Another saturday, another defeat, but we scored!

Queens Park Rangers – 2
Nottingham Forest – 1 

As last night’s beer subsides I can start to gather my thoughts; I hadn’t still intended to be in London now, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow and take a bit of pleasure when you can!  Last time we visited Loftus Road we were to go out of the Championship with a whimper, and be consigned to three years in League One.  Well at the end of this visit we still find ourselves bottom of the pile, and still 5 points from safety!

Infuriatingly, it was another one of those performances that, nestled amongst a few wins and draws, you would write off as a bit unlucky – I thought.  However, you can’t have a season full of bad luck, and as we rack up seven defeats out of eleven (I’m excluding Wolves as that was just a solid tonking), you have to start to look for an explanation other than misfortune or things just not quite clicking – I’m rapidly running out of cliches for a start!

The first half was pretty positive; you all know the routine by now – despite lots of possession, some of it even tending towards threatening, the final ball or critical decision making meant that chances were limited.  It was good to see Anderson in the side, and along with McCleary they looked to be the most likely source of any real danger.  The home side created a few chances too, but the defence and Smith held firm – the closest was when Smith couldn’t hold Buzsaky’s shot but the ‘keeper was quick enough to recover and grab the ball before itwent in.

Half time saw Lynch introduced for Bennett.  The first action was a Cohen cross to Cole which brought a decent but not exactly unexpected save from Cerny.  Shortly after Rangers took the lead – a long throw-in into the box and the ball in the net off the crossbar.  Cue all remaining confidence Forest had shown to visibly drain from the players.  It’s just the way things seem to be at the moment.

The lead was doubled when a combination of a bad clearance by substitute Lynch and nobody closing down or marking Akos Buzsaky who spannered it deftly into the corner from about 25 yards out to pretty much make it game over.  The very welcome return of Lewis McGugan for debutant Carl Fletcher, and Davies for Anderson, eventually sparked some life into the Reds, but first the home side were continuing to threaten with Buzsaky again coming close.

Lewis nearly got straight into scoring ways with a long range effort on his left foot – but couldn’t get it to dip enough to go under the bar.  When Forest did manage a credible effort on target – after Cole flicked to Tyson who spun and shot, the QPR keeper was equal to it – sprawling to the ground to tip it around the post.  From the resulting corner Cohen spannered over from six yards.

The goal came on 83 minutes after Cohen was fouled for the umpteenth time in the game, and it was converted by substitute McGugan from around 25 yards with a curling right-footed shot that could become is trademark if he gets a few more of them.  A glimmer of hope for the travelling fans, but even the most optimistic of us could only applaud Forest’s continued battling, but write it off as fruitless before the final whistle had already gone.

Worrying times.  On the positive side, I was impressed by Fletcher who put in some tough tackles and distributed the ball sensibly.  Also, we finally scored a goal in the league (for ourselves) for the first time since the home game against Burnley.  Small steps, eh?  I’m not sure we have time for small steps to improvement – however, as players like Anderson, Garner and Earnshaw become available with a positive addition like Fletcher, there is still a tiny remaining shred of hope for improvement.

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