Team: Kenny, Orr (Connolly), Hill, Shittu, Hall, Derry, Taarabt, Buzsaky (Ephraim), Faurlin, Routledge, Helguson (Hulse).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gorkss, Vaagan Moen, Miller.
Attendance: 16,972 (including 797 R’s fans)
After last week’s running out of petrol episode, I thought that I’d give the train a go. So I headed off on my journey to Middlesbrough on the 11.17, changed at York where a few more Hoops fans got on for the second part of my journey. On leaving the train station, I just tagged behind some other Hoops fans that I saw in the distance (as yeah I realised when I got off the train I didn’t know where the ground was lol) and walked past the most amazing college that I’ve ever seen. I think I would’ve stayed at college longer if mine had looked anything like that one. When I arrived at the ground I had to pick my ticket up from the Box Office and giggled when the guy asked if I had any identity. I asked who would really wanna pinch a QPR ticket and how would they know my surname and postcode ? Rules gone mad methinks ! While I was getting my ticket, I saw Lee going through the turnstiles and he shouted over that the others had just gone inside and to meet them in there.
I met up with the rest of the gang on the concourse (couple of members down due to work commitments, but they were missed). We had some refreshments and a good old catch up before Sam and I decided to go and put a bet on. After totally confusing the Ladbrokes guy and then swapping footy banter with him, we made our way to our seats.
The game kicked off, and only a couple of minutes in and Paddy Kenny’s woeful clearance gifted Scott McDonald who was clear through on goal. I had my head in my hands already and thankfully Paddy made up for his mistake by saving his shot on goal. For the next 15/20 minutes, we equalled each other out and QPR seemed to then gain some confidence in going forward. Taarabt had a couple of shots on goal and Helguson then missed a chance for us to take the lead. 41 minutes in and Taarabt took it down the left and passed to Helguson who brought the ball down and took a shot at goal, which took a deflection off a defender (I couldn’t see this from where I was sitting) and then went up and into the back of the net. We went wild, at the end of the day it’s a goal and we don’t mind how it goes in !
Half time and Sam, Luke and I went off to get refreshments for the rest of the gang, grabbing a beer and a pie and then trying to woof both down as quickly as possible and catching up on the scores of the other games around the country. We were then 5 minutes late getting back to our seats, but I was reliably informed that we hadn’t missed much, eek !!!
It wasn’t long till Routledge was at his menacing best and his cross over into the box where Helguson easily headed the ball into the back of the net. The travelling R’s fans went mad and I said to Sam that in my eyes that seemed to go into slow motion and he had leapt up salmon like and then headed it in, which she found extremely funny ! Well, Rangers then found even more confidence and were making more runs towards the goal before Taarabt was brought down in the box by Zemmama, the penalty was given and Adel was going to take it no matter what. Most of the crowd thought that Helguson should’ve taken it, but Adel wasn’t having any of it by shaking Helguson off and ignoring pleas from the rest of the team for him to give it up. Fair play, he struck it well and we were 3-0 up, happy Rangers fans all around, but especially myself and Sam as we’d both bet on the Hoops to win 3-0. I couldn’t believe that we were even willing them NOT to score anymore so that we could claim our winnings !
Paddy had been mainly a spectator for this game, but was called into action when having to save Barry Robson’s free kick. The guys were buoyed by the first goal and went onwards and upwards from there. Big Dan and Fitz Hall were really good, I loved Dan’s celebration behind the goal at us, a huge fans wave and Faurlin was brilliant as usual. Helguson got man-of-the-match for me for his goals, even if Adel and Wayne did all the running. Sam and I were extremely happy Rangers, one for the score and two for our winnings. She even had Helguson as the first scorer too, so she got even more than me, lucky mare !
We all said our goodbyes and I headed off back to the train station, where once again I met a lovely group of Rangers fans who sat with me for the journey to Darlington and then made me sit with them again on the London train (I got off at Doncaster). They taught me a new Fitz Hall song, I don’t think I laughed so much in ages and the Newcastle supporters on our train loved the song too. They also said that we should keep Routledge. I offered them Leon Clarke as a swap ! Paladini and Statto were also on our train. I wanted to run into their compartment and shout ‘Statto Statto’ but just blank Paladini, but I needed more dutch courage than I had, so thanks to Mark and the guys for a funny trip home.
Donny is the next game for me, I wanted to come down for the Palace match, but I’m a bit skint at the moment, even with my winnings ! We’re still 5 points clear at the top of the league and I get butterflies every time I see it !!!