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Queens Park Rangers 1 v 1 Nottingham Forest
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 29th October 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Just that sort of a week - Report
Sunday, 31st Oct 2021 10:23 by Clive Whittingham

For injury time heartbreak for QPR on Friday night as Jack Colback scored for the first time in two-and-a-half years to equalise at the death for Nottingham Forest.

Sometimes it’s just one of those weeks.

Queens Park Rangers, beaten in injury time at Peterborough last Saturday, brutally cheated out of a first league Cup quarter final since 1988 on Tuesday, now carrying a morale boosting 1-0 lead into time added on against Nottingham Forest on Friday but destined not to see it through. A desperate defensive clearance landed with Jack Colback, who hadn’t scored a goal of any description since March 2019, and his first touch sat it up perfectly for a speculative long ranger which Seny Dieng would surely have saved but for Jimmy Dunne trying to block the ball himself and inadvertently diverting it into his own bottom corner. Nobody could argue it wasn’t a fair result, that Forest weren’t good value for their draw, but to come so close and suffer such disappointment again was sick. Rangers have now conceded last minute goals in five of their last ten games at a cost of five points.

Given there were only three Championship teams left in the League Cup at the round of the last 16 during the week, one would have thought it fairly easy and sensible for the division’s host broadcaster not to make any of them back up with another game on the Friday. QPR’s next eight matches are all live or on the red button and they’ve been selected as the main game ten times already this season. By Christmas Sky subscribers will have been able to watch 15 of Rangers’ 23 matches, and there are cruel Monday night trips to Derby and Sheffield to come in short order. Play-off rivals Luton, by comparison, will have been on twice. Between October 2 against Preston and January 15 Rangers play on a Saturday at 15.00 at Loftus Road once (Swansea, December 18) and given the January date is high-flying West Brom at home the cunts will no doubt want that for some new Tuesday breakfast slot they’ve created to try and shave some audience of Channel 4’s Everybody Loves Raymond repeats. As we enter November, we still haven’t been deemed worthy of hearing what their plans are for our Christmas, when Sky use the Championship to try and cockblock Amazon’s Premier League picks, and given we’ve got Bournemouth here on Boxing Day one dreads to think what’s coming there. This one could, should, have been left well alone, but, alas.

Don’t underestimate the effect it has out on the pitch. I’m not talking about the ‘poor old QPR’ routine where we talk about how we never seem to win on the television (Rangers had lost 20 of their previous 22 Friday night games prior to the start of play) but tangible, practical stuff. Asked to play on Friday after the Tuesday, Jordy De Wijs lasted half an hour before he had to be replaced by Jimmy Dunne. Attempts to nurse Sam McCallum’s long standing hamstring injury through seven games in 21 days finally blew up on 26 minutes when he got back to stop Brennan Johnson on the byline but then collapsed in a heap with Moses Odubajo summoned from the bench. Shorn of their subs, QPR wilted late in the day, with Lyndon Dykes playing on one leg and leaving the ground in a protective cast. Take your boots to Cardiff on Wednesday and you too might get a game. This division and its fans are trapped in an abusive relationship with Sky – wholly reliant on and addicted to its money, but being treated like absolutely shite as a result.

It had felt like one of those weeks from the moment Siriki Dembele went screaming through on goal in injury time at London Road last Saturday. It certainly appeared to be one of those nights here right from the very first whistle. There was the Remembrance Day silence and playing of The Last Post, which, thanks to football’s mawkish obsession with this, or perhaps more accurately fear of backlash if it’s in any way seen not to be paying enough respect, we now do on October 29. Then there was the whistle and the kick off, except that some of the players had kicked off, and some of the players, and the referee, had taken a knee. Confusion reigned, and within it the kick-off had already been retaken with some players still on the ground and most of the others wondering what the hell was going on. Literally within ten seconds QPR had given the ball away, Forest had marauded through, Albert Adomah had chucked himself at preventing the opening goal, he was injured, the physio was on, and the game was stopped again. If you needed a metaphor and microcosm of how entangled football is getting itself with gesture politics and culture wars then this was surely it.

The first half an hour was pretty much all about the visitors and their electric 20-year-old forward Brennan Johnson. He was constantly into the space behind Yoann Barbet, with huge overlaps behind McCallum, and probably should have done more than simply win a corner on seven minutes from one of those situations. Forest, who didn’t play midweek, looked more confident and energetic than a leggy home team, epitomised when Seny Dieng was almost caught dawdling over a pass back on 12 minutes. Soon Johnson was muscling past Barbet into the area and then hitting the deck under clumsy contact that I’d have wanted a penalty for – referee Andy Davies said no – and Joe Lolley was trying his luck from distance and drawing a camera save from Dieng up in the top corner. McCallum’s injury came recovering another Johnson break after a questionable non-offside decision and when the brilliant youngster got in behind again it was only a desperate one handed save from Dieng and improvised clearance from Albert Adomah that almost went in off Rob Dickie and only missed the bottom corner by inches even without that which prevented a score.

The main, nee only, positive for QPR at this point was that Forest hadn’t scored, but then things started to happen a little bit for the home team. Albert Adomah took matters into his own hands, first with some lovely flicks and tricks to win a dangerous free kick, then with a brilliant cut back from the byline off a glorious Stefan Johansen switch ball which Dykes almost seized upon at the near post. These moments brought a previously morose home crowd into proceedings for the first time. It’s a hell of a weapon to have in these circumstances – somebody who wants the ball even when things aren’t going well, somebody who isn’t going to hide, somebody who can produce moments of skill and magic that get people excited, off their seats and into the atmosphere. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say he dragged QPR into this game by himself and in an extended period of first half stoppage time because of the two injuries he ran onto an Odubajo through ball in the left channel, worked space for himself brilliantly with a chop and scoop back, and then stood a cross up to the far post so exquisite that he’d already turned away to the Ellerslie Road stand to begin the celebrations even before Lyndon Dykes had powered in at the far post to open the scoring against the run of play. God love you Albert, exactly the right man at exactly the right time, perfect for this situation, and QPR led at the break.

At times to begin the second half the overlaps either side of QPR’s back three were so severe I had to keep counting to make sure we weren’t playing with ten men. Johnson giving Adomah a taste of his own medicine out on the far touchline then allowed him to charge unchallenged to the heart of the penalty box but his shot only found the side netting. Lolley’s 25 yarder was always arcing away from Dieng, but thankfully also the post as the keeper launched himself full stretch to try in vain to reach it. But as time ticked on, confidence seemed to grow in the home ranks. Stefan Johansen looked much more like his old self - pressing effectively higher up the field, intercepting possession and using the ball intelligently – which he inevitably will do when we don’t ask him to form the entire midfield by himself. The removal of the second striker, and addition of the tidy Dozzell, freed the Norwegian up to be much more 2020/21 Johansen, and QPR reaped the benefits of that. His ball through to Dykes on 68 should have been struck towards goal before Djed Spence emerged from nowhere with a superb block tackle. Earlier Dykes and Chair’s lively combination had put the Scotsralian through on an angle and Samba sprung from his line to save excellently. A cross into the six-yard box would have resulted in a goal for Willock had he anticipated and gambled, but flat on his heels he kneed it straight to the keeper.

The press was good, and effective, but it needed a second goal desperately to see the job through. Even with the addition of Luke Amos, QPR were absolute baggage through the final ten minutes. Dykes, who could barely move, headed an increasingly long list of players you’d have subbed off in an ideal world. Johansen was down with cramp, his WWE body slam on Alex Mighten over on the far touchline for a thick yellow card betrayed how spent he was. It wasn’t like Forest were penetrating too often, though sub Loyal Taylor’s improvised backheel tight to the South Africa Road touchline set up an enormous overload which Odubajo rescued brilliantly at the back post. When the stoppage time board flashed a four into the gloom it became hard to suppress the belief we might drag this one over the line after all. Alas, it’s more a headless horseman than a fourth official at QPR games these days, the blinking lights a harbinger of doom to come. Given that Forest scored twice in stoppage time at Bristol City last week, there was still three minutes to play after Colback equalised, and Rangers looked like somebody had just shot their dog in front of them, perhaps we should be grateful we didn’t end up losing the bloody thing altogether. Difficult to be anything other than gutted having got so close though.

Not quite. Not this time. And certainly not this bloody week.

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

QPR: Dieng 6; Adomah 8, Dickie 7, De Wijs 6 (Dunne 36, 6), Barbet 6, McCallum 6 (Odubajo 26, 6); Johanson 7, Dozzell 7, Chair 6 (Amos 78, 6); Willock 6, Dykes 6

Subs not used: Austin, Ball, Archer, Gray

Goals: Dykes 45+5 (assisted Adomah)

Bookings: Dozzell 44 (foul), Johansen 83 (body slam)

Forest: Samba 7; Spence 7, Worrall 6, Figueiredo 6 (Mighten 61, 7), McKenna 6; Lowe 6; Yates 6, Colback 7, Lolley 7 (Zinckernagel 67, 6); Johnson 8, Grabban 6 (Taylor 61, 7)

Subs not used: Horvath, Bong, Ojeda, Garner

Bookings: Worrall (foul)

Goals: Colback 90+1 (unassisted)

QPR Star Man – Albert Adomah 8 Again, not a difficult decision, though Stefan Johanson benefited enormously from having some support in midfield and looked much more like his old self second half, and Andre Dozzell had his best game for the club.

Referee – Andy Davies (Hampshire) 6 I suspect if this was a Forest website I’d be giving him a four and talking about two first half penalty appeals. On those, I’d certainly have wanted the first one, for Barbet on Johnson, but having won the ball in the first place by shoulder charging (legally) the French centre back I guess the referee felt Johnson then went to ground a little easily when the same was done back to him. I’d have certainly wanted it. The Spence and Adomah one far less so. Overall a vast improvement on some of the nonsense we’ve seen in our games lately.

Attendance 15,089 (3,000 Forest) Great following from Nottingham, perhaps buoyed by the news that EMR had agreed to kindly hold the 22.30 train to allow them some time to scoot round the Hammersmith and City Line to catch it. A rare moment of common sense and joined up thinking on our extortionately expensive and shambolically run railways. Except… they then forgot to do it. Remember kids, football without fans is nothing. Still, at least we’re inside two months to our next Saturday 3pm at home though now.

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R_in_Sweden added 11:42 - Oct 31
Thanks for the report Clive, great stuff as always.

Another consequence of Sky hoovering up most of our games is that they get removed from the club’s live streaming. Those of us in foreign exile who have paid for a whole season of streamed games are seeing the number of matches available dwindle by the week.

The alternative, apart from an extortionate Sky subscription, is often some dodgy streaming site where half of the pitch is obscured by pop-up ads informing of lonely women in the immediate area wishing to make ”contact”. Although that in itself could end up being an option during certain games 😀

Gruntfuttock added 12:05 - Oct 31
VPN (set location to New Jersey), ESPN+(they've got all the EFL Sky games) and the ESPN app (only Android) does it. They've also got all La Liga and Bundesliga matches...
thank me later

062259 added 13:09 - Oct 31
By a distance the worst week of 2021. Five points dropped from winning positions in the league, two goals conceded in second-half injury time, and possibly the worst refereeing decision to go against QPR in their history.

TacticalR added 13:28 - Oct 31
Thanks for your report.

I missed this one and have only seen the extended highlights. Adomah looked great in the lead up to the goal, twisting his man inside and out before getting in the cross to Dykes.

I noticed against Peterborough we looked physically and mentally tired towards the end of the game, and it sounds like the same thing happened in this match.

Given the week we've had, perhaps the important thing is the performance and the point.

Northernr added 14:05 - Oct 31
We look gassed a lot of the time atm. Injuries and fixture pile up. One of the keys to the great run in the second half of last season was that the team stayed remarkably fit and injury free, never likely to continue and we just cannot get everybody fit atm which is meaning we're having to push people like McCallum with these results.

thehat added 17:14 - Oct 31
Thanks Clive - Great report again.

It seems an age since we were travelling up the A1 absolutely buzzing and looking forward to a fantastic week in front of us. A quarter final cup place and cementing our place in the top four was all but guaranteed.

Now I am sitting in a cold dark room with a flannel on my head and two pencils up my nose (Blackadder fans will know what I mean)

Bloody QPR………

Marshy added 13:13 - Nov 1
We've had Warbs going on quite rightly about the congested fixture schedule of 7 games in 21 days, and the nuts tv scheduling kick off days and times etc etc. It's a pity that football at league level is not played all year round, then 46 fixtures and cup competitions could be spread out over 12 months. On that basis we wouldn't get all this constant nonsense. Although of course, it will never happen.

It certainly has been the week of hell in terms of results. We've probably been spooked as its Halloween. But lets hope Warbs and the team can put all this behind them, starting at Cardiff with a better run of results. Come on you R's!!!!!!

GaryBannisterswedge added 18:42 - Nov 1
Everybody loves Raymond is far more watchable than them sky ballbags

extratimeR added 16:26 - Nov 2
Bang on report Clive.
Must admit was quite low before start of Forest game, but came away thinking we might have turned corner. ( Not sure what corner, and am now immune to injury time goals).

Dozzell was a pleasant surprise, as mentioned his best performance, and our early injuries prevented us seeing our the game, ( god knows how Lyndon stayed on the pitch, he couldn't run at the end, well done him!).

Cheers Clive!

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