- Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:57 am
Mine and Rubi jnrs first match in quite a long while and boy was it worth it! I hardly knew any of the players if I'm honest.
I thought we were outclassed for the first 20-25 minutes. Our number 10 (is that Marquis?) didn't seem to win anything, especially against their bald-headed defender (whatever his name is). But then, he never really looked like he put him under any pressure; in fact, none of ours was getting stuck in and making it difficult for their players. Funny how SB had a very different view to both of ours of the same player, but I guess that could be down to how little I watch the team nowadays, so I don't see the bigger picture. Centre of midfield was particularly weak for me and we really did need to get the ball out wide. Then we came gradually into the game. We were getting some good possession but without really looking like we'd score. I was liking Harness on the wing and McCrorie was now causing all sorts of problems for them - as PnC would say, I liked the cut of their jibs! I was, in the end though, glad to see us get to half-time 0-0.
Second half we came out as we'd finished the first and looked like we could cause an upset. As SB says, Cannon made a HUGE difference. We then had three influential players on the field. QPR also made two changes at the same point and (although I don't know their players) from the reaction of the (up to that time almost silent) home crowd, they must have been more senior players. So they must have been getting worried that we were in the ascendency. But they really didn't make much of an impact. In fact, taking off sayi-Samuel looked a bad decision, as he'd been one of their best players for me. Our defence was (for the most part) looking very solid. There was one big chance QPR got when (I think it was) Naylor went to sleep. Their striker ran right past him in the box, had a very good chance from all of 6 to 8 yards and totally fluffed it. They also got a great cross in for a header, which thankfully went straight at "Scotland's number one". As the second half progressed, Pompey really took the game by the scruff of the neck - mainly I think due to Cannon's presence. We were now winning the 50-50 tackles, putting them under pressure when they had the ball and we were actually exciting to watch. Marquis redeemed himself (to Rubi jnr and me anyway), won the penalty and popped it in the net. I was still a bit nervous, but Harness put those fears to rest 5 minutes later with a nicely worked goal (I think it was a McCrorie cross). They did get a late goal, after the officials had somehow found 4 minutes of time to add on. However, after the home crowd had managed to wake itself up and cheer at long last, it was disallowed for offside. That would have made the last 2 or 3 minutes a bit uncomfortable.
The away support was excellent as usual; I always find it a pleasure to follow my team away from home. I love the banter, the songs, the constant Southampton hatred fired chants. From the pub before the match, the walk to the stadium, the match itself and the walk back to the tube afterwards. I do miss it!
I think in the end we did deserve the win, even though QPR missed a couple of really good chances. I'm quite excited by what KJ has put together, now I've seen them play. There is work to do, but I think once they gel and KJ finds everyone's best position, we could have a good outfit here.
I like Loftus Road. A bit like FP to me. One of the old style grounds. Compact, crowd close to the field and (if the home fans had taken part) I reckon you can get a really good atmosphere going there. Last time I was there was in 2011 (I can hardly believe it was that long ago). We lost 2-0 that day, but made up for it today.
Next round? Well, the crowd had been signing "...you dirty scummers, we're coming for you" all evening and hey-presto!
Like many, trust few and always paddle you own canoe.