FA Cup 3rd Round.
On this occasion I’m a lucky Ranger as it only took me two hours along the M62 and a road that looked like something out of ‘American Werewolf In London’ (the moors part) and I was at the Fernhurst Pub near Ewood Park at 1pm, where a fair few QPR fans had already made the journey north and were watching the Arsenal v Leeds game on TV. Plastic glasses all round and they weren’t serving food as they’d put a burger van in the car park. I did ask the bar staff if they didn’t trust us with cutlery, but he just giggled and went red. !!! I bumped into a few familiar faces and made some new football friends. I don’t think I’ve actually laughed so much in ages.
The FA Cup and QPR winning has not been seen since 2001 and we all knew that Neil Warnock was going to play a totally different side from Monday’s game and we weren’t wrong. I was impressed with the number of QPR faithful that had bothered to make the journey up, as most people I know didn’t want us to go any further in the competition and concentrate on the league, but once in our seats we all seemed to have lost our voices, singing was hit and miss and on a number of occasions I heard four voices singing, “there’s only four of us singing, four of us singing, there’s only four of us singing.” Blackburn fans looked like they couldn’t be bothered to turn up either as there were huge empty spaces throughout the ground.
The team consisted of Petter Vaagan Moen (his first start for QPR), Leon Clarke and Gary Borrowdale, Rob Hulse up-front, Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Kaspars Gorkss, Bradley Orr, Shaun Derry, Alejandro Faurlin and Jamie Mackie. Lee Cook was on the bench with Radek Cerny, Bruno Andrade, Michael Harriman, Georgious Tofas and Michael Doughty.
The match was mainly driven by Blackburn for the first 20 minutes with Diouf having the first shot at goal and Paddy Kenny pushing it wide. Jamie Mackie made a nice run and crossed to Rob Hulse for him to hit it straight at the keeper. Paddy Kenny went on to save a header from point blank range and Clint Hill then made a fabulous clearance off the line. After this, we were matching them for effort.
The nightmare came when Jamie Mackie made a silly challenge on Gael Givet, both landed in a heap on the floor and what seemed like forever until both players were finally stretchered off (Warnock’s after match interview goes into more detail of what happened then). We were all behind the goal so could only see bodies on the floor and physios running around etc.
Petter Vaagan Moen’s great free kick was saved and at half time we all went to mull over the scores of other matches. I’d received loads of texts telling me about Kyle Walker’s goal, which I feel he’d got through the confidence of playing with us !
In the second half we seemed to have the edge and Bruno Andrade (on for the injured Jamie Mackie), made some great runs into the box and had the Blackburn defence on their toes (he’s definitely one to watch), Hulse headed wide of the goal and I honestly thought that we were going to score soon. After 77 minutes El Hadji Diouf ran in from the right and he hit the ball to Holliet who sidefooted into the bottom corner past a diving Paddy Kenny. Lee Cook came on for Faurlin, which was a positive and nice to see him on the pitch and later Michael Doughty came on for Hulse for the last few minutes. I was impressed with Vaagan Moen and hope that he carries on playing like that. He had a few shots at goal and made a few nice runs. The attendance was 10,284.
I honestly didn’t feel disappointed losing, most of our players did play really well, Vaagan Moen and Gorkss both had efforts bounce off the bar, but with Jamie now being badly injured ,we seriously need to add some decent forwards/strikers. Hopefully Uncle Neil will be wheeling and dealing this week as we are away to Burnley next Saturday and are missing some key players. I’ll be there and hopefully we can get back to winning ways. C’mon Urrrrsss !!!