Team: Kenny, Hill, Orr, Derry, Connolly, Gorkss, Taarabt (Ephraim), Faurlin, Routledge, Smith, Helguson.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Shittu, Buzsaky, Miller, Hulse.
After my boss kindly let me leave half an hour earlier to miss the Hull traffic, I was on my way down the M62/M1 towards Barnsley. It took me just about an hour and a half and no snags at all, in fact it was one of the smoothest car journeys so far for me yay ! On getting to the ground, I followed some fellow R’s up a street and right opposite the ground. We all parked up there, no restrictions and nothing to pay, an even bigger yay !!!
For the first time in a long while I saw the players’ coach arrive and so I stood on the side, gave a merry little wave as they passed and I actually got some waves back. But as the windows were tinted you could only see the waves and not who it was. tee hee. I stood near the away end, waiting for the gates to open and to see if I could spot anyone that I knew. Finney and his car load of mates pulled up so I directed them to where I’d parked and also did it for a few more cars. I could get a job doing that ! Behind me was the Director’s entrance and I heard a familiar voice saying to the girl that he’d forgotten his season pass and was it okay for him to go in ? I looked round and it was Dickie Bird, he hadn’t changed a bit in the last ten years. He clocked me looking at him so he came over and said hello. He really is a lovely old gentleman and a huge Barnsley fan of course. He said that they were going to give us a fight and he wasn’t wrong.
I then found some of my friends and we wandered to the pub round the corner for a quick pint, a catch up and a nice chat with some Barnsley supporters (we were the only Hoops fans in there), who gave us their list of their most hated teams, which included anything with Sheffield in the title and Cardiff ! We wandered back up to the gates to meet the rest of our friends who’d finally made it and then went into the ground to take our seats. I did clock a few more beach balls on the way in so I knew we were gonna have some more inflatable fun.
The game kicked off and the R’s¬† were kicking away from us and within the first minute, Adel struck a really low shot (left footed I was told as I couldn’t see from the other end) and the Barnsley keeper had no chance. 1-0 and the travelling Rangers faithful went mad, raising the roof with the singing and the inflatables came out. It was nice to have Taarabt, Helguson and Gorkss in the starting line-up again and it was also a nice touch for Connolly to be included after the much publicised news that he’d lost his confidence.
A few minutes after our goal, Paddy Kenny was in action when he stopped a Barnsley attempt, but he couldn’t handle Harwood’s shot. The ball came out to Gray, but Kenny easily blocked his effort. Not much to write about after that as both sides seemed to cancel each other out.¬† That said, Barnsley did have more of the chances and Connolly was called on to clear Trippler’s chance on goal. One of the home side’s attempts ended up straight into the Stand and the ball landed in the row in front of me. My friend Steve picked the ball up and handed it to me, so I stood up to throw it back to Paddy Kenny, but as I’m only small I didn’t get enough height on it and it ended up nearly taking Paddy Kenny’s girlfriend’s head off, oops !
There was a scary moment after when Taarabt kicked out at the ball after a tackle with McShane. I said that he went for the ball, but others thought that he had gone for the player ? Luckily, the referee made his only good decision of the night and just awarded him a yellow card. I won’t say anymore about the ref as the R’s fans were very vocal in what they thought of him….!
Again, the second half was made up of some chances for both sides, but the most noted one was when Routledge crossed the ball into the box and Heidar rose majestically to head it, only for the ball to go into the side netting. All was even until the last 5 minutes when Butterfield had a shot on goal which luckily hit the post and out of danger.
It was not the most attractive of football that we’ve played in a long time, but it was a win that we needed and a win that we got. The R’s faithful were amazing, but the Stewards were a bit heavy handed with the confiscating of flying inflatables and dragging Rangers fans off after they had climbed the wall. The best giggle was the big lad (an R’s fan), who made a run for the players. He made it as far as the halfway line before being tackled by two hefty Barnsley Stewards, all high jinks and the players came over and handed out their shirts. Neil Warnock was like a giddy kid and was celebrating all the way over to us. I love his enthusiasm for the game and for us.
So onwards and upwards for Monday night’s match, my next game is at Cardiff so hope to see more of you there. URrrrrsssss.