Nearly time to say Taa-ra to the Championship.
Tonight the R's faithful traveled to Barnsley hoping to recover from Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Scunthorpe, however it wasn't going to be easy as the R's opponents were Barnsley who at the weekend beat Bristol City 4-1 at Oakwell.
The Lofty Heights gang were once again in attendance with another strong following.
Once again we took two cars as Sam, Jess and Luke jumped into my car and in Jenson's motor were Lofty, Smithy and Callun.
With both parties hitting traffic on the M1 in Nottingham and then again in Mansfield, it didn't delay our arrivals as Jenson arrived in Barnsley first and went straight to a pub called 'The Mount'. An hour later my car rolled up to Oakwell and we all met up outside the turnstiles and made our way into a chilly Oakwell and had our usual pre-match chats before heading to our seats. On our travels Iceman joined us in the ground and Lorna joined Jenson and Lofty in the pub so we were in full force as kick off time arrived.
Three changes were made to the side that lost at Scunthorpe on Saturday. Adel Taarabt, Heidar Helguson and Matthew Connolly came in for Hogan Ephraim, Rob Hulse and Fitz Hall.
Rangers' came flying out of the traps and got a quick opening goal.
After good work by Routledge down the right he squared it to Taarabt and he went down the defenders left side and then hit a left footed shot across goal and into the bottom right hand corner.
Rangers' did continue to enjoy possession for the opening 10 minutes until Barnsley slowly begun to take control and it was Marlon Harewood who shot from distance forcing Paddy Kenny to spill his shot into the path of an oncoming Barnsley player but Kenny brilliantly saved the rebound with an instinctive save.
Rangers' continued to be on the back foot for the remainder of the half as Kaspars Gorkss put in a superb performance at the heart of the R's defence.
At half time the gang gathered on the concourse as I stayed in my seat to start of this report and give myself a rest from all the shouting I was doing at all the inept refereeing on show.
The second half continued as the first one finished as Barnsley kept the pressure on the R's.
An absolutely awful refereeing performance kept the R's fans on the edge of their seats and just praying that a decision from this poor excuse of a ref.
With no decisions going Rangers' way it was only going to be hard work and a solid defence that was going to win us this game. With Routledge running his little legs off, Helguson tirelessly working hard up front on his own, Derry battling away at the heart of midfield and Gorkss winning every header going. Add on the fact Paddy Kenny picked up some type of injury that meant he couldn't kick for the duration of the second half, meaning Bradley Orr was on goal kick duty, this was the type of gritty 1-0 wins that we have rarely seen this year and really went a way to proving that we have the kind of stuff champions are made of.
As I said earlier this really was a battling performance and had to overcome a lot of dodgy refereeing decisions as well as a well oiled Barnsley side that on a different night may of beaten us had they created more clear cut chances.
Tonight's Man of the Match for me was between two people. Kaspars Gorkss was immense in the back four and really did show how much we missed him on Saturday, however that is not enough to grab the award tonight as with the unanimous vote is Wayne Routledge. He worked until the very end and considering he is playing with an ankle injury and playing through the pain barrier, his performance was truely superb.
After the game there were plenty of hugs and manlove about the group as its more than likely that if we win on Monday night in front of the Sky cameras we will be promoted to the Premier League.
Barnsley: Steele, Butterfield, Foster, McShane, Trippier, Hill (McEveley 77), Harewood, Haynes, Gray (Noble-Lazarus 82), Shackell, Mellis (Clark 77).
Subs: Preece, Arismendi, Foster, O'Brien.
Bookings: Butterfield (19)
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Ephraim 69), Helguson, Faurlin, Gorkss, Routledge, Connolly, Smith.
Subs: Cerny, Buzsaky, Hulse, Miller, Shittu.
Goals: Taarabt (1)
Bookings: Taarabt (35)
Referee: Mr A Bates
Attendance: 11, 381