Ravel Provides R's With Mor Delight........
The R's returned to Loftus Road having suffered a 2-0 defeat to Brighton on Tuesday despite being the better team for much of the game it was the lack of fire power that ended up being the achilles heel once again, we were about to find out.
Unfortunately the gang were missing Jenson through illness, however Jess and I arrived just after 2pm and took to the short walk down the Uxbridge Road, totally ignoring Lorna unintentionally in the process before arriving outside the Loft entrance and meeting up with Michael, PK, Sam and Luke before entering half an hour before kick off. Lofty was just behind us as he engrossed himself in the Rugby in the pub before the game.
One change was made from the side that lost on Tuesday night as Assou-Ekotto, who cried off injured after just another mistake that cost us the opening goal against Brighton, was replaced by Aaron Hughes.
Before the game started we all stood for a minutes applause to remember our greatest ever manager Alec Stock, a man who led us to League Cup glory in 1967 as well as two promotions, one of which taking us to the top division for the first time in our history.
Yeovil started the game very lively as Miller and Holmes were proving to be too much for the R's defence to contain. Yeovil had two great chances to open the scoring as Lawrence forced a good save from Green before Ayling curled an effort just wide.
In fact with all their early pressure it was Yeovil who should've been a goal to the good but had a goal ruled out. Green's clearance was poor and went straight to Lawrence who in turn happily fired into the back of the unguarded net, only to see the referee rule the goal out for some unknown reason. Lofty, PK and I all looked at each other is disbelief as we felt it was a perfectly goal and would've felt harshly treated if we were Yeovil fans.
However a matter of minutes later Rangers' found themselves a goal up. Hoilett's teasing run found him on the edge of the penalty area before squaring the ball to Morrison who in turn faked four efforts before finally taking aim when he had seemingly taken too long and saw the ball fly into the left hand post and cannon into the back of the net! A sublime finish from the youngster who is fast becoming relied on by the R's for his goalscoring ability.
The game continued as an end to end affair, however Yeovil were dealt with a blow as Holmes had to be withdrawn from the game with just half an hour on the clock. Holmes really looked like one of the two main forces in the Yeovil line up that can potentially hurt off so it was a huge relief to see him go off. However this did not make the visitors any less of an attacking threat as they continued to battle away and with a bit of luck they could've easily got themselves back in the game.
Rangers' were dealt with a massive blow of their own as Traore limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Niko Krancjar.
At half time we were content with the performance and in all honesty just good to see that we had managed to get ourselves in front and show some fighting spirit to keep us in the lead. The next goal was going to be crucial as the team that got it would have the momentum to go on and close the game out.
The second half started off with the same end to end action but it was Krancjar who had the first efforts of the half, however Stech was on hand to make two comfortable saves from the Croatian.
On the hour one of our worst nightmares came true. Rob Green came off the worst in an aerial challenge with former R's loanee Miller. Whilst trying to play through the pain Yeovil almost levelled as Lawrence's fantastic shot from 20 yards out curled towards the top right corner, however the R's were extremely lucky to see the ball cannon off the post before being cleared to safety.
Minutes later Green was withdrawn from the game as Brian Murphy came on to make his first league appearance for the R's. Just before this all happened Bobby Zamora came on for the ineffective Will Keane.
Jermaine Jenas nearly made it 2-0 on 67 minutes when he chested down Morrison's flick before hitting a dipping volley that struck the top of the bar.
On 70 minutes the decisive second goal arrived.
Junior Hoilett ran at the Glovers defence down the right wing before delivering a pin point cross to Zamora, who was unmarked at the far post, as he duly obliged to head home from close range. It was Zamora's first goal for the R's in over a year and all but wrapped up the game.
Zamora seemed to grow in confidence after the goal and looked a totally different player that was chasing back and even making the five yard passes he was previously incapable of. Well it was either confidence or the fact he has been told he can look for a new club, someone else will have to pay his wages now. All that being said, if he continues to show the effort he did this afternoon then he could actually make a positive impact before his departure.
Just as we were ready to celebrate a 2-0 victory it became three in injury time.
Aaron Hughes' header forward was cleverly dummied by Barton as Krancjar then took the ball forward as the R's broke three on two as Zamora awaited a through ball on the right, with Morrison waiting on the left as Krancjar slipped through two defenders before laying the ball off to Morrison who then drilled his shot into the bottom corner and sealed an excellent victory for the R's.
Firstly I have to commend the travelling supporters from Yeovil who really got behind their team and added to the atmosphere in the ground today. They can be very proud of their team who work extremely hard for each other and with Holmes and Miller providing a great attacking threat I really hope they manage to save themselves from relegation as they certainly don't deserve to be there on the two performances against us this year. There are at least four or five worse teams in this division, so I hope they survive come the end of the season.
Today was an improvement on the previous performance at Brighton and we finally showed some potency in front of goal as Morrison became our second highest scorer this season as he bagged his fourth goal in five appearances since joining on loan from West Ham. He's fast becoming our Mr Reliable, however he has flourish as Barton and Jenas have also put in some fantastic performances alongside him.
The down side coming out of today is that we could be without Rob Green (rib), Armand Traore and Jermaine Jenas (both hamstring) for Tuesday's trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
Today's Man of the Match saw Sam vote for Joey Barton, Luke voted for Jenas as Jess, Lofty, PK and I all voted for our match winner Ravel Morrison. There has to be a mention for Nedum Onuoha as well who was superb at the heart of our defence today.
Lofty will return on Tuesday ahead of a double header of away games at Sheffield Wednesday and then Middlesbrough next Saturday.