Handy Andy Makes An R's Out Of Us
Today over 3,000 R's fans make the short walk from Loftus Road to Craven Cottage for the first West London vs South West London derby in over 10years against Chelsea's little brother, Fulham.
After clawing our way to getting tickets a few weeks ago, Jess, Tony, Alan and myself left Henley just after 11 and made our way to Loftus Road so we could park up and catch the tube down to Hammersmith and then walked from Hammersmith to Craven Cottage.
On our way down to the Cottage we stopped off at the Distillers for a cheeky beer on what was a glorious day.
We were all in high spirits and were all highly confident that we would take something away for the game, 2-0 and 3-0 predictions were the most popular choices amongst us.
Having made the final part of the journey by foot and got to Craven Cottage at about 2ish.
Inside the ground we enjoyed another beer, albeit a tad warm, and then met up with Luke and Phill before making our way to our seats.
Jenson and Lofty were in attendance as well but we didn't get a chance to catch up with the boys.
There was one forced change from the side that drew against Villa last week. Armand Traore missed out through suspension, he was replaced by Bradley Orr.
Apparently we lost Matt Connolly through injury on Saturday and Fitz Hall tweaked a hamstring in the warm up to the game but Hall still took his place in the starting line up as Bruno Perone was the only back up defender left in the squad, and let's face it he's no-where near up to Premier League standards.
Rangers started the game brightly and fashioned the first chance of the game, which ended up going safely into Schwarzer's hands.
After the first minute had passed it all went downhill from there.
Paddy Kenny got a firm hand onto Dembele's shot but could only palm the ball out to the six yard box and Andy Johnson was there to pick up the scraps and give Fulham a 1-0 lead on 81 seconds, nightmare!
Within ten minutes it should have been 2-0. Dempsey found himself unmarked with a near open goal from 12 yards out but luckily Orr was there to stick a leg out and save the R's blushes for a while longer.
On 19 minutes thing went from bad to worse.
Fitz Hall had a routine clearance and concede a throw in when Andy Johnson was breathing down his neck. Hall must've got a call from Kenny to leave it and the usually reliable R's keeper made a right mess of things and ended up conceding a penalty as he took Johnson down and gave away a needless penalty.
Danny Murphy stepped up and coolly put the penalty away and the celebrations were so tame that it was expected that they were to beat us, gits!
The R's faithful kept on singing and even after Johnson bagged Fulham's third after even more slack defending, it was still the R's fans that could be heard singing above the 10 fans that were singing in the stand opposite. This was quite easily the quietest home support I have ever come across, maybe its because you cant teach tourists songs in an afternoon, maybe soon they will start handing out song sheets on entrance to the ground to try and drum up an atmosphere.
At half time we made our way to the fully packed out concourse that you could barely breathe in, let alone let out a sneaky fart! We quickly made our way back to our seats and sat down to endure the second half.
Shaun Derry and Adel Taarabt made way at half time with Tommy Smith and DJ Campbell taking their places.
Apparently Taarabt stormed out in a huff and left the ground upon the decision, it'll be interesting to see what happens to him now after another hissy fit.
The R's enjoyed a good ten minute spell after the break but full service was resumed on 60 minutes as Johnson bagged his hat trick with a tidy finish.
Five minutes later Dempsey made it 5-0.
Then came the R's best moment of the game...................... Jamie Mackie coming on for Jay Bothroyd to mark his comeback from his broken leg that he suffered at Blackburn in January.
However two minutes later it was 6-0 as Zamora joined in on the fun.
Mackie was clean through and clearly got pulled back when through on goal yet we had another blind referee and linesman and we were denied another penalty to deny us a consolation goal to go away with.
The R's fans were superb today, the noise they created and really stayed behind the team even though we were thoroughly outclassed by Fulham today. If we can carry on that kind of away support then the R's players will enjoy playing away from home this season.
Its a shame that some people completely lose the faith so quickly and slag the team off when they have one bad game. We've played Newcastle, who are third, off the park a few weeks ago and then controlled large amounts of the game against Aston Villa last week. Today we played against a team that are playing in Europe and have plenty of experienced Premier League footballers at their disposal. They have two decent strikers who know how to score goals in this league, something that we are lacking severely. It's still early days in our Premier League journey and days like this will provide key in our learnings and really help us become stronger as a team as we look on gaining Premier League survival.
Now onto the hard part, Man of the Match. Jamie Mackie is the only player that really sticks out to me and gets the players mention but for me the undoubted people of the match were the R's fans and that deserves rewarding, so the Man of the Match goes to the travelling fans that stuck with the R's throughout the entire game.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riise, Sidwell, Hangeland, Baird, Johnson (Ruiz 75), Murphy (Etuhu 83), Dempsey, Zamora, Grygera, Dembele (Sa 87).
Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Senderos, Duff.
Goals: Johnson (2, 39 & 60), Murphy (pen 20), Dempsey (65), Zamora (74)
Bookings: Sidwell (5), Hangeland (69)
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Derry (Smith 46), Hall, Taarabt (Campbell 46), Bothroyd (Mackie 72), Faurlin, Barton, Young, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand.
Subs: Murphy, Buzsaky, Perone, Helguson.
Bookings: Faurlin (68), Wright-Phillips (82)
Referee: Mr M Marriner