A Game of What If's....
QPR 1-1 West Brom
QPR were denied their second home win of the season by a Shane Long goal 9 minutes from time, in a game that should have been long put to bed beforehand at Loftus Road.
This report is brought to you in association with Stadium Wireless ;)
It's been a month since our last home game and it was great to get back to Loftus Road. Myself and Jenson were the first on the scene but were soon joined by PK, Luke and Corp at the Springbok for our pre match. Unfortunately, we didn't see Lee and Jess as they were bringing in last season's lucky charm, Little Jack for his first taste of Premier League football.
We were all in the ground and in our seats in good time to pay our respects to the late Gary Speed, following his tragic death last week. A minutes applause was a very fitting tribute, as well as around the other grounds in the country - Rest in Peace, Gary Speed.
It was obvious from the players on the field that a good few of them had endorsed new boot deals, as well as a certain member of the Upper Loft close to us who had obviously endorsed a certain mens hair product, which caused much amusement to us all...
Onto the game and although Rangers started the brighter, Albion had the first chance but Morrison's effort was easily claimed by Cerny. Rangers hit back immediately with half chances for Wright-Phillips and Barton.
On 22 minutes, the R's were in front - Jamie Mackie wriggled into the box but was blocked by the Albion defence. The ball fell kindly to Joey Barton who chipped to the far post to find Heidar Helguson, who headed home his 6th of the season.
Three minutes later and Loftus Road erupted again - Wright-Phillips collected Faurlin's superb pass and smashed home an unstoppable drive on the half volley, only for the linesman to flag for offside. I deliberately delayed writing this report until I had seen it on Match of the Day, which proved that SWP was clearly onside and the goal should have stood.
Although West Brom were playing some neat football, Rangers were defending superbly and went in at the break deservedly in front. At half time, myself and some of the gang went down to the Lower Loft concourse to check on the half time scores as we had been unable to do so during the game, due to it being impossible to gain internet access in the Stadium, as it is with most of the grounds in this country. Hopefully, this will soon be a thing of the past due to (another shameless plug), Stadium Wireless. Visit www.stadiumwireless.co.uk for more details...
Onto the second half and following a pretty weak penalty appeal from Albion, Rangers could and should have made it two. Joey Barton battled hard to win the ball which fell to Helguson, who then teed up Barton, who side footed the ball agonisingly wide with Foster beaten and the goal gaping.
The chances continued to come for the R's and another golden chance went begging - Traore managed to nick the ball from a hesitant Foster, to get past the Albion stopper and at the byline, teed up Shaun Wright-Phillips who hit the shot into the ground and again, agonisingly wide with the goal gaping. In fairness to SWP, the ball from Traore wasn't the best. At this point, you just couldn't help but wonder if the missed chances were going to cost us and Albion were certainly beginning to get more and more into the match.
Chris Brunt's long range drive went just wide, but on 81 minutes, the Baggies were level - the Albion defence broke down a Rangers attack and broke away like lightning - Morrison fed Odemwingie on the left, who crossed to the far post to find Shane Long who tapped the ball home and earned Albion a point which in honesty, they really shouldn't have got.
QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd (Buzsaky 74), Faurlin, Mackie, Traore, Barton, Young, Helguson, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand. Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Smith.
Man of the Match - once again, divided amongst the gang. Corp and Lee went for the once again impressive, Traore, whilst there was one vote apiece for Jamie Mackie and Luke Young, from Jenson and Jess respectively. But with 3 votes from myself, PK and the casting vote going to Little Jack, today's winner is Heidar Helguson.
In summary, you just couldn't help but be disappointed not to win this game and had the linesman got the Shaun Wright-Phillips decision correct, I'm sure it would have been 3 points. But it was not to be and it was again a reminder of the harsh lessons you have to learn if you don't take your chances in the Premier League. West Brom are now a well established Premier League team and battled hard for their point, credit to them for that.
Lofty Heights will be in strong force for next weeks much awaited trip to Anfield as the R's take on Liverpool. Lee will return with one of his legendary away reports as per usual but until then...
Come on You R'sssssssssss!!!!!