R's get well deserved point at Burnley
Today the R's made a second long trip up north in a week as they travelled to Burnley in search of their first away win of the year.
The Lofty Heights crew made the trip up the M40,M42 M6 and M65 to witness today's events.
Lofty's journey started at about 9 as he made his way to Jenson's house and jumped in Jenson's car before meeting Sam and myself in Marlow and hitting the long road up north.
Jenson made a few failed attempts to get some petrol on board as every Shell petrol station seemed to of run out of petrol! Jenson proceeded to hit the motorway knowing that we were touch and go on whether we had enough on board or not, we had some fun and games seeing if we would make it to Turf Moor or not.
Lofty was in charge of the predictions today and had his pencil at the ready to adjust the scores on the way home.... it seemed as if everyone was determined to ensure that they would take home the winnings as current and defending champion PK was not able to make the trip due to being on call for work. A new champion would be crowned by 6pm!
We decided that today would be the day that Lofty Heights returned to twitter and give the R's fans that read about our travels a chance to see what we think of what is happening as we are in the stand. Feel free to follow us on twitter, our username is @loftyheights70.
Ten miles outside of Burnley the fuel tank finally hit zero and the chase to find the nearest petrol station was on. Luckily after 10 minutes of looking we found an Asda and filled up know we would arrive at Turf Moor and get home with no worries.
Having parked up in the cricket club we made our way in for a swift pint and relax before we went in the ground. Having waited for over ten minutes trying to get a drink and watching the northern barmaid serve every Burnley fan ahead of me, regardless of whether I was there before them, finally it took an R's fan without colours on to point her in my direction and finally get a drink in for the troops. I never knew that despite being six foot five that I could still pull off the invisible look pretty well.
After we finished ours drinks we decided to hit the road and go to the ground, just as we left the bar we bumped into Lorna and let her join us as we are pretty kind people.
Having got into the ground Lofty, Jenson and myself hit the food kiosk with three starving stomachs and went for the pie option. Having demolished our pies we all looked at each other and all of us were still hungry. We sneaked our way back to the kiosk and got ourselves a second pie each, we aren't greedy honest!
We made our way up to our seats, the first seats we chose had a leaking roof directly above it so we moved up a few more rows and strategically placed ourselves so we would avoid getting rained on any further.
Neil Warnock made a few changes to the side that lost at Blackburn last weekend. Gary Borrowdale, Leon Clarke and the injured Jamie Mackie dropped out and they were replaced by Matt Connolly, Tommy Smith and Adel Taarabt.
It was the R's that started the half the better of the two teams and won a flurry of corners in the opening ten minutes into the game and looked like the more likely of the teams to open the scoring.
Rangers' continued to push and when a ball from Taarabt was knocked down into the path of Orr with only the 'keeper to poke the ball past he failed to get a decent contact and Grant was grateful to beat the ball away.
After a good opening half an hour by the visitors it was only inevitable that Burnley would enjoy a good spell in the half and they did finish the half the stronger of the two as a free kick was put just over after Chris Eagles dived to the floor, surprise surprise! Paddy Kenny was forced into a good save as well as the half closed and the teams went in level.
A draw at the interval was a fair reflection of the half as the R's did look the most likely to score but it was an entertaining affair that was end to end and could swing either way.
As we were waiting for Jenson to get his half time coffee we noticed a certain Emmanuel Ledesma in the queue for a hot drink, much to the delight of Sam and Lorna who perved on him for the remainder of his time downstairs. If anyone is interested, he ordered a hot chocolate and put four sugars in it....... sweet!
We took our places in a slightly different formation but there were no changes on the field as we kicked off the second half.
Rangers' once again come out the brighter of the teams as we looked to break the deadlock.
Taarabt was pulling the strings in midfield and was at the heart of most of the R's attacking play. He was also being kicked left, right and centre but for once he didn't retaliate for once and instead continued to terrorise the Burnley midfield and defence.
It was Taarabt who in turn was fouled and the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the Burnley area, however from where I stood it looked to be a foul in the area. Taarabt's free kick was floated just over the bar.
As the half wore on both teams were going for the elusive goal that would more than likely win the game.
Rangers' had two golden chances to win the game as Hulse played in Tommy Smith and the latter broke through the Burnley defence and rather than square the ball to Hulse, Smith decided to go for the shot himself and saw his shot blocked by a Burnley defender that threw themselves at the ball and saved the danger.
The best chance came as Taarabt's cross was knocked down into the path of Kaspers Gorkss and the big Latvian could only manage to put the ball over the bar from three yards out.
We are hoping that we have better news this week as Alejandro Faurlin limped off with what looked like a thigh injury. Its definitely not something we need as Faurlin is a key player.
The R's survived a late scare as Paddy Kenny scooped a looping ball off the line and ensured that the honours remained even.
It was a great point to take away and it was probably a fair result in reflection. At the start of the day I would've taken a point so I definitely have no complaints of the result.
Having got to the end of the game I was happy it was over as my fingers were aching after putting out so many tweets, hopefully the insight was taken well.
Today's Man of the Match was a two horse race for us. Tommy Smith put in a great shift in the second half and was unlucky not to grab himself a goal. However our man of the match goes to a player that worked their socks off and kept on picking themselves up after being kicked to the floor on many occasions. He looked like a rugby player at the end of the game and for all the above reasons its Adel Taarabt that is our Man of the Match.
Lofty wasted no time as we got in the car and started marking the predictions as we heard the results. After the end of the Premiership scores there looked like only one winner and with a number of correct scores we had an undisputed winner by a massive margin! The results in reverse order are- 4th me, 3rd Sam, 2nd Jenson and in first was Lofty! New champion, well done sir!
The journey home was a smooth and swift return with a quick stop for a KFC at Keele.
I finish writing this just outside of Oxford and not very far from home.