QPR 1-0 Stoke
QPR's Premier League survival quest took another twist as a late goal from Djibril Cisse gave the R's a vital three points, in what was an emotional game at Loftus Road on Sunday...
The gang finally all assembled outside the Blue and White bar, but previously, Lee, Jess, Sam and Luke had taken in the now traditional pre match Nandos, PK went straight in after some, as stated, awful fish and chips, Corp was late on parade and with Jenson on a stag weekend in Tenerife, Laura was the Special guest today and we had a drink with Smithy in the Springbok. California Hoop was sadly, a no show.
Well, we all knew this was another must win game, but in these situations, I think the last team you would want to play is Stoke, who would great respect, would never lay down and roll over for anyone and their usual, physical style of play, frustrated everybody!! A horrible, horrible team!!. As you can well imagine, it certainly wasn't a game for the purists and it all of a sudden turned into a very tense and nervy afternoon. Especially as news was filtering through that Bolton had gone into a 2-0 lead at home to WBA.
Nerves were almost shattered as Jerome sliced his effort wide from Crouch's knock down when he really should have scored after just 4 minutes. Chances for the R's were few and far between - Taarabt's free kick was spilled by the keeper and Barton hit the side netting with the rebound. Barton himself had a decent header saved by Sorenson and a curling effort flew just over.
The frustration continued into the second half and if anything, Stoke were having the better chances, with Fuller firing just wide their best of note. The impressive Taarabt was almost single handedly trying to win the game and had two decent efforts. With 13 minutes to go, Sorensen pulled off a superb save to deny Cisse, who headed Taiwo's superb centre towards the corner of the net. Rangers were now pressing hard for that all important winner and at this stage, Bolton were leading 2-1.
On 89 minutes, Rangers forced their seventh corner of the game which Taarabt took, Anton Ferdinand flicked the ball into the path of Djibril Cisse who stroked the ball home from close range to cause complete bedlam in the home stands - I have never heard a noise quite like it!!!
As we all started to calm down and nurse our bruises, news was coming through that West Brom had levelled at 2-2 at the Reebok. Loftus Road was now having a massive party and following some nervy moments in the 5 minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew...
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry (Wright-Phillips 82), Taarabt, Mackie, Buzsaky (Cisse 51), Barton, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Zamora (Bothroyd 82). Subs not used: Cerny, Hall, Gabbidon, Traore.
Man of the Match - with only Lee and Jess opting differently with Cisse and Barton respectively, Adel Taarabt got the vote from the rest of us after giving his absolute all for the cause. A superb display from the Moroccan midfielder!!
In summary, it was just pure emotion. The gang descended on the Springbok after the match for a couple of celebratory drinks and possible permutations were discussed, especially if Blackburn were to beat Wigan this evening. But for now, I will keep it as simple as I can. Bolton, HAVE to beat Stoke at Stoke, a draw will NOT be enough for them. The R's travel to Man City who can clinch the title...
After watching last season's Survival Sunday on Sky Sports, I sat there in hope that we would not be involved in anything so tense and dramatic. It's going to be quite a day...
For you fans of Jeff Stelling and his Soccer Saturday programme, please click the following link and enjoy the moment where Rangers get their late winner.... BRILLIANT!!!
And finally, with it being Lee's turn to collate the annual LH awards, this was my final outing of the season. Lofty Heights has once again had some jaw dropping viewing figures and we couldn't be happier. It has made myself and Lee extremely proud so - Thank you all so much for your continued support!! We are glad you like our ramblings. They are alternative and sometimes controversial, but we strive to make them different and bring you the whole match day experience. Stats prove we are definitely doing something right, so thank you all once again!!
From a personal point of view, I would like to thank Lee for his continued hard work and dedication which have led to some unique and legendary away reports. Thanks mate!! Also, a big thank you to the gang - Jenson, PK, Corp, Lee, Jess, Sam, Luke, Lorna, Smithy and California Hoop along with many Special guests along the way - I really, couldn't wish for a better group of friends to go to football with and share our love and passion for our great Club, Queens Park Rangers. All individuals in their own right but all great, great people and great friends!! Thanks guys!!
Have a good summer all and COME ON YOU R'SSSSS!!!!!