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, February 28, 2010

Rangers pay the penalty

Mick Harford, in possibly his last game in charge, took his charges to Middlesbrough in search of revenge for December’s 5-1 mauling at Loftus Road and also to try and carry on the winning ways that were rediscovered last Saturday against Doncaster. Let’s see how the events unfolded.

The day started with a ridiculously early wake up time in order to get ready for the long ol poke to Teeside. I got on the road just after 8 to meet up at Jenson’s house and then proceed to pick up PK and then Lofty as we hit the M1 just after 10 with Jenson at the wheel predicting a 1.30 arrival time, including a stop for food. The prediction competition made a comeback as I looked to defend my good record in the game, hope to silence the doubters that call me a cheat and collect the money once more. In the interests of fair play it was decided that Lofty would take down the predictions and mark the results.... I wonder if I will get accused anymore after tonight’s result.

Mick Harford made one change from the side that won 2-1 against Doncaster. Mikele Leightwood came in for Matt Connolly in the centre of midfield. Leightwood also claimed the captain’s armband off Lee Cook.


The first half was a very dull affair with Rangers looking the better of the two teams when in possession. Rangers started in a 4-5-1 formation with Jay Simpson playing wide right and Antonio German was alone and stranded up front on his own.
Despite all of that the deadlock was broken 10minutes before the break. Boro broke into the right hand side of the Rangers penalty area and Peter Ramage stupidly stuck a leg out and fouled the Boro player and the ref had no choice but to award a penalty. Barry Robson made no mistake from the spot, drilling down the centre of the goal with Ikeme nearly keeping the ball out with his feet.
Five minutes later and a second penalty was awarded. Leroy Lita somehow was awarded the decision when he just stopped and Kaspers Gorkss challenged for the ball and was harshly given the decision against him. Robson once again made no mistake from the spot.


Half time was one of confusion because we all believed we were the better of the two teams but it was the two penalties that cost us a deserving 0-0 halfway through the game.

Rangers once again started and maintained their superiority over the hosts throughout the second half.
A Buzsaky free kick found Damion Stewart and he flicked a header goalwards but in the process he was being pushed all over the place and couldn’t really get any power into the header. Unfortunately because Damo is over 6ft and doesn’t fall all over the place, like that little clown Lita, a penalty wasn’t awarded.
10 minutes into the half a double substitution was made. Marcus Bent and Gary Borrowdale came on to replace Antonio German and Matt Hill.
In the 70th minute Ramage ventured down the right wing and delivered a delicious ball into the box where Bent was arriving but somehow he wasn’t able to make any contact to what would’ve been a certain goal. Lee Cook then picked up the ball on the left wing and delivered another fantastic ball into the box, this time in was Simpson arriving but despite throwing himself at the ball he was also unable to make any contact.
Faurlin, who was the better of the midfield pairing today, then departed the field and was replaced by Adel Taarabt.
Taarabt made an instant impact. He was given the ball after some hard work by Buzsaky and unleashed a drive from 20 yards out and forced the Boro keeper to make a pretty decent stop.
Boro then counter attacked and after a mix up it was Lita who was free and bearing down on Ikeme’s goal. The big ‘keeper stood his ground and produced a fine save.
With 10 minutes to go Ramage once again attacked the right wing and delivered his 2nd teasing ball of the day, he picked out Bent at the far post who could’ve nodded home quite easily from 6 yards out but for some reason he didn’t and headed back to Leigertwood who hit his effort against the post! Another chance had gone begging!
A few minutes later another golden opportunity arose. Taarabt’s cross found Bent in the centre and he tucked his tap in away, only to find that he had strayed offside. Jenson and PK had leapt out of their seats to celebrate whilst me and Lofty sat there because we saw the linesman’s flag go straight up. Lofty then proceeded to shout a few expletives at the Birmingham loanee who really didn’t look to care when he entered the field of play.
On the 87th minute we decided enough was enough and thought we could make a quick escape out of the crowded car park......... only to find that that gates wouldn’t open until half an hour after the game had finished!


I think it’s fair to say that this performance deserved at least a point and in the end the two penalties cost us the game but as I stated previously there was only one penalty that should’ve been awarded.
If we had been more adventurous in the first half and played with a 4-4-2 from the start I feel we could’ve asked more questions of Boro’s defence and unfortunately Antonio German was often up top on his own battling away with no help around him.
Unfortunately some players didn’t perform as well as they can do, Ramage produced a few decent crosses and one or two decent tackles but otherwise lacked quality. Leigertwood was inconsistent once again, he had a few good moments but lost the ball too often and it was usually in a place where it was crucial not too. Bent when he entered the field really didn’t look hungry, he didn’t look to want to chase balls down, at one point it was Jay Simpson who run an extra 20-25 yards to chase a ball down that was 5-10 yards away from Bent. He did improve slightly towards the end but by then it was too little too late. Taarabt shone once again when he came on and actually looked hungry for the ball and passed more often than I have seen before. We would really benefit if he is re-introduced into the starting line up. Borrowdale came on and looked decent when in attacking positions and helped Cook out really well but defensively he looks suspect. If he works on his defending then he could be a useful squad player for us.

Now we go onto Lofty’s Man of the Match. Lofty found this one quite easy today as the player chosen did shine quite often and he looks to be coming back to his brilliant best as every game goes by, we are obviously talking about Lee Cook.

Middlesbrough: Coyne, Pogatetz (Taylor, 78), Lita (Arca, 83), Aliadiere (Franks, 65), Killen, Flood, O'Neil, Robson, McManus, Wheater, Naughton.

Subs: Jones, Hoyte, Miller, Grounds.

Goals: Robson (38, pen), (44, pen)

Bookings: Killen (72)

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Stewart, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Cook, Faurlin (Taarabt, 69), Hill (Borrowdale, 54), Simpson, German (Bent, 54).

Subs: Cerny, Vine, Balanta, Ephraim.

Attendance: 17, 568 (523 QPR fans)

Referee: Mr K A Woolmer

When we all returned to the car the prediction results were ticked off, after a good first half I was in front with a nice lead in front of the other three. Once the second half of the scores were done the results were :- Jenson in 4th , Lofty in 3rd, I managed to come 2nd and after storming through with a number of correct scores it was PK that claimed the title for the first time in a well deserved victory, winning the £20 prize money.
Jenson was in brilliant form at the wheel again. We timed his efforts and deducted the pitstops we made along the way. The journey up took us just under 4 hours but we had roadworks and average speed cameras hindering us. The journey back took 3 and a half hours! With the Formula 1 season just around the corner I think its safe to say that you shouldn't look past the big blue X5 that will be lining up on the grid alongside the likes of Hamilton and Alonso.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

R's on The Road.......... To Middlesbrough.

This Saturday the "long ol poke" up north takes us to Middlesbrough as Rangers' look to continue winning ways as they seek revenge for the 5-1 mauling in December. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.


The Stadium.

Current Capacity – 35,100

Middlesbrough were founded in 1876 by Middlesbrough Cricket team players so they could keep fit during the winter. The club turned professional in 1889 but returned to amateur status in 1892. In 1899 the club turned professional permanently and it took them three years to gain promotion into the First Division.
The club moved into a new ground in time for the start of their first season in the time flight. Ayresome Park was Middlesbrough’s home from 1903 for 92 years before the club moved into the brand new Riverside Stadium in 1995. The original Ayresome Park gates have been incorporated in front of the ground along with two statues. The Riverside Stadium was built in a lightening quick 32 weeks.
In 1986 the club came close to folding due to financial difficulties but were saved by a consortium led by the current Club Chairman Steve Gibson.
The club won their first major silverware under the guidance of Steve McLaren in 2004 when they beat Bolton in the League Cup Final, running out 2-1winners.
Just two years later Middlesbrough reached the UEFA Cup Final, after coming back from 3-0 down in two previous fixtures, unfortunately the club were unable to overcome Sevilla and lost 4-0.
For this fixture the away fans will be housed in the South Stand, around 4,500 fans can be housed in there. The leg room is decent but the concourse at the back is could get very cramped if there is a decent following at this fixture. There is a Ladbrokes and screens on the concourse, which do show the match once its kicked off, and a list of rough prices from food are listed in the usual grub section.


The History between the teams.

At Middlesbrough (20)

Middlesbrough 11
Draw 4

A League fixture between these two sides hasn’t happened since 8th November 1997 when Middlesbrough ran out clear 3-0 winners. Middlesbrough also beat Rangers’ in the FA Cup 3rd round replay at the Riverside in the same season when they won 2-0.
Rangers’ last win on Teeside came in January 1993 when they won 1-0 courtesy of a Les Ferdinand winner. Incidentally that is the last time the R’s scored at Boro’ so there is some history to be written, if a Rangers’ player can put one in the back of the net.


How to get there.

By Car:-
The postcode to get you there today is TS3 6RS.
Go up the M1 to junction 32 and join the M18. On the M18 come off at junction 2 and join the A1 (alternatively you can just use the A1 from the start). Leave the A1 at junction 49 and join the A168, which leads onto the A19 and then onto the A66 (just follow the signs for Teeside). You will pass Darlington’s new(ish) ground along the way. As you enter Middlesbrough you will see the Riverside Stadium signposted.
There is no official parking at the Riverside so it has been advised that you follow signs for ‘away coaches’, this will lead you towards a host of private car parking areas that will cost in the region of £4-5 and is a 15-20 minute walk from the stadium.

By Train:- The ground is a walkable distance from the train station so here’s a rough guide on how to get to your destination.
Leaving the station via the main entrance you take a left onto Zetland Road and then another left onto Albert Road and go under the railway bridge. After going under the bridge turn immediately right onto Bridge Street East, going past the Bridge pub and take the next right onto Wynward Way. The stadium is just down this road.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

After reading reviews the only pub that is recommended is Doctor Browns just at the bottom of Corporation Road in the City Centre. The Bridge Pub by the train station isn’t recommended to away fans, but if you’re not wearing colours then I can’t see any harm in paying them a visit.
The usual host of food outlets are available in the City Centre but there isn’t much available around the ground.
A few prices of the food inside the ground are as follows :- balti pies (£1.80), minced beef pies (£1.80), rollover sausages (£2.40), cheeseburgers (£2.40), pizza (£2.30), chips (£1.50) and curry sauce (£0.50).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

German bombs Rovers

Following yesterdays fantastic news that Flavio Briatore had stepped down as chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd, renewed optimism around the club inspired the Rangers faithful to believe that a first win since Boxing Day was around the corner. The Lofty Heights crew were there to enjoy a special day in W12.

The gang gathered at the Springbok for the first time in a few games for a pre-match beer and to mark the occasion I decided it was my turn to buy the drinks (I'm surprised no-one fainted!)and actually enjoy the build up whilst having a laugh and look forward to watching our beloved R's rather than dread what we were about to witness.

Mark Harford, in probably his last game in charge, made one change from last Saturday's dull 1-0 defeat at Coventry. Antonio German replaced Tamas Priskin to make his first senior start at Loftus Road.


The opening 20 minutes of the contest were pretty even between the two sides, even tho Rangers had fashioned more of the chances. Matt Connolly, playing in centre midfield once again, had an effort blocked away for a corner and Akos Buzsaky had a shot fizz over the bar. Donny's best efforts from Brian Stock, who's shot was blocked away for a corner and Elliot Ward blasted over a glorious chance from close range.
Midway through the first half we had our first goal.
Buzsaky picked up the ball before passing to Faurlin and he laid the ball out to R's captain Lee Cook on the left wing. Cook's cross was met by Simpson from just six yards out, Neil Sullivan made a fantastic save from Simpson's header but Antonio German was on hand to tap home the loose ball from a few yards out. Just the kind of confidence boost you need when making your full debut in front of the home fans.
Buoyed by the goal Rangers went on the attack soon after the restart. Cook jinked between two Donny defenders and shot on sight of goal, unfortunately he dragged his effort wide of the right hand post.
Just before the close of the first half Rangers had one more effort on goal.
Cook took the corner on the left hand side and floated over to the back post. Kaspers Gorkss thumped his header on goal but once again Sullivan made a brilliant save and this time the ball was cleared to safety.


The half time whistle was greeted to cheers for the first time in many games as the Rangers fans enjoyed a first half lead at home for the first time since...... the last time we were winning at home, it's been such an absent feeling.
The half time chat downstairs between us all was one of confusion as we didn't really have anything to moan about. Rangers were far from playing at their best but we were winning and had a clean sheet. You could also see that the goal had boosted confidence within the players on the pitch and actually saw the ball move around on the floor a lot more, it was like our Rangers' were coming back.

Due to us eagerly anticipating the restart, Jenson, California Hoop and myself made it up to our seats in time to see the kick off and the first chance of the half.
Faurlin won the ball inside the Donny half, took the ball on before unleashing an effort from a full 25 yards out, the shot went just wide of Sullivan's right post.
Hot on the heels of that came a Rangers' corner from the R's left hand side. Cook's delightful centre was met from German six yards out but he somehow put his header over the bar. The rest of the gang were making their way up the stairs at this point, had the header gone in I think a few pasties would've landed in the laps of some unsuspecting Rangers' fans.
Just two minutes later the miss proved to be costly. Sharp collected a long ball inside the R's penalty area and his centre was met by James Hayter to tap home from close range and level the game just as it looked as Rangers' were going to pull away from the visitors.
Despite the goal the R's faithful rung out cheers of encouragement, rather than the usual silence that we've heard over the past few weeks.
The goal hadn't deterred the R's and they were soon attacking Rovers at the other end. More good work from Cook on the left hand side lead to him putting in a teasing cross that somehow eluded everyone as it run along the six yard box and out for a throw in on the other wing.
Rangers were definitely in the driving seat and had another German goal chalked off for offside, which was a really close call, after a delightful cross from Buzsaky's free kick. A similar set piece caused the same problems for the Donny defence but once again the offside flag spared their blushes. However it was only a matter of time until a second goal came, and it certainly did.
Buzsaky played a delightful little ball over the top of the Rovers defence in the path of the on rushing Simpson. He let the ball bounce once before crashing a volley into the bottom corner with aplomb.
Rangers continued to create but when five minutes of added on time were announced, not only did we wonder where it all come from but the nerves started to kick in. Despite a few nervous moments either side of Taarabt doing well in wasting some time in the corner, we actually hung on and won for the first time since Boxing Day!


The second half performance certainly showed the players growing in confidence with each other. You could also see throughout the whole of the game how Antonio German was growing, he was absolutely fantastic today. He battled in the air, was holding play up and creating space for his team mates. German played a big part in the second goal and you can only applaud him for proving himself in his substitute appearances over the past month or so and forcing Mick Harford to play him ahead of the two goal shy loanees that have been bought in and were seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order. A new star was born today and I hope he continues to impress because Antonio's future definitely looks bright.

Today's Man of the Match as selected by Lofty really is a no contest, it has to go to Antonio German. Matt Connolly in centre midfield also put in another sterling performance alongside Alejandro Faurlin. Lee Cook continued his run of good form as captain and long may it continue!

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage (Taarabt 77), Stewart, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Connolly (Borrowdale 85), Cook, Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, German (Vine 90).

Subs: Cerny, Quashie, Balanta, Oastler.

Goals: German (25), Simpson (77)

Doncaster Rovers: Sullivan, O'Connor, Sharp, Chambers, Stock (Mutch 85), Hayter, Wilson (Roberts 83), Oster, Hird, Coppinger (Shiels 83), Ward.

Subs: Smith, Guy, Spicer, Dumbuya.

Goals: Hayter (51)

Referee: Mr D Whitestone

Attendance: 10, 960

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bye Bye Briatore, Briatore Goodbye!!

QPR fans finally got the piece of good news they were waiting to hear this evening...... Flavio Briatore has stepped down as chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd. Board members have appointed Ishan Saksena as the new Chairman.


The Mittal family have taken the opportunity to increase their stake in the club, with Briatore having a minority share and essentially having very little input into how the club is run. Bernie Ecclestone also retains a minority shareholding.

In the shake up behind the scenes it also sees Gianni Paladini removed as Director of Football and he moves into his former position of Club Chairman and will oversee the day to day running of the club.

Ishan Saksena has over ten years of experience in Mergers and Acquisitions, private equity and asset management across North America, Europe and other emerging markets. He has also been involved in multibillion dollar private equity transactions and has also been involved in restructuring sectors within the retail, consumer and energy markets.


So we finally get the good news we all hoped for and two and a half years after having the famous "five year plan" read out to us we now find ourselves saved from a nightmare and in the hands of the Mittal family with Amit Bhatia at the forefront of the club and we can now hopefully enjoy having a passionate leader and look to consolidate our club before pushing forward and looking to show further ambition in the future.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It Never Rains....

QPR P-P Watford

Good evening Ladies, Gentleman and fellow sufferers - after tonight's postponement and the views exhanged between us after the Palace wash out last year, Lee has given me the chance to make a comeback on here and have a rant, sorry, I mean, express my opinion on the latest QPR c*ck up...

The Palace postponement late last year was a complete joke and sadly, this one is no better. On arrival home from work at about 5.30pm, I was greeted with text's from Sam and Lee, saying due to persistant rain in London all day, there is a pitch inspection at 6pm. However, when perusing the QPR Website, I was greeted with the words 'GAME ON' as I opened the page, with the Club patting itself on the back and saying something along the lines off - despite adverse weather condition, they 'fully expect the game to go ahead', which was the case following the inspection.

So, I left Lofty Towers at about 6.10 and started making my way to the game. Further texts then arrived from Sam at about 6.30 saying there was a further pitch inpection at 7pm. Now, this annoyed me...

The pitch was allegedly playable at 6 but a further inspection was warranted at 7?? The rain was persistant and now described on the QPR Website as torrential, so couldn't they have made a decision before little more than an hour before kick-off, when I guess the majority of supporters are already there or well into their journeys??

Also, what of the state of the art drainage system that was installed in the close season??

In summary, we are yet again, the only game in the Championship that has been called off, but on recent form, we have to be happy with the result tonight?!? ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Deflected goal costs R's a point.

Mick Harford took his struggling R's side to the Ricoh Arena to play a Coventry side that had just recorded a 1-0 victory over high fliers Nottingham Forest. On a bitterly cold day in the Midlands we were (unfortunately) there to see the events unfold.

With myself and Jenson, along with Jenson's friend Paul, eagerly awaiting the visit to the Ricoh with the R's in such blinding form, we set off at 12.45 on an unusually slow drive to the game. After only an hour and 20 minutes we arrived in the car park of our destination and made the short walk to the stadium and along the way met Gobi to discuss how things have unfolded in front of us over the past few weeks and how we couldn't understand the amount of loanees that have come in and limited youngsters such as Antonio German and Angelo Balanta to the subs bench when really they could stamp their authority on the first team, especially when they have looked so promising in their brief substitute appearances. Before we knew it half an hour flew by and we made our way inside the ground and to our seats.

Mick Harford made three changes from Tuesday nights disappointing result against Ipswich. Marcus Bent (hamstring), Nigel Quashie and Hogan Ephraim made way for Peter Ramage, Akos Buzsaky and Tamas Priskin.
Matthew Connolly, unusually, lined up in the centre of midfield alongside Faurlin.


Rangers started the game the brighter of the two teams, winning three corners in the opening minutes. Connolly narrowly put wide after the second corner, taken by Buzsaky, floated over to the back post to Connolly as he scuffed his effort.
After five minutes of uneventful rubbish it was Coventry that got the matches first shot on target and the first goal.
Gary Deegan shot from 20 yards out and it hit a Rangers' defender and wickedly deflected back towards goal and spun into the bottom corner with Carl Ikeme helpless to what had happened.
Now if I'm perfectly honest the remaining 35 minutes of the half were pretty poor and a playing surface that was extremely poor and didn't suit a passing style, which is just as well because Rangers' were resorting to playing some old fashioned Wimbledon style hoofball to, and I wont hold back, a useless Priskin and Jay Simpson that looked to be fed up and looked to keep the ball on the floor and make use of the skill that he has.
The partnership of Faurlin and Connolly in centre midfield looked to be a useful one and full of battle. Unfortunately Faurlin did give the ball away too easily at times but he did get stuck in and looked to help the R's cause.

The half time whistle soon saved us from more hoofball and we retired downstairs for a quick recovery before having to go back and see if the second half would bring us some improved football.


The second half summary is going to be brief I must warn you.
Rangers' dominated possession during the second half yet failed to create many clear cut chances.
Midway through the second half Rangers' best chance of the half came along.
Cook's cross from the right hand side was met by a combination of Damion Stewart and Leon Barnett's feet clipped the ball and sent it heading towards the bottom corner but somehow Westwood in the Coventry goal managed to get down and turn the ball around the post. I would have to say that it was probably the best save I have seen this season by a mile.
In the closing minutes Antonio German attacked the left wing and smashed a ball across the six yard box where Simpson looked to be on hand to tap home into an empty net but somehow Martin Cranie denied the R's top scorer from his easiest goal of the season.


Another disappointing result which deepens our worries and puts us further into a relegation battle. Many teams around us now have a game in hand on us now as well so this really is going to be a worrying end to the campaign.

I will end this now with a few positives.
Radek Cerny looked pretty sharp in his warm up before the game and hopefully this means he is well on the the way to a comeback after taking time out to recover to the back problems that plagued him for the months before christmas.
Kaspars Gorkss and Damion Stewart looked comfortable enough at the back, hopefully our player of the year duo from last year continue to play alongside each other.
Matt Connolly looked assured in centre midfield and could provide some decent cover there if needed over the next few months.
Alejandro Faurlin battled hard n really looked as if he cared out there today. At times his distribution was poor but it was nice to see someone fight for the shirt.
Lee Cook had an encouraging first half and drifted in a out of the second half but once again was playing for the shirt.
Jay Simpson looked increasingly frustrated by Priskin's inept performance up front with him and looked to create his own chances. Definately looks as if he gives a monkeys about the club, unlike many of our other loanees.
Antonio German for me stood out like a sore thumb today. He looked interested and got involved whenever he could. Nearly created a goal at the end. He definitely deserves a place in the starting eleven ahead of both of our new loanee strikers Bent and Priskin.

For the reasons given above the Man of the Match award is given to Matt Connolly, just ahead of German but if the youngster was on for longer then he would've stolen the award.

Coventry City: Westwood, Wright, Clingan, Eastwood, Morrison (Sears 67), Deegan, Cranie, Baker, McIndoe, Barnett, Wood.

Subs: Konstantopoulos, Hussey, Walker, Grandison, Jeffers.

Goals: Deegan (10)

Bookings: Wright (41), Cranie (71)

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Stewart, Buzsaky (Taarabt 67), Gorkss, Connolly, Cook, Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, Priskin (German 55).

Subs: Cerny, Vine, Quashie, Balanta, Borrowdale.

Bookings: Connolly (66), Faurlin (70), Gorkss (75)

Referee: Mr D Foster

Attendance: 15, 247 (586 QPR fans)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

R's on The Road.......... To Coventry City.

This Saturday Rangers’ enter another six pointer after the 2-1 midweek loss to Ipswich. Coventry City are the hosts and after their 1-0 win against promotion chasers Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night it looks to be an interesting encounter. Here’s a little preview of what to expect on your travels.


The Stadium.

Current Capacity – 32,500.

Coventry City were formed in 1883 but were originally known as Singers. In 1898 the club changed its name to Coventry City and just one year later they moved to a new home, Highfield Road, after short stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road.
Highfield Road was the clubs home for 106 years before they moved to the £113 million pound Ricoh Arena complex in August 2005. The clubs first game at the Ricoh Arena was against the R’s and run out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The Ricoh Arena is another one of those bowl style stadiums with three high single tier stands and one very unique looking stand with corporate boxes which backs onto the other stadium facilities that include a casino. The atmosphere is often disappointing and can be hard to drum up any real noise.
The away fans are housed in the Jewson South Stand (opposite Tesco) and 3,000 fans can be seated here. When climbing to the top of the stand, if you desire to, do be careful as the stairs are quite steep.


The History between the teams.

At Coventry City (51)

Coventry 26
QPR 10
Draw 15

In the four fixtures since the Ricoh Arena was opened in 2005 the record stands at Coventry 2, QPR 1 with 1 draw.
The solitary win for the R’s came in April 2007 when Jimmy Smith scored the winning goal in the second half.


How to get there.

By Car:- The postcode for the ground is CV6 6GE.
Get onto the M6 and leave at Junction 3. Turn left and then left again and you will reach a place for parking in a field. Over 200 spaces are available in here at £5 per car. Another place to park is opposite the field and is next to the Novotel hotel complex, this also costs £5.
From here a 10 minute walk awaits you. Head towards the Novotel and follow the road around into a housing estate and keep walking straight. You will walk through an old looking industrial estate before reaching the top of the hill and seeing the Ricoh Arena in front of you.

By Train:- The train station is over three miles away from the ground and is therefore too far to walk. There is a shuttle bus that runs from the bus station to the Ricoh Arena/Tesco complex every 10 minutes. An adult return ticket will cost around the £3 mark.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

I would recommend The Black Horse Pub for the visit to Coventry. If you park in either of the car parks I have mentioned then it is easy to find. Head in the opposite direction to the Ricoh Arena and walk underneath the M6 and up a hill on the Longford Hill and after 5 minutes you will see the pub on your right hand side.
Beer is served inside the ground for around the £3.20 mark.
With the complex being a complex there aren’t any eating outlets around the ground so burger vans and refreshments inside the stadium will need to be relied upon.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

'Which way do we go from here

Rangers welcomed Ipswich to West London tonight in the first six pointer of the R's season in their newly found relegation battle. The Lofty Heights crew were there as always to witness the proceeedings.

An accident on the A40 delayed the arrival of a few of us this evening. My dad, Sam and I didnt arrive at the ground until 20 minutes before kick off and therefore had to miss out on a pre match pint, PK got caught in the worst of it and arrived 30minutes into the game. Corp and California Hoop were already in the ground when we got there. Lofty missed out on the game due to it being his lady friends birthday and Jenson was pre booked to see a comedy show, obvious the performances by Rangers haven't been funny enough for him.

With Mikele Leigertwood and Peter Ramage missing through suspension and Tamas Priskin unable to play due to the terms of his loan agreement there were three changes made. Damion Stewart, Hogan Ephraim and Jay Simpson returned to the starting eleven and Lee Cook was named captain in Leigertwoods absence.

Before the match a minutes silence was held as QPR's Honorary Life President Harold Winton passed away after a five year battle with cancer. Winton helped fund the purchases of players like Danny Shittu, Marc Bircham and Doudou in the early 2000's and was a true Rangers fan. Harold will be sorely missed by us all. RIP.


The less said about the first half the better really, so I'll keep it brief.

I'll sum it up in three words....... Rangers were woeful (if I could use stronger language I would).
The team lacked passion, desire, battle and the will to win. Lee Cook tried all he could to help spur the team on and along with Hogan Ephraim they looked like they were the only two that really had the will to win when their backs were against the wall.
After 7 minutes the first blow was struck. Norris' shot from outside the 18 yard box hit Gorkss' leg and looped high and over CarL Ikeme into the left hand corner. A tad fortunate but the warning signs were already there.
Marcus Bent was taken off shortly after the first goal. Apparently it was because Bent felt his hamstring tweak but he stormed straight down the tunnel once he left the field. Rowan Vine was his replacement.
Ipswich soon had an opportunity to go two up. A cross from the Ipswich right found Norris unmarked at the far post, his header was fantastically saved by Ikeme but he couldn't guide the ball to safety. The follow up by Darryl Murphy looked to be destined for the back of the net but Ikeme tipped his effort around the post.
Just before half time Ipswich grabbed a deserved second goal. Colback's low cross was met by Darryl Murphy and he made no mistake, firing past Ikeme.

The first song that come on at half time was Robert Tepper's hit from Rocky 4 "No easy way out", a song that simply sums up the next few months ahead for the long suffering R's faithful.
The first half performance was by and large the worst I have seen at Loftus Road in many years. I thought Saturday was bad but this was simply awful. Mick Harford described it as "inept" and I totally agree. Quashie for all his battle and heart just looks 2-3yards off the pace and was rightfully taken off and was replaced by Akos Buzsaky. Adel Taarabt also came on for the second half in the place of Hogan Ephraim.

The second half had already started as we were making our way back to our seats but we finally got to see something positive. A through ball found Simpson closing down on goal and he smashed in an effort towards the near post and Ipswich 'keeper Lee-Barrett beat the ball away for a Rangers' corner.
Obviously the R's got a rollocking at half time and the introduction of Taarabt gave Rangers more of a positive attacking flair that we have lacked over the last few weeks.
On 66minutes the pressure finally paid off. Buzsaky's free kick was half cleared to the edge of the area to Lee Cook. His shot was deflected high into the air but the ball fell nicely for Simpson and he fired home from 8 yards out and gave us something to cheer about.
Rangers continued to battle and actually looked to be growing in confidence as the game got older.
Ipswich fans were clearly having fun during the second half and were applauded by R's fans as they sung "sack the board" as well as then drawing some laughter as they also sung "you're grounds to big for u". Fair play to them!
Unfortunately the elusive second goal just didnt come for us but if that second half performance is replicated in our following game then hopefully our first win since boxing day will finally arrive.

Taarabt was impressive yet still frustrating but he did give the R's that little bit of the unknown that we have been lacking. Lee Cook played his heart out once again and definately looks to be wearing the shirt with pride, lets hope some of our other players follow his example. It was also nice to see Simpson back in the side and playing up front in a position that he has looked impressive in throughout the season, he's not our top goalscorer for no reason after all.
If the second half team is picked, with the exception of Vine (who I thought lacked in commitment tonight), then I will feel more confident about Saturday's game against Coventry.

All that is left is tonights Man of the Match award. After an impressive second half performance I will name Adel Taarabt as tonights man of the match. Lee Cook was only just edged to it by Adel tonight after a really good, committed and passionate showing from the Rangers' captain.

QPR: Ikeme, Stewart, Bent (Vine 10), Gorkss, Quashie (Taarabt 46), Connolly, Cook, Faurlin, Hill, Simpson, Ephraim (Buzsaky 46).

Subs not used: Balanta, Cerny, Borrowdale, German.

Goals: Simpson (66)

Bookings: Connolly (35)

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, McAuley, Peters, Garvan (Rosenior 65), Walters, Leadbitter, Norris, Colback, Murphy (Stead 85), Counago (Healy 65).

Subs not used: Murphy, Balkestein, Edwards, Quinn.

Goals: Norris (8), Murphy (38)

Bookings: Norris (64), Walters (72)

Referee: Mr F Graham

Attendance: 10, 940 (1409 Ipswich)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Posh punish poor R's

On Saturday the R's travelled to London Road to play Peterborough who were playing their first game under new manager Jim Gannon. The Lofty Heights crew were there in full attendance and Nik Brumsack gives you his insight on what was a disappointing away day for the 1,570 travelling supporters.

Aaron Mclean’s early goal proved to be enough for Peterborough United as they saw off the challenge of nine-man Queens Park Rangers at a chilly London Road.

Mick Harford made four changes from last Saturday’s home defeat to Scunthorpe United as the R’s looked to get their season back on track. New signings Marcus Bent and Tamas Priskin made their debuts up front, whilst Peter Ramage was recalled at right back. Encouragingly for Rangers’, Lee Cook made his first start in over nine months after finally recovering from a knee injury.


The game kicked off and the R’s quickly registered the first shot of the game as Bent’s shot from outside the area dribbled harmlessly wide.

Peterborough responded to the early shot in the best possible way, as they took the lead just nine minutes into the contest. After Kaspars Gorkss sliced his clearance, Craig Mackail-Smith fed George Boyd down the right, who in turn rolled the ball into the path of the unmarked Mclean and the Hammersmith-born striker had the simple task of firing home from six yards out.

The Posh were very much on top and Rangers’ ‘keeper Carl Ikeme had to be alert to get to a Boyd through-ball before the onrushing Mackail-Smith.

Not to be deterred, QPR went in search of an equaliser. Bent’s shot was deflected away for a corner before skipper Mikele Leigertwood, playing in an unfamiliar right-wing role, shot straight at Joe Lewis in the Peterborough goal.

Mackail-Smith was proving to be a constant thorn in the side of the R’s backline, and after good work down the right, his cross was headed just off target by the onrushing Tommy Rowe.

Rangers’ were not on top of their game at all, making plenty of basic mistakes. The fans weren’t impressed, and the poor performance was greeted with a chant of “We wanna’ go home” by some of the 1500+ travelling support.

Half-time came and went and it was the Superhoops who had the first effort of the 2nd half, as Matt Connolly shot straight at Lewis.

Any hope that Rangers’ had of getting back into the game was dealt a massive blow on the hour-mark, when Leigertwood was seen to have gone over the ball on Rowe and received his marching orders. From my view in the terracing, it was hard to see how bad the tackle was, but having seen the replay, it looked to have been no worse than some of the tackles that flew in and weren’t punished with red cards during yesterday’s Merseyside Derby.

Peterborough made use of their one-man advantage, and only a smart stop from R’s custodian Ikeme prevented Mackail-Smith from killing off the contest.

Things went from bad to worse for Rangers’ on 82 minutes, when Peter Ramage was sent-off for a second bookable offence following a late tackle on Rowe.

As the game looked to be petering out, the away side did have one last chance to salvage something from the game. Jay Simpson forced a fine save from Lewis before fellow substitute Hogan Ephraim blazed the rebound well over the bar.

It wasn’t to be, though, for the R’s as they succumbed to yet another away day defeat.

Things are not looking at all rosy in the Rangers’ camp at the moment. The team look toothless, devoid of passion and haven’t won away from home in three months. QPR are now only five points clear of the dreaded relegation zone, and if things continue to go on as they are at the moment, it’s pretty conceivable that the R’s could well be playing League 1 football next term.

Peterborough United: Lewis, Williams, Morgan, Lee (Simpson 46), McLean, Boyd (Frecklington 82), Mackail-Smith (McLeod 82), Rowe, Whelpdale, Bennett, Livermore.

Subs not used: Gilbert, McKeown, Geoghaghon, Reid.

Bookings: Lee (45), Simpson (52), Bennett (83)

Goals: McLean (9)

QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Leigertwood, Bent, Gorkss, Quashie (Ephraim 57), Connolly, Cook (Vine 81), Faurlin, Hill, Priskin (Simpson 65).

Subs not used: Stewart, Buzsaky, Cerny, German.

Bookings: Ramage (73 & 82)

Red Cards: Leigertwood (60), Ramage (82)

Referee: Mr D McDermid

Attendance: 8, 933 (Away: 1570)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

R's on The Road.......... To Peterborough United

This Saturday sees the R's travel up to lowly Peterbrough United. This is Jim Gannon's first game in charge of The Posh having been appointed as their new manager on Tuesday after sacking Mark Cooper just two months into his reign at London Road.


The Stadium.

Capacity: 15,314

Peterborough were formed in 1934 and begun their history playing in the old Midland League, which they won six times.
In 1960 the club were admitted to the Football League at the expense of Gateshead FC. In their maiden season they went on to clinch the Fourth Division, largely helped by Terry Bly’s 52 goals during the course of the season. Bly has remained a Posh legend ever since.
Peterborough have been in the second tier only once before in their history. This was achieved with Chris Turner, a member of Peterborough’s 1973/74 Fourth Division winning side. Turner took the reins in January 1991 and signed six players on transfer deadline day (which was a record number of players signed on one day at the time) and helped the club go on a 13 game unbeaten streak which propelled the club into fourth place going into the final game of the season. With ‘The Posh’ needing a win at Chesterfield to secure their own fate they couldn’t of got off to a worse start as they fell 2-0 behind in the first ten minutes. They managed to fight back to a 2-2 draw and had to rely on Blackpool’s result at Walsall, Blackpool lost and promotion to the third tier was safe.
The following season The Posh embarked on an impressive League Cup run which saw them knock out Wimbledon, Newcastle and Liverpool before Middlesbrough knocked them out in the Quarter Final stages, needing a replay to complete the job.
Further cup heartache was dished out that season as an area final defeat in the Auto Windscreens Shield to Stoke City denied them of a dream trip to Wembley.
However the clubs good form continued as they went on to clinch a Play Off place. After defeating Huddersfield 4-3 on aggregate and setting up a first Wembley trip in the clubs history, against Stockport County in the final. Peterborough were leading 1-0 going into injury time and conceded a last minute equaliser that looked to send the tie into extra time, however just a minute later Ken Charlery bagged the winner and sent The Posh into the second tier for the first time in their history.


The London Road ground was built in 1913 originally for Fletton United. In 1923 Fletton United and Peterborough City merged to become Peterborough & Fletton United. The merged clubs went bankrupt in 1932. When Peterborough United were formed they took their place at the London Road ground.
In 1996 reconstruction work on the Norwich and Peterborough stand was completed and replaced the terraced stand. Its impressive in comparison to the other stands at the ground. Opposite that stand is the Main Stand. This is also two tiers but looks very dated. Behind both goals are terraced ends. The away fans will be housed in the Moyes Terrace, which can hold up to 4000 fans. Another 800 tickets are made available in the Main Stand for those who like to sit down during the game.

The History between the teams.

At Peterborough (12)

Peterborough 6
Draw 3

There have only been three meetings at London Road during the last decade. In 2001 Peterborough won 4-1. In Jan 2003 Rangers’ gained revenge in a 2-0 victory with goals from Clarke Carlisle and Richard Langley. Then in October 2003 a 0-0 draw was played out.

How to get there.

By Car:-
The postcode for the ground today is PE2 8AL.
Make your way onto the A1 and leave the A1 at junction 17. This will put you on the A1139, follow this for roughly three miles and leave at junction 3 onto the A15 towards Peterborough. Another three miles down the road and you will see the ground on your right hand side.

There are two possible places to park. There is parking available at the ground or alternatively you could park in the council pay and display car park which is just off London Road (on the left after you pass the ground, heading towards the town centre).

By Train:- The train station is roughly a mile from the ground, so it’s well within walking distance. As you walk out of the station take a right and follow the main road (you will pass an Asda store on the way). At the traffic lights near the Rivergate shopping centre take a right and walk over the bridge. You will see the floodlights on your left hand side.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

There are two pubs that are recommended for away fans on their trip to London Road. The first is The Cherry Tree (which also has parking) and the second is Palmerston Arms. Both pubs are within 150 yards of each other and are both situated on the Oundle Road. Both pubs are en route from the train station to the ground.
I am unsure of what eating facilities are available around the ground, all I have heard is that there is a KFC not far from the ground.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Transfer Deadline Day News.

Well the transfer deadline day has come around once again and I will give you the details of any deal that involves a Rangers' player on this day. Although after today no more permanent transfers can be made, clubs can still arrange loan deals until March.

The first deal of the day has seen striker Alessandro Pellicori leave the club and join Serie B outfit AC Mantova until the end of the season.


Pellicori joined the club after spending all of pre season with the club and scored two goals during that time. This was enough to offer the striker a three year deal to stay at the R's.
First team opportunities have been limited for the tall striker and he's only managed to score one goal, against Exeter in the League Cup, in his ten appearances.


Gareth Ainsworth, who left the club after seven and a half years service on Saturday in an emotional farewell, has joined up with Wycombe Wanderers after enjoying a short loan spell there earlier in the season.

Ainsworth joins the Chairboys on an 18 month deal.
On a side note, former R's winger Kevin McLeod has also joined Ainsworth at Adams Park on a 3 month deal.


Good Luck Gaz!


The first incoming deal has finally been done and announced at lunchtime and, shock horror, its a striker!

Marcus Bent joins the club on loan (you would never of guessed we'd be loaning yet more players) until the end of the season.


Bent joins the club from Birmingham having already been out on loan at fellow Championship club Middlebrough. He made 8 appearances and scored no goals during his time on Tyneside.

Bent is a Hammersmith born lad who started his career at local rivals Brentford in 1995. Since then Bent has accumulated 12 different clubs which include - Brentford, Crystal Palace, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City (loan), Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic (loan), Birmingham City and Middlesbrough (loan).

Bent's best prolific spells have come during his times at Sheffield United (20 goals in 48 appearances) and Ipswich Town (21 goals in 61 appearances).
Since 2004 Bent has made 172 appearances for all clubs and has only scored on 21 occasions in that time.

Welcome Marcus, I hope you enjoy you're time here at QPR!


The second incoming deal of the day sees another striker..... YES A STRIKER coming in.

Tamas Priskin comes in from fellow Championship side Ipswich on loan (who'd of guessed it!) until the end of the season


Priskin started his career at Hungarian outfit Gyori ETO FC in 2003 and racked up 67 appearances and scored 24 goals during his three year spell at the club before departing for Watford in 2006 for a fee in the region of 150k rising up to £1million.
Priskin scored 15 goals in 68 appearances for the club and after struggling to hold hold a first team place in 2008 he was loaned out to Preston for the remainder of the season and scored twice in five appearances.
In the summer Priskin moved to Ipswich in a £1.7million transfer. He has only managed to score once in his 17 appearances this season and will hopefully look to turn the corner during his time at the Superhoops.

Welcome Tamas, we hope you enjoy your stay at Loftus Road.