A Great Day of Football...
Barnsley 2-3 QPR
QPR began their preparations for next weeks play off games with a decent win against an already relegated, Barnsley, in what was cracking day out in Yorkshire.
With the final Championship games kicking off at 12.15, it was a very early morning departure. Almost a bit too early for the drivers today who both were slightly delayed by the early morning alarm call. Myself and PK left Hemel at around 8.15 and headed up the M1. Jenson was sadly absent today due to a last minute family emergency. I took the wheel today and we met with Lee, Sam and Luke at Leicester Forest services for a coffee and a catch up. Jess was also, sadly missing today, a long and frustrating season beginning to take it's toll. We stayed at the services, probably a little longer than we should have and rolled into Barnsley and parked up with a mere 20 minutes to go before kick off and met the awaiting, Lorna. All of us lads still managed to sneak in a quick pie before taking our seats.
Onto the game and it was actually quite pleasant to sit and watch the match in a relaxed atmosphere, with Rangers cemented in 4th place and Barnsley's fate already sealed, but there was plenty of excitement elsewhere as our play off opponents changed several times.
As expected, it was a very much changed R's line up, but strong all the same but good to see Coll Donaldson make his debut at centre back and Michael Petrasso and Jordan Gibbons on the bench.
Queens Park Rangers
- 01 Green
- 38 Donaldson
- 13 Yun
- 20 Henry
- 18 Hughes
- 15 Onuoha
- 35 Benayoun (Petrasso - 76' )
- 36 O'Neil
- 09 Austin (Keane - 57' )
- 14 Doyle
- 03 Traore (Kranjcar - 57' )
- 10 Carroll
- 12 Keane
- 19 Kranjcar
- 23 Hoilett
- 26 Murphy
- 42 Petrasso
- 43 Gibbons
A minute later and it was two - Doyle's cross from the right, avoided everyone and Mvoto's touch took the ball over the line with Charlie Austin waiting on hand. The goals made the half time even more relaxed as we discussed matters, joined by Zach and his inflatables, but also had to describe the two 'worldie' goals with Michael who had nipped down early for a beer and sadly missed them. So unfortunate to travel all that way and miss two absolute screamers!!
Onto the second half and on 54 minutes, the home side reduced the deficit, when Jennings crossed for O'Grady to head home. Later, former Ranger, Peter Ramage forced Green to tip over the bar from a corner. But Rangers made the game safe with 20 minutes to go, when Suk-Young went on a run, beating three defenders before rifling the ball home superbly, now this really was a worldie from the R's left back, just hope Michael got to see it.
It was Barnsley who completed the scoring in the last minute and it was that man O'Grady again, drilling home a great goal from 25 yards. With the best respect, I very much doubt O'Grady will be with the Tykes and I am sure he is attracting a lot of attention.
So, with the final whistle gone, it was now confirmed that despite defeat, we will be taking on Wigan next week. But the 6th place took a real twist when a last minute goal for Brighton saw them nick the last place from Reading who were held at home by Burnley and whose fans were already celebrating on the pitch by all accounts... such a shame for them and I can assure you that none of us were laughing and found this in any way amusing.... really! ;)
Onto our Man of the Match and Lorna singled out Suk-Young, although that wasn't quite how she said it at the time. Sam and Luke went for Kevin Doyle and Lee and PK picked out Nedum Onuoha. Karl Henry gets a mention for his performance in midfield and my personal choice was for a fine debut for youngster, Coll Donaldson. Which leaves an editors choice and seeing as we were lucky enough to meet the great man in the car park who happily posed for photos with the girls and myself, today's choice is again, the Chief, Nedum Onuoha
Away Day Pie Rating
Plenty of choice available with myself and PK choosing Steak and Ale, Lee the Balti and a meat and potato for Luke.
Despite the packaging removed, they looked like the Pukka range but in general, failed to hit the spot. Mine was ok, hot enough but distinctly lacked in flavour (6). PK enjoyed his slightly more but mentioned the dryness (7). The dryness again was an issue for Lee who's pastry looked like it has been kept in the warmer a bit longer than it had to (6) and Luke didn't seem to enjoy his at all giving a 4/5 .. I will be generous and round off to the latter, give the Barnsley pies a rating of 6/10.
Well all in all, this was a great away day and with it being an early kick off, we were able to listen to the excitement in the other divisions on our way home and after we stopped off at Leicester Forest services once more, we all enjoyed the news that Fulham and Cardiff were relegated, along with the news that Gaz Ainsworth's Wycombe stayed up as did Shaun Derry's, Notts County. What with the Reading news earlier in the day and of course, the R's winning, not forgetting a certain team going out of the Champions League in the week, do football days/weeks get any better??
I will be back next weekend following the R's trip to Wigan, but keep your eyes peeled for the Lofty Heights Awards, 2014 from Lee during the week.
Come on you R'sssssssssssssss!!!!