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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rangers' at the double on deadline day.

Today on deadline a rare thing occured, the R's actually made two signings and made those of us that sat in front of Sky Sports News at somepint during the day actually have something to shout about as Rangers' added to their ranks with two strikers who will hopefully provide some added firepower that will keep us in the higher part of the league.

First to come along was a target of a few years ago and finally Rob Hulse will pull on a blue and white hooped shirt some four or five years after we originally tried to sign him. There were fears over the result of a medical but apparently all of that has been overcome and at roughly 8pm tonight the conformation was received by the club and the three year deal for an undisclosed fee from Derby is now official.


Hot on the heels of the Hulse signing comes the announcement that Tommy Smith will also join the club on a three year deal from Portsmouth, also for an undisclosed fee.
Again the paperwork for this reached the club at roughly the 8pm mark so we can consider this a good job done on both deals.


Signing these two top quality strikers definitely highlights the R's intentions to go on the rampage and have a real go at pushing for the promotion and play off places and hopefully the good times will continue for us down in W12.

Welcome to both Rob and Tommy, we hope you enjoy the rollercoaster ride that we have here down in West London!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Return of the Mack

This afternoon the Lofty Heights crew of Lofty, PK, Jenson and myself took to the road and hit the slow moving M1 at roughly 10.30. The usual prediction competition took place on the way, would a new winner be crowned or wwill the money go the the usual winner? All will be revealed later. When we got upto Derby and took our seat in the nearby Pride Park Harvester and enjoyed a swift half or three and dring our pre match preprations we were joined by Iceman, Richard, Sophie and Richard's son who was attending his second game as a QPR supporter.
We took our seats just as the half began with myself, Lofty and PK sitting on one side of the stand whilst Jenson and Iceman sat on the other side.

Neil Warnock named an unchanged side after beating Scunthorpe last week. Adel Taarabt kept the captains armband.

The first half was a frustrating affair as Derby bossed the game and pressed Rangers' high up the pitch. Robbie Savage followed Adel Taarabt's every footstep and challenged the Moroccan everytime he got the ball, at times it looked as if Rangers' were playing with ten men as we just couldn't get Taarabt in the game.
Kris Commons was proving to be a constant thorn in the R's backside and he got the goal
his trickery deserved as the R's defence fell by the wayside. Derby broke down the left and as the ball was played to the back post there was Commons, who had enough time to take a touch and then slot home and delight the lively home crowd.
The referee was frustrating the Rangers' travelling fans, players and management alike with some very questionable decisions in favour of the home team, maybe I'm being slightly biased but my word that ref was poor!
After sharing the last five minutes having some banterous cheering with the Derby fans it was half time, and if I'm honest Derby had edged the half and looked more hungry than us.

During the half time break we all made our way outside so Lofty and PK could enjoy their smokes and reunite the group ahead of the second half. The five of us took to the stands together for the second half and we also had Richard, Sophie and the new young R in our group.

Much of the same happened in the second half and disaster struck on the hour mark when Bailey was fed the ball on the edge of the Rangers' half, he took aim and curled an effort past Paddy Kenny and gave the home side a 2-0 lead. As soon as the ball left his foot you could see that it was only heading for one place, the back of the net.
After another frustrating twenty minutes of poor officiating and a second disallowed goal, the first goal happened in the first half at 0-0 but looked clearly offside, however the second offside decision did look very close.
Neil Warnock came very close to getting sent to the stands when his emotions boiled over and shared his views to the officials on the sidelines, after a quiet word he was allowed to carry on directing orders from the touchline.
The board went up showing four minutes of added time and we were nearly out of our misery.
Rangers' got what looked like a 91st minute consolation as Patrick Agyemang held off his defender and poked the ball home and give us a glimmer of hope.
The R's then piled on the pressure in search of an unlikely leveller and got a last minute corner. Derby cleared their lines and the Derby striker broke through on goal with just Kenny to beat and the new R's number one saved and denied a third Derby goal.
From that corner Rangers' broke away and won a throw which was taken quickly and before we knew it Jamie Mackie was on the edge of the Derby area with defender blocking his way to goal, he muscled his way past and superbly shot into the far corner!!! Cue the delirious celebrations!!!!!!
The celebrations were similar to those at Hillsborough when we got promotion, we robbed Derby in injury time and my god it felt good!!

Today's Lofty Heights Man of the Match is given to Jamie Mackie for another great work rate all game and was rewarded with the 95th minute equaliser

After half an hour of trying to recover and get our heart rates back to normal we were still buzzing and were talking to Derby fans as we were looking at the brand new Clough/Taylor statue outside the ground.
We made the slow walk back to the Harvester giving out a few Rangers' chants to the R's fans sat in the traffic we walked past. We met up with Jo and John in the Harvester, they left the game at 2-0, so myself and Lofty did enjoy rubbing it in a tiny bit.
After a swift beer we left Iceman in the pub as he only had a short journey back to Burton and we hit the road with talksport on and went through our results of the predictions and with just the Blue Square results to go it was PK in the lead by two points, however after a blinding round of results it was me that somehow pulled it out of the bag to win by seven points.

A great day all round and even now as we just arrive at our homes we are all still buzzing after a second great away day of the season.

Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Roberts, Green, Barker, Leacock, Savage, Commons (Cywka 45), Bailey, Moxey (Ball 90), Doyle (Martin 57).

Subs: Deeney, Buxton, Pringle, O'Brien.

Goals: Commons (40), Bailey (59)

Bookings: Moxey (33)

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry (Buzsaky 61), Taarabt (Clarke 70), Helguson (Agyemang 62), Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Connolly, Ephraim.

Subs: Cerny, Leigertwood, Ramage, German.

Goals: Agyemang (90+2), Mackie (90+5)

Bookings: Hill (37), Mackie (90)

Referee: Mr M Haywood

25, 874 (1655)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

R's on the Road To.......... Derby County.

On Saturday the travelling R's support and the Lofty Heights crew travel up the M1 to Derby in what has been a happy hunting ground for the Superhoops over the past few years.


Rangers' have enjoyed a 100% start to the season and the question is can they continue the best start to a season in over 60 years against a Derby side that have won one and lost two of their opening three games of the league campaign.

Here's a few pointers for your journey to Pride Park.

The Stadium.

Current Capacity - 33,597


Pride Park has been the home of Derby County since 1997 having been at home at The Baseball Ground since 1895.
Each of Derby’s three homes, including their first home The Racecourse Ground, have hosted a full International. The Racecourse Ground hosted the England 9 Ireland 0 victory in 1895, The Baseball Ground was host to the England 2 Ireland 1 victory in 1911 and Pride Park graced the England 4 Mexico 0 match.
Derby’s most successful manager is the legendary Brain Clough. He managed to lead the club to the Division 2 title in 1969 and the Division 1 title in 1972. He also won two other smaller competitions with the club, The Watney Cup in 1971 and The Texaco Cup in 1972. He left the club in 1973 to manage Brighton and then Leeds in 1974 before taking over at bitter rivals Nottingham Forest in 1975. The A52, which separates Derby from Nottingham, has been named ‘Brian Clough Way’ in appreciation for his efforts at both clubs during his spells there.

The History between the teams.

At Derby County (22)

Derby 10
Draw 5

Last seasons trip to Pride Park was certainly a memorable one! It was live on BBC 2 at the end of the R's 'Goal-den October', we were even given free t-shirts on our seats that would only fit the slightest of Rangers fans, not people of the fuller figure like the people in the Lofty Heights gang do.
A clever quick free kick from Robbie Savage allowed Paul Dickov to sneak in behind the R's defence and slot home to give Derby a 10th minute lead. Worse was to follow as Savage took a free kick just outside the R's penalty area and delightly curled it into the top corner to give the hosts a somewhat fortune two goal advantage with ten minutes of the half left to play.
With five minutes of the half left to play it was Adel Taarabt's turn to try his luck with a free kick and managed to find the bottom corner with a superb curling free kick around the wall into the bottom corner and giving the R's a glimmer of hope going into the half time interval.
In the second half Rangers' came out all guns blazing and totally dominated proceedings and bossed it from the start and within two minutes of the restart the game was a level contest as Gavin Mahon tapped home a fantastic passing move from the visitors.
On the hour mark the R's took the lead for the first tome as Simpson coolly slid the ball home from ten yards when under pressure from the Derby defender.
The rout was complete when Akos Buzsaky hammered home a 90th minute penalty after Wayne Routledge had been fouled in the area.

It was a memorable day for the travelling fans and a great comeback witnessed on tv and made people stand up and take us seriously...... until the season fell apart just months later.


How to get there.

By Car: - The sat nav postcode for today is DE24 8XL.
Follow the M1 up to junction 25 and take the left onto the A52 towards Derby. 7 miles down the A52 you will have the ground signposted all the way for the rest of the journey.
Parking can be a tad tricky. On my last visit there was a little secluded area of parking just before Pride Park but I’m not aware if this is still available so instead I would point you in the direction of the cattle market which is a 15 minute walk from Pride Park or you can always park at the Derby Conference Centre for £5.

By Train: - The ground is roughly a ten minute walk from the station and I will do my best to give you directions from here. As you get off the platform go up the stairs, turn right and walk to the end of the bridge. Go down the stairs, exit and turn right down Roundhouse Road. Bear left at the roundabout, go straight down Riverside Road or turn right and go down Pride Parkway. You will approach the ground straight ahead of you.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

The best place for Rangers fans to drink is the Harvester just around the corner from the ground. It is very friendly in there and I have never encountered any trouble there on previous visits.
For food you could use the Harvester or alternatively there is a Frankie and Benny’s, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King and Subway not far from here.
Available on the concourse are a selection of Pies and Pasties all at £2.60, Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Burgers (£3) and Hot dogs (£3). They also offer a Pie & Pint for £5.50.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

R's in heaven with Hel.

This weekends game against Scunthorpe looked like an easy enough encounter on paper and after seeing previous performances against Barnsley and Sheffield United it was one of those game where anything less than three points would've been looked at as two points dropped, but as Rangers' as we know them this had the potential to be a banana skin. Here is the Lofty Heights round up of how we saw things at Loftus Road yesterday.

After arriving in W12 earlier than usual, Sam, Jo B and I made our way to the ground to meet up with Matt for a quick pre match chat and get a general feeling on how we thought the result was going to go before Matt had to return to his duties and we moved onto the Springbok after bumping into Michael and Fiona with young son Luke and then meeting Big T and Alan we moved onto the pub for a swift half or two.
The group then arrived bit by bit as Lofty, PK, Corp and Jenson arrived and we got up to near full strength as for this occasion we were missed California Hoop in the stands today. A few old faces from previous years were also at the Springbok as Deano, Perry and Kempy were in attendance once again, was good to catch up with the old crew.

Just one change was made to last weeks stunning first half demolition job of Sheffield United as Fitz Hall sat out owing to his hamstring injury, Matt Connolly took the honours in the centre back position.
As Hall was out injured that meant we needed a stand in captain. Most of us expected Shaun Derry to be given the armband but that wasn't to be the case as Adel Taarabt was given the honours and it raised a few eyebrows and wondered if this would bring out the best in our midfield maestro..... all was about to be revealed.

Rangers' came out of the traps the quicker of the two sides and looked the more lively and better attacking force out of the two teams on show. When Taarabt had a superb curling free kick turned around the post by Joe Murphy in the Scunthorpe goal on the ten minute mark, you just got the feeling that a goal wasn't far away.
Just 7 minutes later and the opening goal was scored.
Taarabt's corner found Bradley Orr unmarked on the penalty spot and the right back steered his header into the far corner to give the summer signing his first (of hopefully many) Rangers' goal since joining from Bristol City.
Just past the mid way point of the half Taarabt played a superb ball with the outside of his boot out to Orr on the right hand side and the cross was equally impressive as the ball was played deep to the advancing Helguson but his header was straight at Murphy from close range and the Scunny stopper pulled off a great save.
Taarabt looked to be enjoying himself out there with the added responsibility and on many occasions was putting in added effort, at one point I'm sure I saw him at left back to start up another Rangers' attack. The Moroccan was having another fantastic game and was driving the R's forward, so much so that once again Taarabt was the provider for the second goal of the afternoon.
Taarabt once again played a beautiful lofted ball with the outside of his boot and over the last defender to find Helguson who in turn chested the ball down and then lifted the ball over Murphy and all but end the game as a contest.
Just before the break it seemed as if Rangers' had won the chance to score a third as Taarabt was once again causing all sorts of trouble in the Scunny defence and was tripped just inside the box and the referee pointed to the point much to the delight of the R's faithful......... only to reverse his decision and then book Taarabt for diving, very very strange decision making.


For the majority of half time I was on the phone so missed out on everything that was spoken about so unfortunately I can't provide much info here so I shall crack on with the second half.

Scunthorpe came out for the second half looking to reduce the arrears and when Woolford swung a free kick in towards Paddy Kenny's bottom corner the R's number one had to be alert to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
Shaun Derry then tried to get in on the act as his charge from midfield saw him on the edge of the box with a great shooting opportunity but unfortunately the finish just wasn't there as Murphy gathered the ball quite comfortably.
Rangers' then had their best chance of the half as Kaspers Gorkss saw his header, from Taarabt's free kick, loop over Murphy but agongizingly saw the ball hit the top of the crossbar and out to safety.
Rangers' then piled on the pressure and when Hogan put in a deep cross to Helguson all on his own at the far post you thought that number three was on it's way, unfortunately Helguson probably had too much time to think about it and ended up glancing the header wide, glorious chance spurned.
When you thought chances didnt get any easier they did, again it was Hogan down the left side that rolled the ball across to Helguson, who had two defenders sliding in to block him, the ball bobbled just in front of the R's frontman and his side foot into the empty net flew high over the crossbar.
On 74 minutes Taarabt made way for Akos Buzsaky and the Hungarian was into action with his first touches. His curling shot from the edge of the box was destined for the top corner but somehow Murphy got his fingertips to it and tipped it over for a corner.
In the final moments of the game Faurlin showed some brilliant skill as he won a header and then played a little bit of keepy uppy before thumping a volley towards the top corner but it deflected off a Scunthorpe defender..... goal kick??? You figure that one out!


Another great performance by the R's today with plenty of people out there performing and there are plenty of unsung heroes coming out of that game and they will be mentioned during our man of the match awards. If the R's can continue playing this way and creating the chances that they do then we can hope for another positive result away at Derby next week.
It was also good to hear the R's faithful in good voice once again and also sticking by Heidar Helguson after his misses, who knows what the reaction would've been like had the game been at 0-0. Hopefully we will stay behind him and as his confidence grows we will see him banging in a few more goals this season.

On to the Man of the Match. The undoubted winner of this should go to Joe Murphy in the Scunthorpe goal as we was just superb, however with us being a Rangers' blog we must choose a QPR man of the match. We all voted for this whilst we were stood outside The Queen and even had some added input from Nik at this time, the nominees are.... Bradley Orr, Matt Connolly, Shaun Derry, Alejandro Faurlin, Adel Taarabt but the winner with two votes for his hard working display and never say die attitude is..... Jamie Mackie.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry (Leigertwood 87), Taarabt (Buzsaky 74), Helguson (German 90), Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Connolly, Ephraim.

Subs: Cerny, Clarke, Ramage, Parker.

Goals: Orr (17), Helguson (41)

Bookings: Taarabt (43)

Scunthorpe United: Murphy, McNulty (Byrne 82), Togwell, Woolford (Grant 76), O'Connor, Dagnall, Raynes, Forte, Wright, Nolan, Canavan.

Subs: Slocombe, Wright, Collins, McClenahan.

Referee: Mr G Salisbury

Attendance: 12, 046

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blades Cut to Size by Impressive R's...

Sheffield United 0-3 QPR

Welcome back to part two of this weekend's report on QPR's impressive 3-0 win at Bramall Lane. Apologies of course for it's lateness, but after being asked by Lee to write this weeks report, I forgot initially I had a 40th party to attend when I got back, in which much fun was had. Amazing what having a few pints on the back of a good win will do to ones mood. As for Lee, well, let's just say, he was a bit busy himself this weekend...

Well, what a day this turned out to be - myself, Lee, Jenson and PK hit the M1 at just after 10.30 and had a relatively easy journey of which the traditional prediction competition returned, more on that later.

On previous visits to Bramall Lane, myself and PK have found a top parking spot and a quiet little deli/cafe/bar called 'HELLAS' to enjoy some pre match food and drink, to which we raved to Lee and Jenson on route about. How typical that the parking spot had suddenly become more popular and the quiet Hellas was somewhat less than quiet. So, after a quick Peroni, we made our way to the Stadium and as you all know by now,the pre match was all that was to go wrong today...

During the journey and indeed, the prediction contest, it seemed myself and PK were the only ones predicting a cheeky Rangers win, but the general concensus was that we would all take a draw. I am going to cheat now and recap the match with Lee's report put together on the journey back...


Rangers simply blew away the Blades with a superb opening 25 minutes and put the game to bed in the blink of an eye.

Hogan Ephraim opened the scoring after Adel Taarabt had thread him in with a fantastic through ball and set the little winger clear, Hogan coolly slotted past Simonsen when one on one with the Blades 'keeper.

Within five minutes it was 2-0. Some good build up play between Taarabt and Hogan saw the latter play a perfectly flighted deep cross for Jamie Mackie to the back post and he was more than happy to nod home from close range and celebrate in front of the travelling support.

Then the dream really did become reality as Heidar Helguson turned his marker and was brought down by Simonsen and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. After a little bit of arguing between Taarabt and Helguson it was Taarabt that took the ball, placed it on the spot and put the penalty away with such confidence and put Rangers' 3-0 ahead with only 25minutes played!


A slightly more calm second half was to follow and chances were hard to come by but more importantly a clean sheet was kept and another three points were in the bag.

At the final whistle, the Blades fans were extremely disgruntled and made their voices heard, even more so than earlier in the day when they welcomed back ex keeper, Paddy Kenny. In talking with a few Blades fans after the game, it seemed the blame was pointed solely at Manager, Kevin Blackwell who, maybe not surprisingly, left the Club by mutual consent shortly after the final whistle.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall (Ramage 50), Taarabt (Clarke 69), Helguson, Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Ephraim (Leigertwood 82). Subs: Cerny, Connolly, German, Parker.

Lofty's Man of the Match - again, so many to choose from and a long discussion amongst the boys saw Kaspars Gorkss, Heidar Helguson, Adel Taarabt, Jamie Mackie and my own choice, Sean Derry recieve plenty of plaudits. But this weeks award goes to the one player who was praised by all of us, scored one and made the second - Hogan Ephraim

Well, journeys home after a result and performance like that of yesterdays, are certainly more pleasurable and it also brought the first predition result of the season, with a familiar result. Let me just say, that as, jokingly, foul play was brought up on more than one occasion last season, Lee left the organising of the contest to myself and Jenson, so it was with no doubt even more satisfying for my co editor that he claimed the £20 prize money once more. PK however, lived up to his billing that our own Adel Taarabt has given him of 'knowing nothing', sadly came last.

See you all next Saturday vs Scunthorpe at Loftus Road...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sheffield United 0-3 QPR

This short report comes as we are travelling back down the M1 from Sheffield United having seen Rangers' blow away the Blades with a superb opening 25minutes and put the game to bed in the blink of an eye.
Hogan Ephraim opened the scoring after Adel Taarabt had thread him in with a fantastic through ball and set the little winger clear, Hogan coolly slotted past Simonsen when 1 on 1 with the Blades 'keeper.
Within five minutes it was 2-0. Some good build up play between Taarabt and Hogan saw the latter play a perfectly flighted deep cross for Jamie Mackie to the back post and he was more than happy to nod home from close range and celebrate in front of the travelling support.
Then the dream really did become unreal has Heidar Helguson turned his marker and was brought down by Simonsen and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. After a little bit of arguing between Taarabt and Helguson it was Taarabt that took the ball, placed it on the spot and put the penalty away with such confidence and put Rangers' 3-0 ahead with only 25minutes played!
A slightly more calm second half was to follow and chances were hard to come by but more importantly a clean sheet was kept and another three points were in the bag.

Reports on the way home suggest that Kevin Blackwell has left his post as manager of Sheffield United.

A full report will follow in the next day or two as Lofty returns to the keyboard for the first (of hopefully many) time this season and will fill you in on our adventures over the course of the day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

R's on the Road To.......... Sheffield United.

This Saturday sees the R's hit the road for the first time this season and visit a place very familiar and close to Neil Warnock's heart, Sheffield United.


Having seen the R's get off to the best possible start in the league and then follow it up with a disappointing performance in the cup when crashing out to Port Vale in midweek, can we bounce back and continue to impress in the league against a Blades side that has drawn 1-1 at Cardiff and followed that result up with a 2-0 defeat at Hartlepool in the Carling Cup. This could be an intriguing encounter that in previous visits has screamed out 1-1 draw to all those who enjoy a bet.
Here are a few things to help you along the way before Saturday's game.

The Stadium.

Current Capacity – 32,702.


Sheffield United were formed in 1889 as a Football and Bandy club at the Adelphi Hotel, which is now the site of snooker’s famous Crucible Theatre, by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg, as a way of keeping the Sheffield United Cricket Club together during the winter close season, following the departure of Sheffield Wednesday to their new ground at Olive Grove and generating income revenues from Bramall Lane over the winter. Clegg was also the President of Sheffield Wednesday FC. As football became more popular the football team supplanted the cricket team, such that in 1975 cricket was no longer played at Bramall Lane.
Bramall Lane is the oldest major ground in the world having hosted it’s first game in 1862 between Hallam and Sheffield. Bramall Lane also hosted the world’s first ever floodlit game on 14th October 1878. The lights were powered by two separate generators.
In recent times Bramall Lane has seen improvements to the ground and after completion in 2006 the capacity had risen to 32,702.
Further improvements have been earmarked for the future with 3,000 seated being added to the back of The Kop Stand and the pillars being removed and a new roof having a giant screen as part of the roof (similar to the one at White Hart Lane). The second phase would see the Valad Stand (formerly the Arnold Laver Stand) also being extended and upon completion of both stands the capacity would increase to 40,000. These plans were part of the clubs bid to become one of the stadiums for England’s 2018/2022 World Cup bid, but having lost out to bitter rivals Sheffield Wedsnesday these plans have been put on hold until the club is able to regain and maintain Premier League status.
The R’s faithful will be housed in the lower tier of the Halliwells Stand, with up to 3,000 away fans being able to take their place here. The facilities are fairly decent, the concourses provide a narrow but long stretch of space for you to enjoy a pre match beverage with your friends.

The History between the teams.

At Sheffield United (24)

Sheffield United 7
Draw 13

The last time the R’s were victorious in this fixture, home and away, was at Bramall Lane in February 2006 in what was a thrilling encounter.
Marc Nygaard gave Rangers a 6 minute lead before Ade Akinbiyi levelled on 22 and Marc Bircham’s own goal seven minutes later gave United a 2-1 lead at half time. Shortly after the restart The Blades were awarded a penalty after Ian Evatt upended Chris Morgan. Paul Ifill’s poor penalty was saved by Paul Jones in the R’s goal and soon the impetus shifted in Rangers favour. The own goal tallies were even when Chris Morgan headed into his own net on 56 minutes and levelled the game, making the final half hour an interesting contest. The winner came on 74 minutes when Lee Cook delivered a diagonal ball into the path of Paul Furlong and the Rangers striker hit the back of the net. Rangers could’ve increased their lead minutes later when Lee Cook’s shot was too hot for Paddy Kenny to handle and the ball dropped to Furlong, with all the goal to aim at Furlong crashed his effort off the bar. After a tense finale Rangers managed to hang on to their first League success at Bramall Lane since 1993.


How to get there.

By Car:- The postcode for Bramall Lane is S2 4SU
I have found that the easiest way to get to Bramall Lane is to leave the M1 at junction 29 and follow the A617 into Chesterfield. As you enter Chesterfield you’ll come to a big roundabout, take the 4th exit onto the A61, by doing this you will also drive by Chesterfield’s new ground which is currently under construction. After ten miles on the A61 you’ll reach the bottom of the London Road, look for the A621 which is a left turn and this will bring you onto Bramall Lane.
It’s all street parking around this area so I would advise an early arrival if possible, if not then it’s just pot luck.

By Train:- The ground is a 10-15 minute walk from Sheffield’s mainline train station. As you come out of the station, walk left along the main road. Where the road splits take the right fork which is Shoreham Street and continue down this road to the ground.

Pubs 'n' Grub.

Pubs which have been recommended for the visit The Globe (by the train station, 15 minute walk) or the Howard.

The City Centre offers all the usual eating outlets that you would expect of. There are plenty of food shops along the London Road to choose from should you wish to eat before going inside the ground

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We are out of the cup!!

On a wet Tuesday night a depleted Lofty Heights crew took to the road on a wet Tuesday night and for once we had no pitch inspection or any worries about a game going ahead due to a day of rain in London.

Due to working commitments the crew were down to just me and Jenson sitting in the Upper Loft whilst many others sat in the lower sections of the ground got soaked.

Neil Warnock fielded a changed side from Saturday's opening win against Barnsley and gave some of the R's fringe players a chance to impress and maybe open the door to challenging for a place in the starting eleven in the near future.

4-2-3-1: Kenny, Orr, Hall, Connolly, Borrowdale; Derry, Leigertwood; Parker, Ephraim, Clarke; Mackie.

Rangers' didn't have the greatest start to the game but they were creating chances for themselves and when Mackie shot straight at the 'keeper after some clever footwork on the right hand side you thought that the R's were just going to go through the gears and slowly turn the screw.
This however wasn't the case and Port Vale opened up the Rangers' midfield and defence all too easily as they used their counter attack very well and this lead to the visitors taking the lead.
Rigg dinked a ball over the top of the Rangers' defence and Richards broke clear, took the ball in his stride and coolly slotted past Paddy Kenny to give Vale the lead.
If that wasn't bad enough then five minutes later Loftus Road was to be left stunned.
Rigg, the maker of the first goal, picked the ball up on the edge of the box and took aim for Paddy Kenny's bottom right hand corner and with the help of a deflection he found the bottom corner of his choosing and gave Vale, what was to be fair, a deserved lead.
Rangers' really should have pulled a goal back just before half time. Fitz Hall's long ball was picked up by Josh Parker and the youngster turned his defender inside out before shooting at the near post but his effort was tipped wide by Tomlinson.

At half time me and Jenson were joined by Michael and we all anticipated the introduction of Alejandro Faurlin as we were lacking his intelligence and movement in midfield because his replacement Mikele Leigertwood wasn't having his best game in the centre of midfield. The general concensus was also that we were glad that we never paid for the game... luckily!!

Unfortunately, well I say unfortunately very lightly, due to being in the blue and white bar finishing off what was a swift pint after meeting Jo G in there, we missed a third Port Vale goal scored by Richards once again. From what I am told Paddy Kenny struggled to keep hold of a low shot and Richards was there to pick up the pieces and effectively finish the game as a contest.
What we then noticed was that Leon Clarke had been taken off during the half time interval and was replaced by Antonio German.
Rangers' then thought they had grabbed a goal back when Matt Connolly headed home a Gary Borrowdale corner but Connolly was adjudged to of unfairly jumped against his marker.
On the hour mark Rangers' got their goal.
Connolly and Mackie exchanged passes before the latter played in German and the substitute smashed a shot against the nearside post before seeing the ball hit the other post and rolling to a defenders foot and cleared the ball... however the linesman was flagging as he felt the ball went over the line before hitting the second post, dubious but it was a slice of luck that was needed!
Romone Rose and Joe Oastler were introduced into the game straight after the goal as they replaced Shaun Derry and Josh Parker.
The substitutions did liven the R's up for the final 25 minutes of the game but unfortunately when a half chance came along we just were not able to capitalise on it.

Another disappointing early exit from the cup for the R's and in all fairness you can't say that Port Vale didn't deserve it because they took their chances and their supporters who travelled down made a fair amount of noise cheering on their charges.

Not much else can be said on the game apart from it was just so disappointing, however we have come up with a positive from the game and this is highlighted as we award our Man of the Match to Jamie Mackie. He showed heart and even with five minutes to go and we were losing 3-1 he was still chasing back and giving his everything for the shirt. Mackie was also by far the best R's player on the pitch and you can definitely see that we have a star in the making with this talented player.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Derry (Oastler 63), Hall, Leigertwood, Clarke (German 46), Mackie, Connolly, Ephraim, Borrowdale, Parker (Rose 63).

Subs: Cerny, Faurlin, Brown, Ehmer.

Goals: German (62)

Bookings: Hall (33), Mackie (90)

Port Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, Griffith, McCombe, Owen, Loft, M Richards, J Richards (Dodds 83), Collins, Rigg (K Taylor 73), Roberts (Fraser 90).

Subs: Martin, R Taylor, Morsey, Malbon.

Goals: J Richards (30 & 48), Rigg (35)

Referee: Mr G Sutton

Attendance: 6, 619

R's on the Road will be back on Thursday with a preview of Saturday's trip to Sheffield United.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

We are Top of The League!!!

Welcome back to the new season and what a start we had!!! The Lofty Heights crew were back on the scene and living the dream on a sunny/wet afternoon in W12. Barnsley were our opponents and this is how our day unfolded.

It was an early(ish) start for us as for once I took the train to football just in case we decided to have a few too many beers after what would hopefully be a cracking day with the gang as we re-united properly for the first time since the end of last season. PK jumped on the train at Burnham and we made our way to White City.
Once we got to Loftus Road I had to pick up my season ticket and Lofty's match ticket before we all met up at our usual pre-match watering hole, The Springbok.
The gang were fully re-united here as Lofty, PK, Corp, Sam, Jenson, Matt, Luke, Jo B, Jo G, Banks, Stedders, Phil and Nik all popped along at somepoint during the pre match build up and before we knew the heavens opened and we had a mad dash through the turnstiles to get to our seats, we were only a few minutes late and didnt really miss much of the action.

For the first game of the season Neil Warnock fielded 6 of Rangers' summer signings in a now familiar 4-2-3-1 formation.
Kenny; Orr, Hall, Gorkss, Hill; Derry, Faurlin; Mackie, Taarabt, Ephraim; Helguson.

As you will notice a familiar name to the group is missing from the group at the pub, this is because once again California Hoop made a grand entrance 12 minutes into the game, normal service has resumed for California Hoop, 1 game and 1 late entrance. Cali was joined by Darryl
The first half was a fairly even encounter, Rangers' enjoyed mopre of the attacking play and were not really tested too much at the back although when Hugo Colace's long range effort hit the outside of the upright a few of us looked a tad worried.
Luckily five minutes before the break those worries turned into jubilation.
After some neat play between Faurlin and Ephraim it was Adel Taarabt who took centre stage as his trickery got the better of the Barnsley defenders, and not for the first time, as he found himself making his way into the box before he was brought down by McEveley just as it seemed the Barnsley defence had melted away before him. The referee had no option but to point to the spot.
Heidar Helguson got the ball and cooly waited for Barnsley keeper Luke Steele to dive to his left before slowly rolling the ball home into the bottom right hand corner. Cooly done by the Ice man (no pun intended).


The half time meet up was one that was pretty happy with what we had seen. The players seemed nervous but also looked as if they wanted to slowly build up and mistakes were minimal. Even when Gorkss had to leave the field to have his head bandaged up we looked organised and everyone knew what they were doing.

Once again we were a little late getting to our seats as the second half kicked off.
Just eight minutes into the second half and the lead was doubled.
Faurlin and Ephraim once again combined with some good passing play and then Ephraim's cross was too hot for Steele to hold and Jamie Mackie was there to pick up the pieces and get a dream debut goal.
Rangers' never looked back from this moment on and the shackles came off as Rangers' showed how dangerous they are on the attack as chances were created.
Ten minutes later the game was put to bed.
Doyle mistimed his intervention on Heidar Helguson and clipped the Icelander's heels and conceded a second penalty of the game.
This time Adel Taarabt took the ball, placed it on the spot and slotted home from 12 yards.

For all the facebook users we have a short video of the penalty captured by Lofty's hi tech phone on the following link...!/video/video.php?v=10150242799000035&ref=notif¬if_t=video_tag

The fourth goal was soon to come as the impressive Ephraim once again was the provider as his ball slid across goal and there was newly named captain Fitz Hall to tap home from two yards out and really put the icing on the cake. Its fair to say that Sam tore the roof off as she celebrated her favourite players first goal of the season and nearly deafen the poor Michael Whelan in the Upper Loft, and to think he has another 22 games to go through as well! Our sympathies are with you my friend.


Well what a start to the season, the last time we started off this well was against Blackpool in a 5-0 victory at home and at the end of that season we all know what happened, was today the sign of things to come?
The second half was definitely impressive and Taarabt was at his brilliant best and just was too much for Barnsley to handle. You can easily say that there are better performances to come from this team and with a possible signing or two in the next week or two to strengthen up even further, you can only see good things happening over the next 45 games.

Todays Lofty Man of the Match award didnt take must consideration as the star of the show was evident. Jamie Mackie was superb, Shaun Derry and Faurlin at the heart of the midfield were rocks, Hogan grabbed a few assists and looks to be flourishing under Warnock but the undoubted star was bargin buy Adel Taarabt.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry (Leigertwood 80), Hall, Taarabt (Parker 78), Helguson (German 83), Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Ephraim.

Subs: Cerny, Clarke, Connolly, Borrowdale.

Goals: Helguson (pen 41), Mackie 53, Taarabt (pen 63), Hall (81)

Bookings: Orr (61)

Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, McEveley, Shackell, Doyle, Foster, Lovre (Butterfield 86), Devaney (Hume 46), Hamill (Neumann 76), Colace, Gray.

Subs: Preece, Dickinson, Boulding, Potter.

Bookings: McEveley (41), Doyle (90)

Referee: Mr J Linington

Attendance: 13, 445

After the game we all made our way to The British Queen for our post match beers and celebrations. Having only planned to have a few, we added a few more on top of that and ended up drinking there until 10ish and walked away to catch our trains home and met a random lady of the night that brightened the night up... the rest is history.

We'll see you all again on Tuesday!