The story of the season - QPR (a)
We got to west London quite early really, 5.30 for a 8pm kick-off! Myself, Gandor and Mrtracyc had left Havant around 3.30 and avoided the M25. But we were street parking, and we wanted to make sure we got a space, which we did quite easily at that time.
We had a bite to eat, went for a wander around the stadium and local area, visited the club shop, and then happened across the Pompey team coach arriving. We weren't sure if they all looked miserable as hell, or if they were just focussed, but after the performance I'm opting for the latter. Nugent was quite cheerful and stopped to give a couple of people some autographs.
We tried to find a pub, there was one near the ground called the Springbok (its all South Africa related round there, although we didn't find Nelson Mandela House or Vuvuzela Avenue), but that pub was strictly home fans only. I was aware there was a main road nearby, and we did find one which had a really interesting ethnic mix of shops and eateries, a mosque but no pubs. When we were driving away we happened on the Uxbridge Road which was what I'd been looking for, and did have some pubs, but never mind.
Loftus Road is a small, traditional stadium, that actually has a smaller capacity than Fratton Park. Its quite similar really, although they do have executive boxes. I had watched Pompey lose there once before many moons ago in my student days (another lifetime), but I couldn't really recognise it now. The pre-match atmosphere and general buzz and hubbub around the ground did seem a bit muted to me. You could tell this is not one of London's biggest clubs.
We were sat in row B, which was effectively the front row as row A was left empty and we were RIGHT behind the middle of the goal, as the photo illustrates. In the second half there was a certain amount of 'banter' with Paddy Kenny, and before the restart he made a point of waggling his bum at us. Sorry, luv, but you aint no Jamo! Of course that meant we struggled to see the goal-mouth action at the other end, which was where both Rangers' goals were scored, so I have to accept peoples' word about Ashdown's howler. It was great to see Herman back in the side, and poor ol' Kanu getting a rest. Ciftci got a bit of stick when warming up at half-time, but I don't think he understood a word.
But Pompey did play with spirit. They were trying to win this game, and didn't look shabby up against the league leaders. As has been the way many many a time, the home fans were fairly quiet, except just after they scored. There was a good turnout of Pompey fans, and I think we gave a good account of ourselves and got behind the lads. I heard some voices around me moaning towards the end as though this defeat was awful, suggesting it was a poor game - they obviously didn't go to the Burnley match last week, that was truly awful. This was better. Its just normally we concede lots of goals but score a fair few as well - this time we had some good chances to score but just couldn't. Kenny had to pull off a particularly good fingertip save to deny Ciftci towards the end and there were several other close chances, but it just wasn`t to be.
The drive home was really quite foggy, just as it had been on the way back from Leeds. Not so far to go, and we were home before midnight, but then again at least at Leeds we scored three times and took a point!
So another potential 3 points have gone, we are stuttering down towards the foot of the table, but I truly believe we have a team, even without January reinforcements, that can stay up. We just have to keep the positivity, keep smiling and getting behind the team, and the wins will come! Starting Saturday against Derby I hope.
Play Up Pompey!
Written by tracyc.