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, April 24, 2010

Lofty Heights Awards.


The time has come for the annual Lofty Heights Awards 2009/10 season. We will cover all the important awards before awarding some personal awards to the gang.

LH Player of the Year - Alejandro Faurlin

LH Young Player of the Year -
Antonio German

Goal of the Season - Matt Connolly vs Blackpool Away

LH Manager of the Year - Jim Magilton

LH Worst Manager of the Year - Paul Hart

Signing of the Season - Alejandro Faurlin

Worst Signing - Alesandro Pellicori

Best Loanee - Joint Winners: Adel Taarabt and Jay Simpson

Worst Loanee - Marcus Bent

Biggest Sulker of the Year - Adel Taarabt

Game of the Season - Derby Away

Worst Game of the Season - Peterborough Away

Most picked on player - Lee Cook will be upset as he lost his crown this year as it goes to - Tamas Priskin (Would have gone to Marcus Bent but you have to play to get this award)

Sicknote of the Year - Matt Connolly

Dressing Room Incident of the Year - The Magilton 'headbutt'

Least Knowledgeable Fan - PK

Most Tinted Glasses - Lofty

The Latest Arrival Time To A Game - California Hoop (37th minute!)

Grandad of the Gang Award - Corp (after a milestone birthday this year)

The Gary Borrowdale Appreciation Award - Lee

Most Effort Made To Make A Game -
Sam (for managing to make a home game despite finishing work just an hour before kick off and making the 45 mile trip with 5minutes to spare)

Road Rage Driver of the Year - Jenson

Predictor of the Year - Justin

Most Random Song(s) Sung -
Nik (for the Ikeme for England and Peter Ramage is a football genius shouts at Peterborough)

Professional job done.


In the final away trip of the season the Rangers’ faithful travelled to Barnsley for what was a nothing game that had every potential to be a dull end of season encounter. The Lofty Heights crew made the trip hoping for a little bit of end of season action.

With me taking the reins at the wheel for the first time on an away trip this season, I was joined by PK, Sam and Luke but unfortunately Iceman missed the trip as he was stuck in Burton with money shortages. Lofty stayed at home for a family birthday and Jenson missed out after his stag weekend in Prague was cancelled due to the volcano ash that has plagued the country for the last week or so. After parking up and walking to the ground, via a quick chat to Gobi, we were greeted by some lovely people that were giving out free player complimentary tickets outside the away end so Sam, Luke and myself snapped them up whilst PK was unlucky enough to of already bought his ticket. We made our way into the ground for a swift beer or two before the game and with PK and Luke fancying their chances in the betting stakes they put a few quid on some bets, shockingly PK bet on Priskin being the first goalscorer, his pint was taken away coz he had clearly had too many to drink having done such a bet.

Two changes were made from the side that were victorious on Tuesday night. Tamas Priskin returned to the starting line up and Josh Parker was handed his full debut after impressing in his two recent cameo roles off the bench. The two making way were Rowan Vine and Adel Taarabt, who missed out through “an ankle injury”. Rumour has it that Taarabt has returned to Tottenham but nothing has been confirmed as yet.

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Josh Parker started off in an unorthodox right back position as Mikele Leigertwood joined Faurlin in centre midfield and Buzsaky being the support player for lone striker Antonio German.
Despite Rangers’ enjoying the better of the possession it was Barnsley who had the first real chance of the game. Iain Hume broke past the Rangers’ defence and was one on one with Cerny, the Barnsley striker took aim at the bottom corner and Cerny stretched out to push the shot onto the post and out for a corner.
Rangers’ continued to enjoy possession but clear cut chances were few and far between. Rangers’ first real chance came as Faurlin and Buzsaky combined before flicking the onrushing Tosic down the left hand side. The Serbian’s cut back into the path of German rolled underneath the foot of the youngster before the ball was cleared to safety.
Soon after it was Barnsley on the attack once again with Hume breaking clear once again and if it wasn’t for a last minute Ramage intervention then it could’ve been 1-0 to the hosts.
Rangers’ then broke the deadlock with an absolute peach of a goal.
Parker’s throw in to Ephraim was back heeled into the path of Leigertwood and the R’s skipper rolled the ball onto his left foot before shooting from the right edge of the Barnsley penalty area and found the ball bouncing off the bar before bouncing down and over the line to give the R’s a lead that was in fairness deserved for all their possession.
Barnsley could and really should’ve had an equalizer ten minutes later.
A harmless looking through ball was picked up by Colace, who thought he was going to be flagged for offside, he then looked as if he didn’t know what to do and proceeded to take four touches before hitting the panic button and shooting from long distance, Cerny had very little to do and collected the ball with ease.

Half time come and went very quickly and we were soon back in the stands for the second half.
Buzsaky had a goal disallowed for handball and was booked for his troubles.
From then on the game was just played out and Rangers’ stayed professional and were determined to keep the clean sheet. If it wasn’t for a few dodgy offside decisions and a few questionable decisions by the referee then maybe Barnsley would’ve got something out of the game but in all honesty it was a relief to hear the final whistle.

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It was a typical end of season encounter with two teams having nothing to play for and it wasn’t a thrilling game at all, all that matters is that we got the three points and gives a more respectable finish to our season full of ups and downs.

On the way home we listened to the Arsenal v Man City game and that turned out to be so entertaining that all the passengers fell asleep leaving me to listen to the drab game, however Sam woke up first and was able to take a photo of the other to sleeping beautys, bless them!

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Today’s Man of the Match was decided in the journey home between us all in the car. We picked up on three main contenders, Faurlin, who was once again superb in midfield. Ramage was solid as a rock at the back and is really shining now he’s playing in his more favoured position. However, despite all this we have awarded our man of the match to Josh Parker, who was being played out of position but despite this he maintained his positioning very well and when he moved into a more natural right wing position at the end of the game he continued to threaten. The kid has a bright future if he continues this way and one can only hope he’ll be awarded a new contract before his current one ends in the summer.

Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Moore, Colace, Foster, Hume, Butterfield, Macken, Potter (Dickinson 69), Hammill (Devaney 40), Doyle (Taylor 81).

Subs: Kozluk, Preece, Adam, Shotton.

Bookings: Potter

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Faurlin, Ephraim (Cook 81), Tosic, German (Simpson 56), Parker, Priskin (Brown 90).

Subs: Vine, Balanta, Oastler, Putnins.

Goals: Leigertwood (27)

Bookings: Buzsaky

Referee: Mr R Booth

Attendance: 11, 944 (574 QPR fans)

On a brief side note, On Wednesday the Lofty Heights awards will return and will be published. If you have any suggestions or tongue in cheek awards that u can think of then please leave a comment and I will use them if I can.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

R's on the Road To.......... Barnsley


On Saturday Rangers' take to the road for the final time this season and this time he find ourselves heading back to Yorkshire to Barnsley.
Both teams have nothing to play for so this could either be an extremely dull encounter or a time where fringe players take to the spotlight and use it as their time to shine.
Here are a few facts and tips to help you along the way before Saturday's game.

Club History.

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Barnsley F.C. were founded in 1887 as Barnsley St. Peters. In 1898 the club joined the Football League and struggled in the Second Division for the first ten years due to ongoing financial difficulties, however in 1910 the club reached its first FA Cup final and lost out to eventual winners Newcastle United. Two years later the club returned to Wembley to play West Brom and this time were more successful and ended up 1-0 winners in a replay, the only time the club have won the FA Cup in its history.
Barnsley had to wait until the 1996-97 season before they entered the English Top Flight for the first time in its history. They were relegated at the end of their first season and by 2002 the club were entered into administration and had dropped down to League One. In 2005-06 the club were promoted to The Championship after defeating Swansea 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 2-2 and have remained in the second tier since.
Barnsley have spent more seasons in the second tier of English football than any other club in history.

The Stadium.

Current capacity – 23,009

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Oakwell was heavily invested on in the 90's with 3 of the 4 stands being redeveloped and the remaining stand, The West Stand, keeping its classic look from when it was originally built in 1904. The only changes made to it have been converting it into an all seater stand to comply with regulations in the mid 90's.

Away fans are usually housed in the North Stand which was the last of the 3 to be developed in 1999. It also provided a state-of-the-art home for the Academy Complex, changing rooms, class rooms and physio facilities. It has a capacity of 6000. Away allocations usually start at 2000 but can be extended to 6000 upon request.If there are only away fans in the North Stand then alcohol will be available on the day, however if home fans are mixed in with us then the bar will be available to the away supporters as the bar is located on the far side of the stand.

An unusual feature of the ground, is a purpose built stand for disabled supporters. This is a three floor structure that sits at the corner between the East & South Stands. There is also a new electric scoreboard at one corner of the North Stand, on top of a newly constructed security control room.

In the future the West Stand will be re-developed but no plans or timescales have been put in place as yet so we will await further news there, if and when we have to travel back up to Oakwell.

The History between the teams.

At Barnsley (22)

Barnsley 13
QPR 3
Draw 6

In recent years Rangers haven’t enjoyed much, if any success up at Oakwell but Mon 12th April 2004 saw one of the most memorable clashes between the sides to date. Rangers were 5 games away from clinching the remaining automatic promotion spot in League 1, Bristol City were 1 point behind (I think) and will be playing the day after so it was vital to get a positive result to maintain momentum.

Things started off fantastically when a Tony Kay own “goal” gave Rangers the lead as Rangers pressure finally got the better of the home team. However after seeing a photo of whether the ball had actually gone fully over the line at was evident that it was nowhere near crossing the line, the ball had hardly even touched the line let alone gone over it!



With Rangers 2-1 up, Ian Holloway sacrificed a striker and Marcus Bean entered the fray to solidify the midfield and bring home the points for the visitors. Disaster stuck in the final 10minutes when Barnsley, looking buried, shocked the Superhoops and went 3-2 up, an unstoppable 25-30 drive into the top corner looked to of broken the hearts of the travelling faithful.

Yet there was still life in the travelling side and Paul Furlong grabbed which proved to be a vital vital goal for Rangers, a soft shot dribbling into the bottom left corner in injury time to send the away fans into what was an absolutely mental celebration, it was almost as if we had won the league with it. That point proved to be a telling one as Rangers went on and got promotion by a single point from Bristol City. A fantastic day of entertainment!!



How to get there.

By Car: - The postcode for Oakwell is S71 1ET.
The journey couldn’t be any easier, apart from the time and distance of course. Travel up the M1 and leave at junction 37. Head for Barnsley and the ground is clearly signposted all the way in. The signs will lead you to the visiting car park which is also extremely handy.


By Train: - Again it couldn’t be any simpler. Once u get off at the station, the town is on the right, do avoid it as it can get uncomfortable when you are in colours, if you go left and start walking up a hill it will lead you to the Metro leisure centre (which I shall mention in a sec) just before you get to the leisure centre if you look to the left the ground will be staring you in the face and is a mere 2-5 minute walk from there via the car park.


Pubs 'n' Grub.

Drinking in the town centre is generally not recommended, especially near the Bus & Train Stations, if you are not in colours you may have a hassle free time getting a drink but I highly recommend the Metro Dome leisure centre to be the choice of boozer for the match day experience.

There is a mixture of home and away fans in here but it is predominantly there for away fans. You can either just enjoy a pre match beverage there or if you are feeling peckish then a full menu is there for your choosing. A large area behind the bar for you to enjoy your drinks awaits, there is even a balcony there for you to go outside and enjoy the surroundings, fresh air or even crafty fag if you choose.

There is a McDonalds and KFC in town, but it is a bit of a walk from the ground. A burger van or 2 await to feed your hungry souls, or maybe u would take the risk to enjoy the food inside the ground (it is generally quite good). A few prices to list are - 'Football's Famous Chicken Balti Pie' (£2.30) is available inside the ground, along with cheeseburgers (£2.80), hot dogs (£2.70), sausage rolls (£2) and chips (£1.70).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Buz takes the sting out of the Hornets.


With Rangers’ now mathematically possible it was Watford that came to W12 in search of a win that would put the Hornets all but safe in their battle against relegation but would Warnock’s charges be up for the challenge put in front of them? We were there as per in hope of a win and take us up the table to make this season look a little more respectable.

With it being a midweek game we all got to Loftus Road from 7pm onwards owing to work commitments. I managed to meet Sam and Jo and 7 just outside the ground and we were soon to be joined by Stedders and Corp for a few giggles before we made our way inside and met up with Lofty, California Hoop and Jenson. Unfortunately PK was unable to make the fixture due to a heavy workload.

Two changes were made to the side that somehow lost on Saturday to Cardiff. Antonio German and Rowan Vine came in to replace Jay Simpson and Tamas Priskin.

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Rangers’ started the better of the two sides and when Taarabt laid the ball back to Buzsaky from a corner the Hungarian’s effort fell just wide of the Watford goal.
The play was based mainly in the centre of the field with both sides struggling to create any decent chances. Watford were trying to counter attack but found the linesman very alert and raised his flag on more than one occasion.
On the 38th minute we finally saw some goalmouth action.
Faurlin, Vine and Tosic combined down the left before the latter broke into the box and was halted by Mariapa and that was enough for referee Miller to penalise the Watford defender and promptly awarded Rangers’ a penalty.
After a slight disagreement with Taarabt over who would take the penalty it was Buzsaky that emerged with the ball and placed the ball on the spot before smashing the ball into the back of the net.
With Taarabt looking like he was sulking from not being able to take the penalty, Warnock made a bold move and took the Moroccan off and replacing him with Lee Cook. Taarabt stormed off down the tunnel after the substitution to really make himself look like a big sulker. PK text us to inform us that the radio reported that Taarabt was taken off because of a foot injury and was going to be out for the rest of the season, but then again PK does know nothing.

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Half time came around and quite a few jokes were shared within the group, many of which I missed but the mood in the camp was a good one and not really worried about the game we were witnessing.

The second half soon come upon us and we really should’ve stayed downstairs!
Watford enjoyed a good spell but that was due to the fact that Rangers’ were asleep and just allowing Watford to pull the strings but despite all the warning signs it took sometime before the pressure was relieved and that was courtesy of some good defending by Gorkss and Ramage at the heart of the defence.
With 20 minutes to go Warnock decided to throw on a product of the youth team, Joe Oastler, on for his debut and be put under the spotlight. Jay Simpson also entered the fray when he replaced Antonio German.
Simpson himself nearly got himself on the scoresheet when he was played in by Vine and his shot from an acute angle was tipped away for a corner by Scott Loach in the Watford goal.
Rangers’ battled on and were able to clinch a 1-0 victory despite referee Miller making some very questionable decisions against the R’s but luckily they didn’t go against us and the 3 points earned took us up to 14th in the table.

The game was played as a typical end of season game that had nothing riding on it by the Rangers’ players and only a few players looked like they really wanted it. Watford did fight with all they had and could probably feel aggrieved to not get a point after applying a lot of pressure during the second half.
Taarabt’s antics are a talking point and it will be interesting now to see if he featured in either of the next two games. I hope it’s an injury rather than what it looked like but we shall see what rumours appear over the next few days.

Lofty’s Man of the Match was a close contest between two players this evening. Kaspers Gorkss was immense during the second half of the game and I’m pretty sure he won every header during the 45 minutes. Tonight’s award however goes to his partner in the centre of defence Peter Ramage. Ramage has been fantastic in his more natural role in the centre back position and this is the third good performance on the spin and despite one or two slips during the second half he is a well worthy winner tonight.

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Leigertwood, Vine, Buzsaky (Oastler 71), Gorkss, Faurlin, Ephraim, Tosic, German (Simpson 73), Taarabt (Cook 41).

Subs: Putnins, Simpson, Brown, Parker, Priskin.

Goals: Buzsaky (pen) 38

Bookings: Buzsaky, Cook, Ephraim

Watford: Loach, Mariappa, Lansbury, McGinn (Sordell 46), Graham, Jenkins (Bryan 82), Harley, Bennett (Doyley 46), Taylor, Eustace, Hodson.

Subs: Lee, Hoskins, Henderson, Sordell

Bookings: Mariappa

Referee: Mr P Miller

Attendance: 13, 171 (2299 Watford)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What do we know?


Play Off chasing Cardiff came to W12 looking for revenge for their defeat in the reverse fixture back in October and further cementing their place in the Championship shoot-out in May. The Lofty Heights gang were in full force and hoping for Rangers’ to secure a double over one of their fiercest rivals.

En route to the ground me and Sam met PK and Corp in Hayes and made our way to the Springbok via a visit to the club shop to enjoy a pre match drink and enjoy the sunshine for the first time since late August. It was an earlier than usual arrival due to us wanting to see the ushering of what we thought would be many of the Cardiff mob, unfortunately there was more police than anything else and the fun was spoiled. As we awaited the parade we were joined by our usual regulars Lofty, Ibiza (who I always forget to mention), Jenson, Luke, Nik and we also welcomed our Welsh R’s Richard and Sophie.

Neil Warnock made one forced change from the team that started against Crystal Palace. Jay Simpson came in for the injured Damion Stewart, who has thankfully been discharged from hospital and will be now focused on his recovery and is pencilled in to return ready for pre-season.

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Rangers’ and Taarabt in particular started the game firing on all cylinders and within the first 3 minutes Taarabt had already taken aim on goal twice but failed to hit the target on both occasions.
Rangers’ enjoyed the lion share of possession and looked the most likely to score against a Cardiff side that were playing with two deep banks of four and looking to counter as and when they could.
On 17 minutes came close to our first goal of the game. Faurlin and Taarabt combined and the tricky Moroccan ran at the Cardiff defence unchallenged and decided to hit another shot from 25 yards out, this time he agonisingly saw the ball bounce off the inside of the post before being cleared to safety.
Taarabt was an absolute menace during the first period but he and Rangers’ failed to hit the back of the net against a Cardiff side that were offering nothing less than the occasional counter attack and the game drifted into half time with the scores level and the R’s untroubled and looking pretty comfortable.

We decided to enjoy our half time get together downstairs in the sun and the mood within the camp was relaxed and one that thoroughly believed that this game was ours for the taking and no other result looked possible. We enjoyed the sun a little too long and missed the beginning of the second half.

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The second half was much of the same; the R’s being the more attacking and most likely to score but never really threatened Marshall in the Cardiff goal.
Cardiff had their first real effort on goal when a Whittingham free kick wasn’t dealt with by Cerny as he flapped at it but luckily for him the ball was then cleared for a goal kick.
Rangers’ were then denied of what looked like a certain penalty when Taarabt broke clear down the right and advanced into the penalty area before being brought down by a Cardiff defender. For once none of us thought there was any hint of a dive but unfortunately for us the referee didn’t agree and promptly booked Taarabt for diving, I would like to see it again because it looked stonewall from where we were sitting.
Despite enjoying all the possession and attacking play Rangers’ just never took any of the chances and it came as no surprise when the killer blow was dealt on 80 minutes. Cardiff counter attacked Rangers’ down the left with Kennedy after Faurlin had given the ball away with a mis-placed pass and his deep cross found Joe Ledley at the back post to send what was an unusually quiet Cardiff crowd, absolutely mental. Déjà vu from Sheffield Wednesday?
Taarabt continued to do all he could to get an equaliser and when he shot over from 25 yards out a few boos rung out from the loft end and Taarabt reacted and saw that two subs were lined up ready to come on a signalled to the bench that he wanted to come off in frustration. Warnock ignored the Moroccan’s pleas as Lee Cook and Josh Parker came on for Jay Simpson and Hogan Ephraim.
Rangers’ nearly hit back almost instantly when that man Taarabt picked out Cook and he volleyed towards goal to find Marshall pulling off a great save from the R’s substitute.

All in all it was a very frustrating day for the Rangers’ players and fans alike as this was a game that we didn’t deserve to lose at all! For all our attacking play we deserved something and to be fair today we have once again highlighted the need for a striker or two that can finish off the chances we create.

Lofty’s Man of the Match for today is going to Adel Taarabt for the way he pulled the strings in the Cardiff defence all day and was at the heart of most of what we created all day. His reaction and wanted to be taken off nearly cost him today but he does deserve it so he can have it.
It’s worth saying that Ramage at centre back looks more comfortable and has put in two stellar performances there.

After the game Adel Taarabt was outside the ground talking to two of his friends and luckily Sam and PK approached him, Sam for a photo and PK to ask what his reaction was about and we have managed to get a Lofty Heights exclusive with two questions being asked to the Spurs loanee.
Sam asked the ever burning question of “What aftershave are you wearing” and his reply was “Armani”.
PK asked Taarabt what his reaction to the fans was about and got the following reply “You boo me, you know nothing about football” PK did then ask whether he’d be staying at the club and got the reply “I don’t know”.
PK walked away from Taarabt dispondant and as if he had just received a telling off from his school teacher. But something important was revealed today, PK knows nothing about football (sorry mate!).
We all made our way down The Queen to enjoy the sun a bit more with a drink and see Spurs beat Chelsea whilst reminding PK that “you know nothing”.


QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Faurlin, Simpson (Cook 83), Ephraim (Parker 85), Tosic, Priskin (German 90), Taarabt.

Subs: Vine, Hill, Oastler, Putnins.

Bookings: Ramage, Taarabt

Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Kennedy, Whittingham, Bothroyd, McPhail, Burke (Etuhu 67), Gerrard, Ledley, Blake, McCormack (Chopra 63).

Subs: Gyepes, Capaldi, Enckelman, Matthews, Wildig.

Goals: Ledley (80)

Referee: Mr M Oliver

Attendance: 12, 832 (1613 Cardiff)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stewart injury overshadows crucial win.


Neil Warnock returned to Crystal Palace looking for his first win in seven attempts and leaving his former side nervously looking over their shoulders in what is a tight battle against relegation with time running out. The gang hit the road and travelled to South East London in hope of a vital win.

It all began as the gang all met up in the Northolt area with Lofty taking control of the wheel as we drove through London town and at one point we were caught driving the wrong side of the road in roadwork’s, not that the driver noticed until PK in the front seat pointed it out to Lofty. Luckily after that and with the help of the PK-nav we were using to get ourselves to and from the game, we arrived safely in one piece and headed straight to the Tasty Jerk eatery, which was recommended by a Palace fan on our R’s on the road article, for a Pork Jerk and rice meal that was simply delicious and is highly recommended to anyone that is in that area. After placing a few Grand National bets in hope of winning a few quid, it was me, Lofty, PK, Sam (who was kind enough to pay for my ticket today), Nik and Luke that took the short walk around to the away stand to enjoy a quick beer before we separated and took our seats on what was a hot day in SE25.

Four changes were made to the side that lost at Leicester on Monday. Radek Dusko Tosic, Akos Buzsaky, Tamas Priskin and Radek Cerny came in to replace Matt Hill, Lee Cook, Jay Simpson and Carl Ikeme, who has now returned to Wolves after his loan spell at the club.

Barely 10seconds into the game there was a horrendous clash of heads between Damion Stewart and Calvin Andrew as they contested a header. The big Jamaican had to be stretchered away after receiving over 6 minutes of treatment on the pitch. Palace striker Andrew left the field on 23 minutes after trying to play on with a massive lump on his head due to this collision.
It’s since been revealed that Stewart has suffered a hairline fracture of the skull and had a slight bleed to the brain, which has now stopped. This lunchtime the club have said that Stewart is stable in hospital and is being monitored on an hourly basis. We wish Damo a speedy recovery!

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Back to the game.
Jay Simpson replaced Stewart as Peter Ramage switched to centre back, Leigertwood going to right back and Buzsaky going to his natural centre midfield role as Simpson took his place up front.
The reshuffle benefitted Rangers’ as they took the lead on 11 minutes.
Faurlin combined with Taarabt to release Hogan down the left side, his cross was only cleared as far as Tosic, who in turn crossed first time his cross was cleared to the halfway line to Ramage. Ramage fed Faurlin, who then passed back to Hogan on the left. His cross was picked up by Priskin and his passed back to Hungarian counterpart Buzsaky on the edge of the box and the Magical Magyar unleashed an unstoppable drive through three Palace defenders and into the left side of Julian Speroni’s goal to give the R’s an early lead and send the 2462 travelling fans into raptures!
This goal lifted an already lively Rangers’ support that was enjoying some early banter with the Palace support to both sides of us.
Rangers’ enjoyed the better of the first half and looked really comfortable despite having to rely on Radek Cerny to pull off a good save from Clint Hill who got in past the Rangers’ defence but was thwarted by the R’s custodian.

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Rangers’ looked solid and went into the half time break fully deserving of the lead and came out of the blocks the fastest when the second half begun.
Taarabt, who was menacing all day, picked the ball up on the halfway line and ran at the Palace defence before passing to Hogan on the left and dually played in Priskin but the big striker thrashed his effort over the bar.
A second goal was always on the cards and it came on 60 minutes, somewhat controversially.
Clint Hill made a last gasp tackle to stop Jay Simpson going through on goal and his tackle looked to be sending the ball out for a corner until Speroni got his head to it and headed out for a throw in, only to see the linesman award a corner. After seeing replays it looks a harsh decision but you can’t be sure whether it was a corner or not.
From the resulting corner that was taken by Taarabt it was Kaspers Gorkss that ghosted in front of the Palace defender to head the ball into the opposite corner, leaving Speroni with no chance and giving Rangers’ a 2-0 lead.
From here it was all Rangers’ and they really should’ve extended their lead on numerous occasions but failed to capitalise and were lucky not to be punished on the two or three occasions that Palace managed to get efforts on goal.
A third goal was just a whisker away when Rangers’ broke away and Taarabt flicked a ball into Simpson’s path and he stabbed the ball just past the right hand post.
Priskin created a few chances for himself but found Speroni equal to him on a few occasions.
The final whistle blew and sealed Rangers’ first win at Selhurst Park for 21 years and more or less eradicate any relegation fears surrounding the club.

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It was a fantastic performance by the whole team and you can only praise the efforts of every single player as all of them had a part to play at some point in the game.
Radek Cerny looked solid on his return. Leigertwood was comfortable at right back. Ramage playing in a more natural centre back role looks very steady and didn’t put a foot wrong. Gorkss had his best game for a few weeks and looks very assured. Tosic was comfortable and provided good overlaps, looks to have a very good footballing brain and is a good signing. Faurlin battled away all game and had flashes of brilliance throughout. Buzsaky flourished in a more natural centre midfield role and took his goal very well. Priskin created a few chances for himself, drifted in and out of the game but done fairly well. Hogan attacked the left very well and troubled Butterfield until he was finally taken off. Taarabt had a field day today and was given far too much space, created a lot of chances for his team mates. Simpson chased around all day and was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet.

For all the reasons above it’s impossible to award Lofty’s Man of the Match to anyone and will name the entire team as the stars of the show.
The Rangers’ support was fantastic on this crucial day and they too deserve a great deal of credit for the support that was given to the team. Their reward came after the game when the team came over to clap the fans and Ramage, Gorkss, Taarabt, Hogan and a few others (my mind has gone blank) threw their shirts into the crowd as a sign of appreciation. It looks as if we are all together as a club now and finally supporting each other once more.

Once again, we all wish Damion Stewart a speedy recovery and hope for more good news over the coming days and weeks.


Palace: Speroni, Hill, Derry, McCarthy, Ambrose, Danns, John, Scannell, Lawrence, Andrew (Clyne 23), Butterfield (Lee 58) (Ertl 70).

Subs: Carle, Hills, Ertl, Davis, Mann.

Bookings: McCarthy

QPR: Cerny, Ramage, Stewart (Simpson 8), Leigertwood, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Faurlin, Ephraim, Tosic, Priskin, Taarabt (Parker 90).

Subs: Putnins, Cook, Brown, Oastler, German.

Goals: Buzsaky (11), Gorkss (60)

Bookings: Tosic

Referee: Mr N Miller

Attendance: 20, 430 (2462 QPR fans)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

R's on the Road To.......... Crystal Palace.


This Saturday sees a massive six pointer at the bottom of the table as Crystal Palace play host to fellow strugglers QPR.
In what will be Neil Warnocks return to Selhurst Park so soon after leaving the club for Rangers' this promises to be an exciting and intriguing encounter which also sees Paul Hart take charge of Palace against a Rangers' side he failed to make an impact on during his 28 day spell at the club.
Here are a few things that may help you out in the build up to Saturday's important game.




Club History.


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Crystal Palace were formed in 1905 by workers at The Crystal Palace. In their first season in the Southern League Second Division in 1905-06 they were crowned Champions. In 1920 the club joined the Football League Third Division and won the Championship at the very first attempt.
In 1924 the club moved to the purpose built Selhurst Park stadium and their first game in the stadium a crowd of 25,000 watched Palace lose 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday.
It wasn’t until 1969 that the club reached the top flight and managed to survive three seasons there until they were relegated in two successive seasons in 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons. However the club were promoted back up to the top flight after successful promotion campaigns in 1976-77 and then 1978-79.
The 80’s proved to be telling in the clubs history when Ron Noades became chairman of the club but in his first season the club were relegated once again and didn’t return until the won promotion via the play offs in the 1988-89 season.
Despite a uneventful season in the league in their return to the top flight it was the cup where the club really flourished and they reached their first ever FA Cup final. In an exciting and very eventful game against Manchester United the game finished 3-3 and went to a replay where it was a contrast to the first game and Lee Martin’s goal won the cup for United and left Palace wondering what would of been.
In the season that followed Palace got off to a flier and were 3rd in the league with two games in hand on their rivals. However, following a program called “Great Britain United” chairman Ron Noades made disparaging comments about the work ethic of the clubs black players, something Noades insists that his comment were taken out of context. Following this row Palace striker Ian Wright left the club for Arsenal and Palace saw their season fizzle out and ended up finishing in 10th place, ensuring the club took their place in the first season of the Premier League.
The Eagles got relegated during the first season of the newly formed top flight but made an immediate return the following season. Palace yo-yoed between the divisions top flight twice more before entering administration in 1998 under owner Mark Goldberg’s spending spree in trying to achieve promotion back to the Premier League was unsuccessful.
Simon Jordan then took the ownership of the club and was able to see the club promoted to the Premier League once more but were relegated once again before appointing Neil Warnock as the manager with the task of getting the club back into the Premier League. Warnock’s charges were flying high at the start of this season back due to financial constraints the club entered administration for the second time in it’s history in January this year and after over a month of battling against the administrator Warnock decided to join QPR and his replacement was QPR’s manager in January, Paul Hart.


The Stadium.

Current capacity – 26,309.

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Crystal Palace have lived at Selhurst park since 1924 and has had two new stands constructed in recent years. The most recently built is the two tired Holmesdale Road Stand which is situated to the left of the away section. This stand looks pretty impressive with its curved roof and houses many of the Palace faithful that will provide at lot of banter for the afternoon. Opposite this stand is the Whitehorse Lane Stand which is unusual in its appearance. Behind its single tier is two rows of executive boxes and then a video screen hangs on the top of the roof, which looks like it originally wasn’t meant to go there but was just placed there on the off chance.
The two stands that run down either of the flanks are very dated. The Main Stand is where many of the Clubs executives will be sat but where most of the action will be is in the Arthur Wait Stand. Away fans will be housed in the left side of the stand and to the right will be many more of the Palace faithful and much more banter will be thrown both ways during the course of the afternoon I’m sure.
If you are sat at the back of this stand you will have wooden seats to sit on or may not to sit on as a lot of them have gone missing in recent times. Also if you are sat at the back you will also have pillars to contend with and could obstruct your view during the game.
The concourse is very tight and has only one place to get refreshments from so make sure you stock up before you enter the ground otherwise you could find yourself in a queue for quite a while.

The History between the teams.

At Crystal Palace (44)

Crystal Palace 15
QPR 10
Draw 19

Rangers’ go to Selhurst Park looking for their first away win at Palace in over 20 years! The last victory came on 2nd December 1989 in a 3-0 win that completed the double over Palace that season having won 2-0 back in August.
Rangers’ have drawn on their last two visits to Selhurst Park with Scott Sinclair scoring in a 1-1 draw two seasons ago and then last year a 0-0 bore draw was played out between the sides.

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How to get there.

By Car: - The postcode for Selhurst Park is SE25 6PU.
There are probably three or four different ways that you could reach Selhurst Park and would take an eternity to write them all down so I will give you two routes that you can use.
If you are in the London area is would be easier to use the following route, my starting point is Loftus Road. This link will give you all the roads and directions you need to get to Selhurst and this is also printable.

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp#fromNode=308260052019702|W12,%20Shepherd%27s%20Bush|
STREET|521928|181195|toNode=308260063489878|Crystal%20Palace%20FC
,%20London|STREET|533323|168417

If travelling from the North or West then this is the easiest route that I can suggest.

Get yourself onto the M25 Southbound and come off at junction 7, heading up the A23 towards Croydon. After 7 miles you will reach a set of traffic lights (Fiveways Corner) turn right here and join the A232. Three miles up the road you will come up to a roundabout, take the first exit which will join you onto the A212. Follow signs for Selhurst/Thornton Heath for the next three miles and you will then reach a mini roundabout, turn right here and then take your next right and you will arrive at your destination.

Parking is an absolute nightmare in the area with most of the streets around the ground being residential and you will occasionally be lucky to have a pay and display area which will allow you to park there for up to four hours. Allow time in your journey to be able to park up if you are driving.

By Train: - The closest stations to the ground are Selhurst and Thornton Heath, either way you will have a 10-15 minute walk to the stadium.
Please note that Crystal Palace station is no-where near the ground.
To get to the ground from Selhurst station, depending on the exit you use, walk over the railway bridge and take a right down Edith Road keep walking down here until you reach Eileen Road which will be on your right. At the end of Eileen Road take a left onto Saxon Road and walk until you reach the end of here and join onto White Horse Road. Once to join this road take a right and continue walking up this road until you reach the High Street and take the left onto there and you should see the stadium in front of you.
From Thornton Heath Station you take a left when u come out of the station and head up Brigstock Road and take a right onto the High Street and follow this road all the way until you see the stadium on your left hand side.


Pubs 'n' Grub.

The most favourite choice of pub for away fans on their trip to Selhurst Park is The Railway Telegraph. It’s located around 100yards down the road from Thornton Heath Station. Another favourite is a Wetherspoons which is directly opposite Thornton Heath Station, either pub will do the trick on a match day.
As for food, on your walk to Selhurst you will encounter many chip shops and kebab shops to feed you. I can honestly say I’m unaware of any other facilities apart from these.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Rangers Out Foxed on Easter Monday...


Leicester 4-0 QPR

Rangers suffered only their second defeat of the Warnock era, but also the heaviest as the Foxes ran out 4-0 winners at the Walkers Stadium yesterday. The defeat leaves Rangers nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation places, with just 3 points seperating them from the bottom three.




Well, again for various reason's, the gang's presence was minimal in Leicester with just Sam and Luke making the journey, joining the 900 odd Rangers fans in the away end. On a personal note, decorating the living room and dustsheets everywhere, prevented me from grabbing any sort of coverage, so was very grateful to Sam (thank you!!) for team and score updates. After seeing the line up, I was quite positive, but it wasn't long before the first text arrived informing me the R's were a goal down.

The second arrived shortly after saying that Liegertwood's goal had been disallowed - deflecting off Simpson who was in an offide position. Text number 3 arrived and it was 2-0 - the BBC described this goal as - Martin Waghorn made it 2-0, passing into an unguarded net from 30 yards after QPR keeper Carl Ikeme fluffed a kick straight to the on-loan striker.

In what was a good afternoon for Waghorn, he curled by all accounts a superb second from 25 yards just after the break and Howard headed in to complete the rout.

On his sides second defeat, QPR Manager Neil Warnock said;


"Believe it or not I'm disappointed we didn't win the game, which might sound a bit silly.

But their first two goals were absolutely diabolical and showed the hard work we are going to have to put in.

We don't have enough physical presence at the moment. I think if we had Steve Howard and Martyn Waghorn, we might have won the game."


QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Hill, Gorkss, Stewart, Faurlin, Cook(Buzsaky 55), Taraabt, Ephraim, Liegertwood, Simpson(Balanta 77)

Subs not used: Cerny, Vine, Tosic, Oastler, German


Sam's Man of the Match - Alejandro Faurlin


In summary, to say this was disappointing is an understatement, although hearing various comments and reading reports, it didn't seem it was as bad as the result suggested. However, football is most certainly a results business and Rangers are without a doubt, in a relegation battle which could go right to the wire. Just how big is next week's game away at Palace???

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of these pages and I have thoroughly enjoyed my brief comeback :) - Lofty :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Point Won? Or Two Lost?


QPR 1-1 Sheff Weds

Sheffield Wednesday grabbed what I must say, was a very undeserved point as a Rangers home game ended 1-1 for the third consecutive game.


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It was, eventually, a healthly gang turnout. California Hoop returned from family duties to join myself, Lee, PK, Corp and Jenson. But a Special mention has to be reserved for Sam, who despite finishing work at 2pm, made a dash down the motorway from Henley to get to Loftus Road with 5 minutes to spare - impressive!! It was also good to see and catch up with the Leeds mob, Paul, Joe and Vickie - has been a while guys!

Onto the game and as mentioned, The Owls left Loftus Road the happier of the two sides fo sure and to say that I am sitting here writing this, feeling as though we have lost is an understatement. After a dominant start, Rangers made the breakthrough on 23 minutes - Taarabt's right-wing cross was flicked on by Damion Stewart and, after a scramble near the edge of the six-yard box, Argentine midfielder Faurlin fired home from close-range - his much deserved and long awaited first goal for the Club.




It was a deserved breakthrough for the R's, who had earlier gone close when Taarabt's corner was headed over by Tamas Priskin and after Faurlin's opener, Priskin almost doubled Rangers' lead four minutes into the second-half. Although appearing to look offside when he collected Matt Hill's chip into the area, the flag stayed down, but Priskin's effort was tipped onto the bar by Lee Grant. Faurlin and Taarabt brought further saves from Grant as Rangers looked to kill of Wednesday.

But the missed chances proved all too costly and with 12 minutes to go, an excellent cross from Spurr was met by was met by Tom Soares who made no mistake, heading past Ikeme. Despite Rangers dominance, it was Wednesday that finished the stronger of the two sides in a game that Rangers should have long since put to bed.


QPR: Ikeme, Ramage, Hill, Gorkss, Stewart, Liegertwood, Faurlin, Taraabt, Simpson (German 73), Priskin (Vine 89), Ephraim (Cook 81)

Subs not used: Cerny, Buzsaky, Balanta, Oastler

Lofty's Man of the Match - this one was undoubtedly going to Tamas Priskin after having to endure his very own one man appreciation society sitting behind us throughout the game, but although he didn't have his worst game by any means, there were a few more worthy contenders - Peter Ramage for one who had a solid game at right back and got forward to support the front men well. Taraabt was his normal tricky self, but was often frustrated by the 3 men Wednesday had put on him. But, not for the first time, the award this week goes to someone who also celebrated his first goal for QPR - Alejandro Faurlin

In summary and as mentioned, the fact that I am sitting here writing this feeling that we have lost, probably says it all...