Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

QPR 1 Plymouth 1

A "just about OK" game in terms of everything really, result, performance and entertainment value. I missed the first five minutes after an unexpected queue at the gate, during which Dexter Blackstock missed another one-on-one. The game chugged along until Lilian Nalis scored a soft goal for Plymouth, two headers from a free kick that were far too easy. Martin Rowlands was almost put through for Rangers just on half time but the visiting keeper Lee McCormick was quick off his line to block.

Rangers, as ever, looked a bit more lively attacking the Loft and Lee Cook found some space away from his attacking role to put a couple of dangerous crosses over from the left, the second of which found its way to Gareth Ainsworth, whose shot was deflected narrowly wide with the keeper stranded. Now for a bit of foreshadowing. The Camel had jetted in from Atlantic City in time to make the game, and despite flagging a little from the jet lag second half, Keith has an uncanny knack for making things happen sometimes. This time the catalyst was an impassioned (and entirely justified) rant about how goalkeepers are over-protected and always win the decision on free-kicks. So, Rowlands put the resulting corner right into the mixer and there was a massive bundle in the six yard box. With just about everyone expecting a foul against the keeper to be given, Lee Cook blasted the ball into the net. There was a loud, uncertain cheer (if you can imagine that), and after about 3 seconds this became an even louder, amused cheer when the referee signalled a goal.

It was a heck of a scramble and I certainly couldn't say who fouled the keeper so who knows, maybe it was OK. It was just one of those situations where you always expect the foul to be given. After that, Lee Camp made one save from David Norris but it was mostly Rangers, especially once Nalis got himself sent off like an idiot. Ryan Giggs would probably say "That's the French for you", but I'm going to stick with idiot, irrespective of creed. Kicking the ball away half the length of the pitch when you're on a yellow card is not the considered +EV move. Rowlands scooped over from a flick-on, Blackstock couldn't quite latch on to a couple of headers, subsititute Paul Furlong brought another good save from McCormick and Furlong's injury time strike was correctly ruled out for offside. Chop chop.

A win would have been nice but that's two games drawn that we might have lost a month ago, and the table would look much, much worse for Rangers with two fewer points. The next two games are also against mid-table opposition (Ipswich away and Sheffield Wednesday at home) so let's hope to pick some more points up there.


  • At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have to disagree with you about Furlongs shot Andy, it looked like he was at least level with the plymouth defence. I just hope it doesn't cost us at the end of the season.

    Although we aren't in the best of form, i'm hoping that our run in will be a bit easier due to the fact we have a lot of 'mid-table' teams left to play.

    Jim Ward

  • At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Jim,

    I saw the footage on the club website today and yes, on second viewing it does look very close even though I thought it was clearly offside on the day. Oh well. Couldn't really complain, Cook's goal would not have been allowed 9 times out of 10 (irrespective of whether it was actually a foul or not).

    We look a lot more solid with the new signings and I'm hoping that Southend was a one-off and we can draw a few more games that we were losing before and pick up enough wins along the way to be clear without any need for nail-biting on the last day.



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