man, as he played the ball past the defender he was tripped and the referee rightly awarded the R’s a penalty!
Akos Buzsaky stepped up and calmly placed the spot kick in the bottom right corner to put the home side in front.
The R’s were soon on the back foot and had Stern John done better with his effort that hit Cerny’s post it really could and should’ve been 1-1.
Wayne Routledge was then given the opportunity to double Rangers lead. He was through on goal and only had Speroni to beat, he curled his shot around the Palace custodian but the ball agonizingly slipped past the outside of the post.
The rest of the half was pretty evenly matched but it was Rangers that had the better of the chances but couldn’t break down the hard working Palace midfield as we came to the end of the first 45 minutes.

At half time the group gathered up downstairs for the usual talk of how things were going and also laughing at the fact Man United were losing 3-1. We also joined by the birthday girl enjoying the game shortly before her 18th birthday on Saturday. All I can say is that things were a little hyper between a few of them.


We rejoined the second half slightly after the restart but didn’t miss any action.
The first action of the second half came from a Faurlin free kick. His effort ended up only just flying over the bar. Moments later Faurlin found himself 25 yards out and once again fired a curling effort on goal and it looked to be heading for the top corner but somehow Speroni got a fingertip to it and turned it over for a corner.
More fine attacking play followed as Simpson and Buzsaky exchanged passes and then Buzsaky fed in Taarabt down the right side as he cut in as he dinked an effort over Speroni and had the ball heading into the back of the net somehow a Palace defender came in and using his knee he lifted the ball marginally over the crossbar.
The action went up the other end and Freddie Sears was played in, albeit looking slightly offside, and Fitz Hall climbed over the back of him and Palace were awarded the chance to level the scores from the penalty spot. Darren Ambrose disposed of the penalty and drew the South Londoners level.
The final half an hour was an end to end contest with the home side having the better of the chances and when Buzsaky’s free kick and substitute Vine’s drive were both expertly saved by Speroni, you just had the feeling it wasn’t going to be our day today.

QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Ephraim 78), Gorkss, Watson, Faurlin, Simpson (Vine 74), Borrowdale, Taarabt (Agyemang 74).

Subs not used: Heaton, Ramage, Alberti, Ainsworth.

Goals: Buzsaky (pen 18)

Bookings: Routledge (32)

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Hill, Derry, Fonte, Ambrose, Danns (Hills 84), John (Lee 67), Butterfield, Ertl, Davis, N'Diaye (Sears 46).

Subs not used: Clyne, Carle, Moses, Scannell.

Goals: Ambrose (pen 62)

Bookings: Davis (78)

Referee: Mr M P Russell

Attendance: 14, 377

When you look back at the game you do feel that this was two points dropped. Speroni in the Palace goal was once again the thorn in Rangers backs having kept them out in previous games and tonight he was exceptional once again.
On paper this is a team we really should be beating but having seen Palace a similar tactic to Leicester in the previous game and stifling our attacking play it remains to be seen if we have been sussed and teams might now know a way to stop our attacking play. We’ll find out at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Finally we go onto Man of the Match. There were a few good performances out there once again. Faurlin once again run the show in centre midfield. Hall, Gorkss and Borrowdale had very good games in the defence but tonight’s award, as selected by Lofty, goes to Adel Taarabt.