It Can't Get Any Worse..... Can It?????
Yesterday was a crunch match between the two bottom and only clubs without a win in the Premier League as Rangers' played host to Reading in the early Sunday kick off.
The Lofty Heights gang gathered at Loftus Road in hope for a good result.
With this being a big game for a few members of the LH gang there were a few beers consumed before the game for Sam as she looked t settle some of the early day nerves that she had. Sam met up with Perry, Bob, Kempy and Kris in Slough before heading to the White Horse for a few swift halves.
Jess and myself arrived at HQ just before 12 and met Lofty, who was parked just behind us, before heading to the club shop to check out the John Si Park range.
We entered the ground early to soak up he atmosphere and see if I could finally buy a pie in the ground and for the first time in a month there was finally enough stock to feed us!
Three changes was made from the team that was so close to gaining a draw at the Emirates last week. Zamora and SWP dropped to the bench and M'Bia missed out through suspension. They were replaced by Djibril Cisse, Jamie Mackie and Anton Ferdinand.
The less I say about the first half the better!
It was woeful!
The players did not seem to know what tactics we were played and for the first time this season we were witnessing long balls from defence being lumped to Cisse and Taarabt and neither of them are going to win a header against two 6 ft 4 defenders. It was all wrong!
To top it off we conceded yet another cheap goal from a corner. Morrison headed against the bar at the second attempt and was left unchallenged and the rebound fell to former R's defender Gorkss and his tame volley somehow found it's way through Cesar's hands and into the back of the net.
Granero came the closest to leveling before half time with an excellent freekick that was finger tipped onto the bar before being cleared to safety.
At half time I met up with Luke and went downstairs to talk to Sam, Perry, Bob, Kempy and Kris an we were all confused as to what was happening out there. Needless to say that Lofty and Jenson were not impressed either and remained in their seat for the duration of the half as we all lost enthusiasm to get back to our seats ready for the second half.
The second half was improved and the R's began to play to their strengths and we saw more passing on the floor and managed to get Cisse more involved with the game.
The R's were denied a penalty when Mackie was pulled down by Morrison in the box as he looked to battle
through the Reading defence.
Shortly after and the R's were finally level. Diakite and Bosingwa combined well down the right before the latter found Cisse on the edge of the 18 yard box. His first touch gave Reading 'keeper McCarthy a sniff of denying the Frenchman, however Cisse managed to stretch his leg out enough to lift the ball over McCarthy and into the back of the net. Relief!!
Rangers' did start to take more control and found space in behind the Reading defence, with Taarabt and Diakite being the real shining lights for the R's.
With five minutes to go the R's had a glorious chance to take all three points. Cisse broke clear and unselfishly squared to Taarabt who was unmarked and he had the chance to grab the goal his performance has deserved, unfortunately McCarthy guessed right and pushed Taarabt's sidefooted effort around the post.
Cisse hit a shot from 25yards out on the final whistle and McCarthy once again tipped the effort around the post and despite the R's winning a corner, referee Michael Oliver instead called time and ended the game as a draw.
Today a lot of enthusiasm was knocked out of us as a lot of the R's played lacked the desire to want to win and were lacking in effort at times. Taarabt really looked like he wanted to win the game on his own at times and showed his heart throughout the 90 minutes and really did deserve a goal for all of his efforts. Diakite again stood out and his surging runs from midfield often caused the Reading defence problems.
For me today was an ideal opportunity to play our best midfield three with Diakite, Granero and Faurlin combining and breaking forward to join our attack whilst also controlling the game in the middle of the park. I really hope that Faurlin returns to the starting 11 before Park comes back from injury otherwise we could find ourselves with an unhappy player and in January we could risk losing our best midfielder and I hope that Faurlin plays a bigger part in the team sooner rather than later.
Our Man of the Match was a simple two horse race with Taarabt and Diakite receiving the votes, however it was the Magical Moroccan Adel Taarabt that received the majority vote and takes away the award this time around.
- 33 Julio Cesar
- 03 Traore (Onuoha - 84' )
- 05 Ferdinand
- 17 Nelsen
- 19 Bosingwa
- 02 Diakite
- 10 Taarabt
- 14 Granero
- 09 Cisse
- 12 Mackie (Zamora - 81' )
- 23 Hoilett
- 01 Green
- 06 Hill
- 15 Onuoha
- 04 Derry
- 11 Wright-Phillips
- 32 Faurlin
- 25 Zamora
- 21 McCarthy
- 02 Gunter
- 03 Shorey
- 15 Morrison
- 17 Gorkss
- 08 Leigertwood
- 11 McAnuff (Robson-Kanu - 79' )
- 16 Tabb
- 10 Hunt Booked
- 12 McCleary (Kebe - 62' )
- 33 Roberts (Le Fondre - 88' Booked )
- 01 Federici
- 05 Pearce
- 24 Cummings
- 14 Kebe
- 19 Robson-Kanu
- 07 Pogrebnyak
- 09 Le Fondre
Lofty will return with his report after our trip to the Britannia Stadium next Saturday.