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Derby County 2 v 0 Queens Park Rangers
SkyBet Championship
Monday, 22nd April 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Ways to lose at football - Report
Tuesday, 23rd Apr 2019 20:22 by Clive Whittingham

While few expected anything other than another defeat for QPR at high flying Derby on Monday, the nature of this latest loss was particularly harsh on John Eustace's team.

I think you’re allowed a laugh now. One of those maniacal ones that quickly turns into an uncontrollable torrent of tears, cascading onto the blouse of an experienced therapist. Like when Deirdre Barlow got sent down, all neck veins and nicotine encrusted howls.

A defeat, QPR’s twenty second of the season and thirteenth since January 12, away to a much better team that still has things to play for was not unexpected. We said as much in the preview. In fact, we thought it might be a deal worse. But to actually play reasonably well, as QPR did by their admittedly pitiful standards, create the better chances in the game and make it to the last minute level only to lose amidst a refereeing brain explosion seemed particularly cruel on a club that has suffered enough over the past few weeks.

When we play poorly, as we did against Blackburn and Bolton and Rotherham and Norwich, we lose. When we play alright, as we did here and against Bristol City and West Brom and Watford, we also lose. It’s like we’re going out of our way to find new and creative ways to do it. The two goals Derby scored in a ludicrous 12 minutes of stoppage time added to this game (more, much more, on that later) were the seventh and eighth goals we’ve conceded after the 90 minute mark this season – more than any other team in the league. The nonsense penalty that gifted them their first (more, much more, on that later) was the ninth spot kick Rangers have conceded this term – again, a division high. We’re like Kif with the Women of Amazonia in Futurama – suffering death by a thousand blows to the groin. You will be snoo-snooed by the last-minute goals, then your own crass incompetence, then a dreadful piece of refereeing. THEN THE LAST-MINUTE GOALS AGAIN.

Any hopes that the sudden and unexpected mauling of Swansea last weekend was Rangers finally breaking free of misery’s vice-like grip on their 2019 were quickly dispelled by a gutless showing and comfortable home defeat to Blackburn on Good Friday – ten losses at Loftus Road in the league this season, equalling the club record. Travelling north to a team that’s lost fewer home games than anybody else, and is still well in the play-off hunt, had expectations as low as a snake’s cummerbund. A back four bedevilled by injury and illness featured winger Pawel Wszolek at right back, central midfielder Geoff Cameron at centre half with full back Darnell Furlong, and central midfielder Ryan Manning at left back. There have been episodes of Last of the Summer Wine less predictable than what was surely to follow here – just get that bathtub on wheels up to the top of the hill and watch it go.

But, in actual fact, Rangers, with Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells together up front and Luke Freeman and Bright Osayi-Samuel on the wings, didn’t do too badly at all. An early Derby free kick whipped in from wide by set piece specialist Harry Wilson had Lumley diving right to make a save from a flicked header, but Rangers marched straight down the field and caused panic of their own in the Derby area with a low cross from Manning that was turned back to his own goalkeeper by a home defender amidst a scramble and hurried clear. Roos’ handling of the deliberate back pass ignored by referee David Webb.

Soon Nahki Wells was in for a clear sight of goal deflected wide and when a high press from the four man QPR midfield got Bright Osayi-Samuel into good ball with too many home players stranded the wrong side of the play Luke Freeman was able to shoot wide and the first rumblings of discontent were heard from the home fans. Freeman hit another similar shot wide just after the half hour and although Wszolek did get caught too high and infield five before the break and had to take a tactical yellow for a deliberate foul on Tom Lawrence the visitors remained relatively untroubled through to half time. The Rams deciding to take a QPR-style short corner with their final attack of the first half, with predictable results, only reaffirmed the unexpected direction of travel in the first 45 minutes of the game. QPR were the better team. Even they looked surprised.

Derby are often prone to going a bit floppy at this time of year. Successive managers have failed to prevent the melty man from darkening their door as spring became the summer and Frank Lampard has been no different so far – if ever those in charge of what passes for media coverage of this division would cease their rimming of him long enough to notice it. Four straight defeats through February, three wins in 13 games prior to this one, had seen the Rams drop out of the top six for the first time this season but thanks to the long, slow, torturous death of Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough reign they’re still well in the hunt. A favour from their arch enemies at the other end of the A52, and the win they ended up with from this game, actually moved Derby back to sixth in the table with two to play. Not that you’d really know it from their performance. For want of a better word, they were strange. Flat, slow, ponderous. Like a midtable team already on the beach. The home crowd’s agitations weren’t so much anger or exasperation as incredulity – what the hell are you doing? As an outsider looking in the preference for Martyn Waghorn up front over former Peterborough firebrand Jack Marriott seemed odd, and having sat through 69 minutes of Waghorn getting no change out of Geoff Cameron here I’m even more perplexed.

The loan players looked their best hope. Wilson tried a free kick from somewhere out near Strutt’s North Mill which Lumley saved reasonably easily, Mason Mount got a sight of goal but spooned a shot over while unbalanced. I thought QPR had a decent appeal for a penalty on 53 minutes but I haven’t seen it back since and in the ensuing Derby counter attack Scowen picked up a yellow card for a typical bit of ratting. Ten minutes later Luongo saw yellow for much the same. Luke Freeman was tackled and the ball went out of play. Derby throw in. In amongst the obvious calls there were, to put it mildly, some odd refereeing decisions.

QPR’s best chance of the match came at the midway point of the second half. Bright Osayi-Samuel, so often our outstanding attacking hope recently, beat Scott Malone in the air in the first instance and then along the ground for pace in the second. His low cross from the byline tempted Roos into a dive in vain leaving Tomer Hemed with an open goal tap in if only he’d set off slightly earlier or been half an inch taller.

That stirred something resembling a response from the home team, with Marriott now on up front and Lumley visibly delighted to see Mount’s one on one effort come back into his arms through a combination of his glove and the post. But QPR continued to play what I’d go as far as to say was pretty well. There was the usual time wasting and shithousery, which we’ve been all too ready to engage in away from home this season when drawing games – have some self-respect and ambition lads, with nothing to play for what exactly are we protecting a nil nil draw for? But that nil nil draw could easily have been a hard fought one nil win had substitute Matt Smith got better connection on a Wszolek cross on 81 minutes. When the former Fulham target man did get a full forehead on a cross in the last minute of normal time it beat Roos all ends up but missed the top corner.

Still, a point is not to be sniffed at when you’ve been as bereft as QPR of late. What came next was cruel.

First of all, nine minutes of added time. Nine. In actual fact, Webb ended up playing more than 12. Now this has been a bugbear of mine all season. In the Championship now, as soon as you take the lead in a game, or not even that if you’re an away side, the time wasting begins. Blatantly, flagrantly, obviously. Sometimes as little as 15 minutes into a game. Throw ins passed around between would-be takers, keepers swapping the sides of their goal kicks, prolonged debates over corners and free kicks, substitutes completing a lap of honour at the speed of Thora Hird before trudging off, goalies catching routine crosses and then falling theatrically to the ground in several stages like a collapsing ironing board. We’ve had it done to us, and we’ve done it to other teams. It’s cheating, it’s rife, and the referees have not only done nothing about it and allowed it to fester, they’ve actually been willing participants and facilitated it – refusing to issue yellow cards other than the odd token gesture here and there, as we saw with the Blackburn keeper on Friday, and spending all afternoon pointing at their watch only to add a nominal amount of time to the end of the game that bears no relation to anything that went before it. Including, it should be said, this same referee against this same opponent in the first meeting at Loftus Road before Christmas. “Prior to the equaliser he’d been another example of a referee enabling and encouraging time wasting by failing to do anything about some pretty flagrant clock running,” we said of him that day.

Then, suddenly, here, from nowhere, 12 minutes. Nine advertised and three more played on top of that. Is this the standard now? Good. Long overdue. I welcome our new ant overlords. But it wasn’t the rules we played to against Blackburn three days ago, and I’ll bet you a Coke it’s not the rules we’re playing to against Forest next Saturday. Twelve minutes. In a half of four substitutions and no goals. Have a fucking day off mate, we didn’t play 12 minutes at Aston Villa on New Year’s Day when the game was stopped for Lumley to have his face stitched back on.

Sadly, Webb was still very much at work. Three minutes into said chunk of stoppage time he awarded Derby a penalty for what was, pretty obviously, a fair tackle from Luke Freeman on Jayden Bogle. A disgraceful decision, clearly wrong, the second time this season Rangers have lost out to an injury time penalty that was the incorrect call. Joe Lumley’s been letting the weak spot kicks beat him recently so he was never likely to save a proper one from Wilson, buried into the corner for the game. Rangers have now lost out on five points by conceding penalties this season, and another four to goals scored in injury time.

Still an evening session left to play of course, during which Marriott curled one wide from range and then Derby were able to add a second goal in unfathomable circumstances. Trying to get a quick restart away and launch a hunt for an equaliser, Ryan Manning took a hurried throw in back to Joe Lumley who was miles out of his goal. The goalkeeper, perhaps believing the final whistle had blown, took a lazy, frustrated, wild swing at a bouncing ball he had plenty of time to take a touch on. This presented the home team with possession, men, and no defence between them and the goal, and they were able to basically walk the thing in from there. Wilson with a brace. Bizarre stuff. Lumley, like most of his team mates, needs this season to end soon.

There was so much of this game that spoke to so much of what has occurred at QPR over the past four months. The fact that down the A38 Rotherham were losing against Birmingham City, rendering Rangers officially safe regardless of the result, screamed loudest. As we’ve long suspected, saved by the incompetence of others, rather than anything we were able to do ourselves.

Links >>> Ratings and Reports >>> Message Board Match Thread


Derby: Roos 6; Bogle 6, Keogh 6, Tomori 6, Malone 6; Bryson 5 (Bennett 37, 6), Johnson 5; Mount 6, Wilson 7, Lawrence 6 (Nugent 78, 6); Waghorn 5 (Marriott 69, 6)

Subs not used: Carson, Evans, Cole, Huddlestone

Goals: Wilson 90+3 (penalty, won Bogle), 90+11 (assisted Marriott)

Bookings: Bennett 90+9 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 5; Wszolek 6, Furlong 6, Cameron 7, Manning 6; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Eze 82, -), Scowen 6, Luongo 6, Freeman 6; Wells 5 (Walker 90+6, -), Hemed 5 (Smith 73, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Shodipo, Phillips, Tilt

Bookings: Wszolek 41 (foul), Scowen 54 (foul), Luongo 67 (foul)

QPR Star Man – Geoff Cameron 7 I originally thought we’d bought Cameron as a centre back to help replace the outgoing Nedum Onuoha and Jack Robinson. This is the first time we’ve used him there properly, as opposed to him dropping in to help out, and his performance suggested we perhaps should have done it a bit more often.

Referee – David Webb (Durham) 3 I thought there’d been some pretty weird and wonderful calls across the regulation 90 minutes anyway. What followed in a ridiculously protracted spell of stoppage time was just rank bad refereeing, plain and simple.

Attendance – 25,986 (700 QPR approx.)

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MancR added 20:41 - Apr 23
Don't forget Fat Frank's classless dance routines after being gifted the 3 points by a cheating, guessing 4 foot prick in black. Hope they get shafted in the play offs.
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extratimeR added 21:29 - Apr 23
Thanks Clive

Yes, I was very surprised at how well we battled, closed people down, and generally played with more than a bit of pride.


I am sick to death of the Refereeing in this division, its not FFP that will be the end of this Championship farce it will be the disgraceful level of refereeing.


Cheers Clive, great report.
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Myke added 22:37 - Apr 23
Cheers Clive. Officially safe therefore Eustace has fulfilled his remit. By garnishing 4 points from 15, as you say Clive, much more down to the incompetence of others. 48 points should not be enough with 2 games to go. At least we're not taking on Forest needing to win for the 2nd time in 3 years - that would be really tempting fate.
Just curious to know what is the selection criteria the players use to make an effort in. They clearly have a chat amongst themselves and decide in advance. No to Norwich and Blackburn yes to Milwall and Derby and YES YES to Swansea - weird
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stainrods_elbow added 23:10 - Apr 23
For some reason, and doubtless unjustly, I feel just as pissed at this defeat, if not even more so, than the abominations against Rotherham, Bolton and Norwich (among others). It just feels that the footballing dice are loaded against us this whole accursed year. Every. Single. Thing that can go wrong, and then things we'd never have even thought of, do go wrong, again and af*ckinggain, adding to the relentlessly generous amount of self-abuse we do to ourselves.

I'll break rank and say I think it probably was a penalty - a bad/ill-advised tackle from behind, where Freeman got only the slightest touch to the ball, if any, and took the man unceremoniously down. Their 2nd goal was tragicomic, with Lumley adding more to his scrapbook of embarrassment this season. We made a kind of game of it, sure, but never looked fully convincing to me, while our goal-shyness was pathological.

Though we'll probably soon be rid of Eustace, his breezy post-match manner really puts my teeth on edge, coupled with his over-exaggeration of the achievements during his handful of games in charge (for the record, 1 good win against a feckless Swansea, 1 OK draw, and 3 defeats, one shocking, one depressing, and one predictable) and makes him look like a mug in my book. Apparently, the Blackburn game was one of the four in five excellent performances since he took over, and this was a 'top drawer' showing. No, it wasn't, John. It was middling Championship stuff at best, mostly distinguished by a modicum of cohesion borne of the minimum requirement of sustained team effort, only passably 'impressive' because almost all of the time we phone it in and/or roll out so many ways of being poor it makes fans' heads spin, but crowned by our inability of our finishers to finish, and topped off the usual combination of shooting ourselves in the foot - with the officials' sickening help - in the 10,129-10,140th minute.

I agree that next season is nothing to look forward to. The team needs a new spine - a proper goalkeeper, solid centre back, a ball-winning midfielder in a Derry mould, a likely playmaker to replace Freeman, and a fox in the box. Unfortunately, we'd be paying in beans.

I don't want Hoos.
I don't want Tony.
I'm not sure I want Les.
I don't want Lynch.
I don't want Bidwell.
I don't want loan/sub Prem strikers.
I dont' want to hear about the new ground bullsh*t.
F*ck FFP.
F*ck EFL referees.
F*ck bullsh*t McClaren-Eustace turd-polishing speak.

And f*ck anyone who disagrees with me!

I'm off for a pint of cooking sherry and a w*nk!
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Sittingbournehoop added 07:43 - Apr 24
Law of averages our luck should even out over the season but not this time. We’ve stayed up but somehow it doesn’t feel deserved on some of the disgraceful performances this season. Much better at Derby and it almost feels strange when we do bother to put in a battling performance and show some pride. I pity the next manager as it really does seem like a poisoned chalice!
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Northernr added 08:02 - Apr 24
When even Lampard says it's not a penalty, it's not a penalty.
5

francisbowles added 10:03 - Apr 24
Some being a bit harsh on Lumley on here. Yes it was a f*** up for the second goal, I think he was trying, probably too hard, to hurry the ball forward but the damage had been done by the first. I thought his performance here was decent and at least when he is inaccurate with goal kicks they clear half way unlike some of his predecessors..

As for his season, some good, some average, some poor. First full season in a poor team. Not bad overall. That win against Leeds, he kept us in it especially at the end.

With the rebuilding that we need, goalkeeper is not a priority.
1

gazza1 added 10:49 - Apr 24
I agree Norf, we did fairly well against a side pushing for the play-offs. The players generally turned up to play and put a shift in, etc, etc. Who knows next time. and that is the problem - not the manager, not the systems we play....its the players inability to have some consistency.

With regard to the 9 minutes - I felt the ref was correct is giving that sort of time. We have ourselves to blame, Lumley and Furlong waste so much time and it is so, so obvious - it isnt just them two but they do it so blatantly. Also the extra 3 or whatever minutes was primarily for the penalty delays. We need some consistency from refs as well so players and clubs know that more time will be played.

Not a penalty imo but if you dive in you give the referee a decision to make and they been going against us this season.

0

smegma added 11:21 - Apr 24
Is anyone concerned about the fate of Jayden Fogle??? The way he rolled over and over he must have been seriously hurt. I just hope he can look himself in the mirror without feeling embarrassed
0

ManinBlack added 13:06 - Apr 24
Lampard did say after the game they found a way to win despite not playing well. I think that was factually incorrect as it was the ref who found the way for their win.
1

PinnerPaul added 17:27 - Apr 24
To add to Clive's post and when every ref on Ref Chat (no QPR fans) say its not a pen, then you know its not a pen.

Not as bad as the Furlong one v BC though.
1

Myke added 10:20 - Apr 25
The most disappointing thing for me is that we have regressed in every aspect of the club since this time last year. I'm happy with year -on -year progression no matter how incremental that progress is and to be fair to Holloway he had achieved that despite the histrionics and erratic team selections. This season is so hard to analyse as it was your typical 'game of two halves'. Up until Christmas, bar our early season collapse, we were doing fine, exceeding expectations and then we had the total collapse afterwards, which is still ongoing right to the end.
The contributory factors to that post Christmas collapse have been well documented by Clive; fixture congestion (caused by a bloody cup run ffs) an unusually tough run of fixtures, player fatigue and rank bad luck. But the test of a manager's metal is to somehow arrest the bad run despite all these circumstances and McClaren failed miserably to achieve this. Dyche turned it around at Burnley despite a dire first half of the season, Benitez keeps a poor Newcastle side afloat and Howe refuses to allow Bournemouth get dragged into a relegation dog-fight. At our own level, Hull and Preston turned early season poor form around despite limited resources/lunatic owners.
So here we are, manageress ( the list of candidates soon to exceed our points tally) several points shy of last season, little progress on youth development and FFP still firmly dictating our future. Clive will pick over the carcass of the season far more informatively (and humorously ) then I would be able to - but in a nut-shell I'm far less optimistic about what to expect next year than I was 12 months ago.



























































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