Better Late Than Trevor..
Wigan 0-0 QPR
QPR held Wigan to a goal less draw at the DW Stadium last night to leave this Championship play off semi final nicely in the balance ahead of Mondays second leg at Loftus Road..
With the FA kindly making this a Friday fixture, we all made out relative arrangements for the long journey to the North and I met with Jenson and PK in Wycombe shortly after 1.30pm. We were looking to meet with Lee, Jess and Luke further up the motorway. Sam was sadly missing for this one due to family commitments.
I think it's fair to say over the years that our mate Trevor could hardly be described as Mr Reliable, so when he expressed an interest in travelling with us, he was as vague as ever when we were making the arrangements. We decided to travel a bit earlier following the mention on the QPR website of travel issues in the Wigan area and as we hadn't heard from Trevor in the morning, we decided to start our journey - and low and behold, he arrived at Jenson's house, bang on 2.20 with us already flying up the M40. Not to be outdone, we pulled over near Silverstone and awaited the arrival of the Juke.
We eventually got going again and following absolute motorway chaos, we arrived in Wigan at about 6.15, but still concerned for Lee who had diverted from the motorway madness. After a quick drink in Frankie and Bennys, we met with Lee, Jess and Luke outside the away end with a mere 5 minutes until the kick off. Of course, had Trevor been on time, we would have been able to enjoy a much more relaxed pre match. There was barely time to take a leak before we took our place amongst the 3500 travelling R's with the game already under way. Lorna joined us about 20 minutes later following travel chaos of her own.
Onto the game and the first half was a scrappy affair, littered with yellow cards, Dunne for QPR and a card each for McArther and McManaman for Wigan following reckless challenges. Rangers forced the first real chance of the game on 37 minutes with Traore heading over Hoilett's cross. With the break looming, Jordi Gomez took the ball down well and forced Green into a decent save at the near post.
Myself, Lee, PK and Luke braved a packed concourse at half time, with only Lee managing to squeeze his way to the refreshment bar to get his pie. The rest of us literally gave up and went back to our seats for the second half.
Onto the second half and again, it was Traore who's shot on the turn was pushed away by Scott Carson on about 50 minutes. The positive start had the superb away support in full cry. But on 63 minutes, Wigan missed their best chance when Fortune ballooned over from 10 yards out following a ricochet in the box. Fortune again, later saw an effort superbly blocked by Onuoha.
But in the last 20 minutes, it was Rangers that were looking the more likely, but saw efforts from O'Neill and Barton go flying over the bar. But in a game of few chances, neither side could make any sort of breakthrough and Rangers take the slenderest of advantages back to Loftus Road on Monday.
Queens Park Rangers
- 01 Green
- 02 Simpson
- 06 Hill
- 17 Barton
- 15 Onuoha
- 05 Dunne Booked
- 03 Traore (Doyle - 70' )
- 36 O'Neil
- 09 Austin
- 04 Morrison (Kranjcar - 78' )
- 23 Hoilett (Yun - 88' )
- 10 Carroll
- 13 Yun
- 14 Doyle
- 18 Hughes
- 19 Kranjcar
- 20 Henry
- 26 Murphy
There was a majority vote for this one, but Lee picked out Gary O'Neill, Luke choosing Hoilett and Jess making a late decision on Danny Simpson. But with votes from myself, Jenson, Lorna, PK, Trev and one coming in from Sam by text, the award goes for another dominant display from the Chief, Nedum Onuoha.
Away Day Pie Rating
Lee individually provides his expert analysis as he battled through the half time crowds to order a Steak Pie, of which he later found he was given a meat and potato. The marks were dropped for that alone but the pie itself was nice but nothing spectacular, bringing in a vote and a Wigan Pie Rating of 6.5/10.
In summary, I am sure that most Rangers fans would be more than happy with the outcome and before the game would have certainly taken a draw. But you can't help but feel had Rangers stepped it up a bit, we would be going into the home leg with a lead. The home league game ended in a 1-0 win for the R's and I fully expect it won't be any less closer come Monday. Loftus Road will be rocking and it promises to be quite a night...
With us not really having anything to eat etc before the match, we decided to make a stop at Knutsford for some food before tackling the long ride home, of which the M6 was it's normal charming self with road works aplenty and even a closure at Junction 13. Jenson decided to cut across to the M1 and come down, with Lee choosing to battle it out on the M6, making a short diversion at Junction 14. The Sat Nav's certainly proved their worth and we all got home around the same sort of time, myself tweeting so at 2.48am. Of course, if Trevor had got to us in good time, I doubt we would have had any of the mentioned travel issues..
Lee will return next week with the review of the Second Leg and hopefully, we will then have a decision to make of whom will be tackling the Wembley report...
Come on you R'ssssssssssssssss!!