FIRST GOAL THE WINNER
Claire Bowdler assesses Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by QPR from her seat in the north east corner.
Boro changed back to 4-4-2 after playing 5-3-2 last weekend away to Millwall gaining a great 3pts at an imitating ground, The Den. There was just one change for Boro with Emnes coming back in the side for Grounds.
An extra few thousand Boro fans made their way through the turnstiles to see top of the table QPR than our last home game via Swansea City. The fans seemed in fine voice as we kicked off and really up for what would be a big test. If only we had taken that Scott McDonald chance in the first minute of the game! A one on one with Paddy Kenny after his goal kick had landed at McDonald’s feet. Kenny saved, a big chance missed.
The first half was pretty even, not much in it as we restricted Taarabt to a few long range efforts. If anything we were starting to get on top when 5 minutes before half time QPR scored. Helguson’s shot looped off Davies and into the net which Steele could do nothing about. A really unlucky deflected goal, what a blow going in at the break, we certainly needed another inspiring Mowbray team talk like last week at The Den.
We kicked off the second half keeping the same team that started the game. QPR were passing it about for fun and we were chasing shadows at times. Boro huffed and puffed, struggling in the final 3rd to create and break the QPR defence down. We were finding it difficult and tried to get Bennett on the ball as often as we could to use his trickery to get through the QPR defence. It was time to change it, as it approached 60 minutes on came Robson and Zemmama for Emnes and Arca.
Lucky if the subs had been on the pitch 30 seconds and bang 2-0 to QPR, a Routledge cross finding Helguson to score from a free header. It was a poor goal to concede and we had a mountain to climb. Boro didn’t help themselves, even through I thought it was debatable whether it was inside or outside the box, Zemmama fouled Taarabt and the referee awarded them a pen. Up stepped Taarabt to take the penalty, he beat Steele and now the game was over 3-0 down at home to top of the league QPR.
We still had a few chances; Tony McMahon’s free kick was well saved and knocked behind for a corner kick. McDonald had a good chance cutting in from the right which he fired wide. It was a game where both sides didn’t create that many chances. I thought that 3-0 flattered QPR, a team certainly not at their best. However, what they do is effective, the defence dominated throughout, little got past Shittu and Hall. They got a bit of luck with the deflected goal which set them on their way and we never recovered.
QPR have got some great individual players who caused us and the whole championship problems. Taarabt and Routledge are exceptional attacking threats with pace in abundance. I just thought we didn’t help ourselves with high balls to our strikers Lita and McDonald not the tallest of players. QPR are up there on merit no question about it. I just wish we had tested Paddy Kenny a bit more, he had very little to do.
It was a disappointing 2nd half display; we must bounce back on Tuesday night against another strong championship side Nottingham Forest. We must get back to collecting points at Home.
Printed in FMTTM Fanzine v Nottingham Forest Tue 1 March 2011