Team: Ingram, Onuoha, Hall, Hill, Kpekawa, Henry, Faurlin, Gladwin (Petrasso), Chery (Hoilett), El Khayati, Washington (Polter)
Subs Not Used: Lumley, Perch, Prohouly, Grego-Cox
Attendance: 16,679 (including 1,699 City fans)
There were several changes for our final game of the season. Conor Washington was in from the start, playing alone upfront. Nasser El Khayati and Tjaronn Chery played just behind him, with Henry, Faurlin and Gladwin making up the rest of the midfield.
Clint Hill partnered Hall at the back alongside Onuoha and Cole Kpekawa in their full-back roles. Matt Ingram once again started as in the last few games.
Bristol City were much the better side in the first-half, creating a lot of chances, but they failed to take them.
Matt Ingram made two fine saves and Grant Hall blocked a certain goal, while Clint Hill was in the right place again to get in blocks when needed. Having said that, late in the half, City had to make two clearances off the line in quick succession.
Half-time saw some of the boys from 75/76 make an appearance, Stan among them.
Second-half: We were much better although Gladwin for me is disappointing. On one occasion he broke free, had a great chance to put Chery in the clear totally unmarked, which was the most obvious pass available. But he passed to Washington instead, who was marked, and the opportunity was lost.
Although it was his pass which led to the winning goal, when Karl Henry curled a beauty into the top corner, leaving the keeper no chance.
Throughout the game Conor Washington was totally isolated and was replaced by Seb Polter with about 15 minutes to go. I think that it’s pretty unfair on Washington to be judged on playing the lone striker role. It is just not his game.
When Polter came on he made a big difference holding up the ball, using his strength to good effect, and was unlucky not to add a second goal when he struck the post.
El Khayati never got into the game at all, he had one shot on target and that was his only contribution.
Junior Hoilett came on for Chery and huffed and puffed with little effect. Ben Gladwin was replaced by Michael Petrasso and was very impressive again. Henry and Faurlin did their usual stuff.
The back-four all played well, Kpekawa looked assured, Onuoha was strong in his challenges, although twice during the game he grabbed and swung his opponent around, like something out of WWF, and came out with the ball.
How he wasn’t penalised I will never know! This referee definitely needs his eyes tested. At least these incidents were half-way up the pitch. I just hope that Onuoha doesn’t get into the habit of doing that too often!
Hill and Hall looked solid and blocked everything, and once again Matt Ingram played well.
Overall, I think a draw would have been a fairer result, but they failed to take their chances and paid the price!
I met up with Eamonn (finglasqpr), and Simon (Rollercoaster) in the Crown & Sceptre, and Steve Russell outside Loftus Road after the game.
The queue in the Club Shop had to be seen to be believed. You would think they were giving the stuff away for nothing! Everything was reduced.
Two weeks ago, before and after the game, outside the ground, they were giving away flags with the old crest on them for nothing. I asked for two and the guy said to me to take all of them. He handed me about 28 flags, but I said no and that I only wanted two, but he insisted!
We went to the Conny where there was a DJ and the place was buzzing. I gave some flags away to some of the lads there. Then I gave one to this woman and she was delighted, so I handed one to her husband and he started waving it around like crazy.
I also gave a flag to a barmaid then another barmaid came out and asked if she could have one, then she came back and said: “I hope you don’t mind me asking you but a woman over there wants a flag”, so I gave her two. And before I left I asked the barmaid if she wanted the rest and she took them gladly. After that, you probably got one free with every pint!
Over and out!
Karl Henry’s second-half goal ensured Queen’s Park Rangers ended their season with victory over Bristol City.
QPR defenders Clint Hill and Grant Hall both had efforts cleared off the line during a goalless first period, while Lee Tomlin hit the crossbar for City.
Midfielder Henry put the hosts ahead after the break with a curling shot from the edge of the area.
Sebastian Polter struck the woodwork as the home side pressed for a second goal in the closing stages.
The result means that QPR achieve a top-half finish in their first season back in the Championship with the victory taking them a point above Leeds United into 12th place.
Bristol City end the season in 18th place, 12 points off the relegation places ensuring another campaign in the second tier.
QPR head coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “Obviously there is more work to be done. We all know we are in transition. We’ve got some good characters here at the club and we have a base. We now want to work from that base.”
“There are going to be some changes at this club, but we also have to understand that it’s not going to be about only throwing money at it.”
Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson: “I’ve got to take stock of the bigger picture and congratulate everybody on their contribution.”
“I thought we had enough chances and had the better play, but we’ve been done by a fantastic strike – in fairness you’ve got to give credit for that goal.”
Prior to kick-off I proudly presented Stan Bowles with a cheque for ¬£600 in reception, which was a very emotional moment for me!
The new club crest was unveiled before the game, in the form of a circular flag the size of the centre circle, which was carried across the pitch by a number of young R’s fans.
I was pleased to see Conor Washington start, who although he worked his socks off, unfortunately he didn’t get enough of the ball.
There were chances for both sides in the first-half with the visitors firing wide from dangerous positions. Grant Hall denied them with a superb block and Matt Ingram made an outstanding save from close range.
Whilst at the other end we had two very good efforts cleared off the line in quick succession.
The club’s on-going tribute to our 1975/76 side, culminated at half-time with appearances from Ron Abbott, Don Shanks, Dave Thomas, John Hollins, plus family members representing Mick Leach and Dave Clement. Finally there was Stan of course.
As the end of the season ticked away, we were treated to an amazing long-range curling winner from Karl Henry in the 63rd minute!
Whilst the stewards endeavoured to clear the pitch, many City fans had remained in the Upper School End until it was suddenly announced that their players wouldn’t, after all, be re-appearing.
As the Rangers players lapped the pitch it looked as if Clint Hill was saying goodbye. Outside, the word was that he was on his way to Cambridge United to assist Shaun Derry?