Team: Ikeme, Stewart, Gorkss, Connolly, Hill, Leigertwood, Faurlin, Ephraim (Buzsaky), Taarabt (Ramage), Simpson, Priskin (Vine)
Subs Not used: Cerny, Borrowdale, Balanta, German
Neil Warnock was just getting out of his car as I was walking past and he got a great reception from those R’s fans present. The Coningham soon filled up and by the time Paul Finney arrived with Kate the Millwall fan, John representing Barnet and followed by the BBC entourage, it was packed. John had brought along a match report from the 1890’s, of the first encounter between the two clubs. It was good to see Bill and Richard from Aberdeenshire plus Noel from County Meath plus many other faces.
There was a minute’s applause before kick-off which was in memory of Mike Keen and Keith Alexander who had sadly died recently. I thought Antonio German was unlucky not to have been involved but obviously Neil Warnock will in time, have a good look at the whole squad. Good atmosphere and the R’s were 2-0 up within 20 minutes. Carson in the West Brom goal wasn’t to have the best of days. He fumbled Taarabt’s cross and grease lightning (Simpson) was on hand to put the ball away. Number two came after a wonderful ball over to Connolly who coolly slotted the ball home. It was a very spirited performance from Ikeme who made some fine saves.
Their goal came after a cross into the box, from I think, Jerome Thomas and the unmarked Brunt looped his header past a static Ikeme. West Brom continued to look dangerous and we desperately needed that third goal which eventually came in a very surprising manner. A free kick from Buzsaky fully 40 yards out into the box, which their defender missed and somehow evaded the keeper, hit the post and spun in ! One thing I didn’t understand was the booing of Ben Watson from a section of the crowd ?
Well done to the club for celebrating the 1967 League Cup winning side. Out on the pitch at half time were; the Morgan twins, Mark Lazarus, Tony Hazell and Frank Sibley who I’d heard hadn’t been in the best of health. It was very moving when Mike Keen’s grandson joined them and said a few words. There were 2,105 visiting fans and hopefully we can look forward to three more points on Tuesday night.
It was a very important result which must be followed up against Plymouth on Tuesday evening. A very brave young man representing his grandad brought a lump to my throat. Nice to see the Morgan twins, Mark, Tony and Frank taking centre stage once more, legends each and every one of them.
I couldn’t believe Priskin was on the pitch for so long, an absolutely shocking performance. If we don’t have a better forward than him then we are in trouble ! But we do, German, Balanta or Vine just for starters. The only reason you knew he was out there were those daft boots he was wearing and we do not like to see players waving imaginary cards at the referee in this country, and rightly so Mr ‘Phantom Goal’, Stuart Attwell booked him for the gesture. We made the Baggies look ordinary in what was a huge win, particularly seeing the other results later, it was crucial that we won. Faurlin was superb and Taarabt was back to what we know that he’s capable of. It was an all round good, solid performance and a battling one as well. Good to see us defend with about 8/9 players behind the ball for a change. I did notice that our keeper seemed to lose the ball in the sun a bit in the first half. Here’s a tip Ikeme, wear a cap !!! He did make two good saves in the first half though to keep us in the game. But we need to keep a clean sheet as its now 5 months and 25 games since our last one.
How fantastic it was to have the buzz back at Loftus Road. That’s the happiest I’ve been leaving the ground in a good few months.
Ikeme: 6 – He can’t really be faulted for their goal but his kicking was diabolical at times.
Connolly: 7 – Did fairly well at right back but got confused and went missing a bit when Ramage came on. For a defender, he took his goal very well.
Gorkss: 6 – Best game from him in a few weeks.
Stewart: 6 – Solid.
Hill: 6 – Better than he has been recently.
Faurlin: 7 – Playing in the holding role, did it well and made some very important tackles. Perhaps he needed to be a bit more careful when he was on a booking but managed to get away with it.
Leigertwood: 6 – A solid performance from the returning skipper.
Ephraim: 7 – Good to see him back playing in the Hoops. Played well and I didn’t understand why he was taken off ?
Taarabt: 6 – At the head of the triangle, lost the ball too often (as always). But to be fair, he did seem to be tracking back and trying a little harder to win the ball after losing it (providing it wasn’t more than 10m away from him).
Priskin: 5 – Not impressed with him at all. It was the first time that I’ve seen him and I’d send him back.
Simpson: 8 – Best performance from him in several weeks. He poached his goal well and won the ball in the air.
Buzsaky: 7 – He came on for half an hour or so and played well. Fluke goal though.
Ramage: 6 – An odd introduction. Initially played on the right wing before dropping to right back in a five-man defence and didn’t look right there.
Vine: A lazy performance considering that he was only on for 15 minutes.
NW: 8 – Welcome to Loftus Road. If we continue to play like that then long may it continue, but just don’t bring Ramage on at right wing again, okay ?