Feed The Mack and He Will Score...
Today the travelling R's braved the freezing cold conditions as they took the long trip to Lancashire for the six pointer against Blackburn.
The Lofty Heights gang travelled in force with two car loads being driven north by Jenson and myself. In my car was Jess, Sam and Luke. Sam had to pass a late fitness test as she battles against a kidney infection. In with Jenson was Lofty and Smithy.
The journey started in temperates on -7 in Costa del Henley and the journey was an easy stroll up the four motorways with every passenger in my car falling asleep at somepoint. We arrived at the usual meeting point in Blackburn, The Fernhurst pub, only to find out that it was closed for a re-fit.
We sat in the car just to stay warm before Lorna and Iceman arrived as we all took the short walk around the corner to Ewood Park so that Iceman could buy his match ticket and then get in the ground for some warm refreshments. PK and Steve were next to arrive just before Jenson and his party made their way in.
Smithy was wearing a very urmmm interesting coat to say the least. It was his ex girlfriends coat which had tassles hanging from the elbow and was 'figure hugging' to say the least. Smithy was a little too much in touch with his feminine side with this I think. We all need someone to laugh at and it was definitely his turn today. We also bumped into Perry, Louis, Kempy and Chris before we took to our seats in time for kick off.
Mark Hughes made two changes from the team that lost against Wolves last week. Fitz Hall and Akos Buzsaky returned to the starting last up as Shaun Derry dropped to the bench whilst Luke Young missed out with a hamstring injury. Former R's player Bradley Orr made his debut for Blackburn today.
In a cagey opening to the game there was not a lot between the two teams as the R's looked slightly the better of the teams going forwards. As it looked like Rangers' were slowly beginning to get some rhythm, disaster struck. A long ball was played to Yakubu and the Rovers' striker turned Ferdinand so easily and smashed his shot down the centre of the goal and left Paddy Kenny wrong footed as it flew past him. Paddy should've at least done better with this.
Ten minutes later and it got even worse for the R's. Blackburn broke away with relative ease as Hoilett waltzed into the penalty area, easily cut inside Hall and laid the ball back to Nzonzi and he sidefooted past Kenny to make it 2-0. The shot again was not in the corner so you'd expect Kenny to do better with this one. This was looking hopeless and we just hoped it wouldn't get any worse, it couldn't...... could it???
Rangers' again were looking ropey at the back but were slowly beginning to create chances, however whenever we got into good wide positions, there was no-one in the box to attack any on coming crosses. Just before half time things got even worse!
A long free kick was headed on by Scott Dann and Junior Hoilett was unmarked, seemingly going no-where and he took aim at goal and with a slight deflection the ball come off the inside of the post and past Paddy Kenny at the near post. As the Rovers players were celebrating we saw Paddy Kenny watching the replay and laughing...... Furious!
At half time the group gathered on the concourse and all of us were not happy to say the least! Paddy should have done better for all three goals and was laughing at them which is a joke! Buzsaky was having his worst game in a while and just was not able to pass a ball five yards. SWP is just not performing and looks a shell of his former self. As for Joey Barton, he calls himself a captain? A captain leads the team and gears them up, after their third goal he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. It's about time some of these players actually earned their money!
The second half begun and the R's carved out a great chance as SWP crossed from the right and Zamora was beaten to the ball but only just and a corner was conceded.
Rangers' slowly began to press and press as Blackburn looked happy to play out the 3-0 lead that they had.
A ray of light finally shone on the game with 20 minutes to go. Some good passing play saw Barton play the ball out to Taiwo on the left and the Nigerian loanee drilled his cross into the centre and there was substitute Jamie Mackie on hand to slide the ball home on the ground he suffered his leg break on last year. This certainly woke the R's fans up as we finally looked like we wanted to get something out of this game.
After the goal the confusing decision of removing Mackie from playing up front with Zamora to putting him on the left wing...... did Hughes want us to salvage a point from the game?? In injury time Jamie Mackie pulled a goal back after some patient build up play found Mackie on the edge of the box and he thumped his shot into the top corner! Great goal!!!
It was all too little too late. The dismal first half cost us dearly but Jamie Mackie's contribution was invaluable and scored two good goals as a consolation. I have to highlight that Bobby Zamora had been excellent all game and his hold up play was superb. It's frustrating that its a case of what if's yet once again.
QPR: Kenny, Hall (Gabbidon 90) Taarabt, Traore, Buzsaky (Mackie 66), Barton, Wright-Phillips, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Hill, Derry, Bothroyd, Smith.
Man of the Match - was a two horse race with Nedum Onuoha claiming three votes but with five votes this weeks man of the match is Jamie Mackie.