Dowd Did That Happen???
The relegation six pointer took place on Sunday as the R's hosted Wigan knowing that anything less than three points would put a massive dent in the Superhoops survival hopes.
For this game we saw little Jack make a return to the Upper Loft with the gang with us hoping that he would bring us the luck that we needed to secure one of the most important victories of the season. Unfortunately we were missing PK through illness and Sam was at home looking after her twins.
Jack and myself met Lofty, Jenson and Lorna for a pre-match chat before taking our seats ready for the moment of truth.
One change was made to the side that was defeated at Fulham as Junior Hoilett replaced Adel Taarabt.
Rangers' had an early chance but Loic Remy found the post unforgiving after some excellent build up play as the R's looked to hit Wigan on the counter attack.
With the R's looking much the better side and Andros Townsend being at the heart of most of the attacks down the right flank, disaster struck!
Wigan had a throw on the right and Zamora made a challenge on Gomez which was waved on by referee Dowd and play was soon stopped as no advantage was gained by Wigan. As play returned to where the foul was made, referee Dowd decided to have a conversation with his linesman and following that the red card was raised, Rangers were down to ten men!!
I said as soon as Dowd went to the linesman that this could be trouble as we've seen so many times before at Loftus Road and for me it was no surprise to see the outcome following that. What confuses me is why, if the high boot is considered to be dangerous play, that play continued before the sending off occurred.
Having seen the replays it's a definite sending off, however what really got to us in the stands was that play continued, seemingly because the foul was not dangerous. Frustrating!!
The sending off really affected the game and whilst the R's were concentrating on not conceding and hitting Wigan on the counter with Townsend and Remy creating problems for the Wigan defence.
Half time was very quiet as everyone tried to get over the shock in the first half and we all saw photos of Zamora's high boot to confirm that the red card was justified. Now our only wonder was where a goal would come from.
The second half was again rather scrappy and Wigan just passed the ball around midfield whilst not doing any damage and threatening the R's back line. In fact it wasn't until James McArthur's header from six yards out that was excellently saved by Julio Cesar on 75 minutes.
Then out of the blue on 84 minutes the R's took the lead.
Wigan made a mess of a free kick and Mbia charged the ball down before stealing possession and advancing towards the Wigan goal. Remy made a superb run to the right edge of the 18 yard box and Mbia squared to the R's striker, who stroked the ball first time with the side of his foot and the ball flew into the far left of the goal! Absolutely superb and the relief in Loftus Road was lifted. The celebrations reflected how we all felt, this was the goal that led to hope and belief that we really could charge forwards towards safety.
However as we all know with QPR, things are never that easy!
Wigan had an opportunity to level things three minutes into injury time and the resulting free kick ended up going over the bar and many of us thought that would be the last chance of the game. Thirty seconds later and Mbia touched Gomez and he fell in a heap to win Wigan a soft free kick. Shaun Maloney stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and out of reach of the outstretched hand of Cesar to break the R's fans hearts.
Overall it wasn't the greatest game of football but the R's deserved to get three points from the game after battling hard with ten men for seventy minutes of the game and being the team who looked more likely to win the game. Wigan did not offer much for the 100 fans that traveled to W12, I assume the rest of them went to watch the Rugby, one of the worst followings I have seen at Loftus Road!
Man of the Match saw the gang in total agreement once again with our loan star Andros Townsend earning another clean sweep for his industrious performance and he just never stops working all game. It's a shame that he has to leave at the end of the season. Star of the future.
Lofty will return with one of his always entertaining reports when we visit Everton on Saturday.
It's not over yet, keep the faith!!