Today the R's faithful traveled to Scunthorpe in the first of two long trips up north in four days. The R's, looking for another win that would send them closer to the promised land, had a challenge in front of them as Scunthorpe introduced new manager Alan Knill to the home fans for the first time and you can be sure he was out to impress.
The Lofty Heights gang traveled in two cars for this game as Sam, Jess, Luke and Nik jumped into my car and in Jenson's car was Lofty. Iceman, Callun and Smithy took the train to sunny Scunny.
In my car we were entertained by some old cd's that me and Jess had unearthed during the week as the trio in the back drifted to sleep within half an hour of us leaving for our northern destination. Having enjoyed an extremely smooth drive and having plenty of discussion about bets on the game and on the Grand National, we arrived at quarter past one and made our way to the pub which was hiding away just behind McDonalds.
Iceman joined us 20 minutes later having walked from the station and then Lofty and Jenson soon followed before finally Callun and Lorna made their entrance to complete the group as we enjoyed a pre-match pint in the sun as we looked ahead of what we all thought would be another three points for the R's.
Just as we left the pub the team news was announced and there was a shock in the news.
Adel Taarabt missed out with a stomach strain as Heidar Helguson and Kaspars Gorkss surprisingly dropped to the bench. Hogan Ephraim, Rob Hulse and Danny Shittu were their replacements.
The R's came steaming out of the blocks and took control of the opening exchanges and created two great chances early on only for Hulse to fire over when under pressure and Ephraim dragging a shot wide after good work by the R's down the left hand side.
However on seven minutes the R's got the goal that was coming from the opening minute.
Routledge was released down the right hand side by Shaun Derry and Routledge's teasing cross was met and tucked into the near post by Rob Hulse. Great header although we needed to see the celebrations of the players to be certain that his header had gone in the back of the net.
The goal only encouraged the R's as they searched for more.
Rangers' nearly got a second goal a minute after the first. Ephraim crossed over to Routledge and in one movement the little winger attempted to lob Joe Murphy in the Scunny goal but he clawed the effort away from goal before being cleared to safety.
Soon after the R's broke away after a Scunthorpe corner was cleared and Faurlin played Routledge clear on goal with only Joe Murphy to beat but the keeper was more than up to the challenge as he superbly blocked Routledge's effort from close range.
Rangers' were soon cursing not taking their chances as Scunthorpe levelled.
O'Connor took a free kick from the left side of the Rangers' penalty area and he floated it in and Joe Garner was there unmarked and powered his header past Paddy Kenny at full stretch. Poor marking for the goal and it led to a few heated words in the camp.
The goal gave Scunthorpe the belief they have been lacking and a minute later they had the opportunity to make it 2-1. O'Connor took the free kick just outside the penalty area but failed to make the most of the opportunity.
The Iron continued to enjoy the majority of the creative play and the R's must've been glad for half time to come when it did.
At half time the gang all gathered behind the goal to discuss the proceedings of the first half. We expected there to be a bit of an arse kicking to be delivered to wake the troops up but we were highly expectant of the team to come out firing in the second half.
As the team took to the field for the second half there was one R's change.
Pascal Chimbonda replaced Danny Shittu and went to left back as Clint Hill moved in to the centre back position alongside Fitz Hall.
Scunthorpe begun the half as they finished and were in control, within two minutes they were in front.
Paddy Kenny failed to deal with a high and hopeful ball into the box and the ball fell to Joe Garner and his scuffed shot rolled into the back of the net and gave Scunthorpe a deserved lead.
Just before the hour mark things got even worse for the R's.
Rangers' failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to O'Connor and he volleyed from about 20 yards out into the top corner, leaving Paddy Kenny no chance! A fine goal and was well worthy of the applause that a few of the 1855 travelling fans gave to the strike.
With the R's in desperate need of goals a double change was made on 62 minutes. Patrick Agyemang and Ishmael Miller came on for Rob Hulse and Shaun Derry.
It looked as if the R's went 4-2-4 as Faurlin and Ephraim played centre midfield and the front four from right to left were Miller, Smith, Agyemang and Routledge.
The changes failed to inspire Rangers' as the frustration grew and the final nail in the coffin was delivered ten minutes from time.
Clint Hill tried to shepherd a ball into touch but Chris Dagnall stole the ball off him before squaring to Duffy and his shot was part blocked by Chimbonda but the ball trickled into the back of the net.
It has to be said that for the opening 28 minutes there only looked like one winner but after conceding a sloppy equalizer Rangers' just couldn't seem to get going again.
There were a few shocking performances out there but you can't bemoan the players who did as they have been outstanding all season and to belittle them after one bad game would be extremely harsh. They know who they are and I'm sure they will go out on Tuesday at Barnsley full well knowing that they need to make up for it, lets just hope it happens.
It was nice to see Rob Hulse get himself on the score sheet again but the team are guilty of only playing long balls to him and this doesn't give the man much of a chance.
Hopefully on Tuesday we will see Gorkss return to the starting eleven with Heidar Helguson and lets hope Mr Taarabt is fit also.
Today's Man of the Match was a unanimous decision as Tommy Smith was pipped to the award by the lively Wayne Routledge.
Scunthorpe United: Murphy, Gordon, Togwell (Raynes 90), Nunez, O'Connor (Wright 84), Dagnall, Hughes, Nelson, Mirfin, Duffy, Garner (Miller 90).
Subs: Lillis, Collins, Nolan, Godden.
Goals: Garner (28 & 48), O'Connor (58), Duffy (79)
Bookings: O'Connor (77)
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry (Agyemang 62), Hall, Faurlin, Routledge, Hulse (Miller 61), Smith, Ephraim, Shittu (Chimbonda 46).
Subs: Cerny, Buzsaky, Gorkss, Vaagan Moen, Miller.
Goals: Hulse (7)
Bookings: Miller (75), Orr (82)
Attendance: 6, 061 (1855 QPR fans)
I will be back with a preview of the trip to Barnsley (providing I remember to post it) and the Barnsley report will be available from Wedsnesday next week.