Top Versus Bottom At Ashton Gate & A New Club Record

Team: Kenny, Hill, Walker, Gorkss, Connolly, Derry, Taarabt (Agyemang), Faurlin, Mackie, Ephraim (Smith), Helguson (Hulse).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Mahon.
Attendance: 14,552 (1,204 R’s fans)

Top versus bottom at Ashton Gate, live on Sky, QPR chasing a record unbeaten start to a season and it pointed to one thing, a thrashing ! Fortunately that didn’t come to fruition, although it was a tricky night for us. After 16 minutes of being pretty much all over Bristol (well 11 minutes anyway, I must admit to arriving a bit late !), Jonathan Stead got the ball 20 yards out and smashed it into the roof of the net. Not much that Paddy Kenny could do although he probably should have closed him down a bit more

Following that, City gained some confidence and encouraged by their fans singing: “We’re Bristol City, we’re winning at home”, they started getting a few more chances. Meanwhile, at the other end, Walker ran through the midfield and took a few shots on from the right-hand side of the box, but they flew over and/or went wide. Taarabt went back to his old ways of infuriating all those around him by needlesssly wasting chance after chance in nearly every other attack. It is rare to see players so irate at their captain, but Mackie and Derry in particular, were mouthing off at the Moroccan.We went into the half-time break behind for just the second time this season.

Within 2 minutes of the re-start, Rangers thought they’d scored. Helguson missed a sitter that David James could only parry out to Mackie, who nodded the ball towards the open goal and peeled away celebrating. But before it could hit the back of the net, the referee blew his whistle and gave offside, for as on the way in it clipped Helguson’s thigh with the Icelander desperately trying to get out of the way (contrary to initial reports on Indy’s twitter feed, sorry Heidar !). For the next 20 minutes, Adel Taarabt proceeded to blast chances over the bar before finally being taken off for Patrick Agyemang, who had of course, ended last season on loan very unsuccessfully at Bristol City.

Within 5 minutes of coming on, he was tapping in Matt Connolly’s free-kick from Tommy Smith’s badly taken corner. Cue jubilation in the Rangers end and shock on the home faithful, who went eight games without seeing “Dave” even looking like scoring. We had some half-chances to win it at the end, and perhaps if the game was another 10 minutes longer we might have. But it wasn’t to be this time, although the unbeaten run is extended further and a new club record created. One more and we’ll be a third of the way through the season unbeaten !

Player Ratings:

Kenny: 9 – Some fantastic saves, kept us in the game. My MOTM.

Walker: 8 – Good performance from the young lad and some good shots from the right-hand side too.

Gorkss: 7 – Solid at the back as usual.

Connolly: 7 – One header cleared off the line, another tapped in by Agyemang. Generally good at the back, perhaps backed off the Bristol strikers a bit too much at times.

Hill: 7 – Usual self, and put in a couple of good crosses too.

Derry: 8 – Captain Fantastic.

Faurlin: 7 – Good to have him back, strong on and off the ball. Good passes and seemed fully match fit too.

Mackie: 7 – Hard working as ever, perhaps he should have scored too and perhaps needs a rest ?

Taarabt: 4 – Selfish, frustrating, wasteful, and lucky not to cost us at least one goal when City broke after he gave the ball away. He should be dropped.

Ephraim: 6 – Why he was taken off before Taarabt I’ll never know ? Not a great game, but certainly not terrible.

Helguson: 6 – A bit indifferent, not terrible either though.

Smith: 7 – Looked lively when he came on. I think he should be brought in for Adel. A badly taken corner actually set up the goal !

Hulse: 7 – He looked good too, didn’t really have a chance though.

Agyemang: 7 – Was clearly pleased with his goal (“worst player we’ve ever seen”, according to City fans), he ran around a lot too !

Sam Phillipps