RUBBISH game, great result. Two pennas, three points. Scrappy as hell and some scary moments but hey, we’re back in it because all the other results – and all the breaks – went our way. Blackpool slipped up and so did Cardiff… which makes next week massive.
Boro got two nailed on spot-kicks and should have had a third when incredibly Gorkss climbed highest in the crowd to have a funny turn and volleyball moment and punched the ball clear. Bizarre. The ref ignored it. Determined Gorkss made up for it later when he stretched and tried to yank Lita’s head off.
Robson’s sizzling spotkicks were powered by pure Hicktonite. They were unstoppable rockets, especially the Hot Shot Hamish second. If the keeper got a hand to that he would be in James Cook now wearing a pot up to his elbow. Two spot kicks in a game. Had the third been given he could have had a hat-trick which would have been neat.
I was going to say you don’t see two pens in a game too often but we had two against Scunthorpe when Johnson missed one and scored one. But three? To be fair there could have been more. I was amazed QPR didn’t get one early after Wheater wiped out Cook with a clumsy challenge.
It was an “eventful game” in that respect. Two pennas, two more waved away (an an optimistic shout for another from a Willo Flood shot after the break) two goals ruled out for offside and they hit the woodwork twice, the first a clip on the way wide in the first half then a good solid rattle in the second.
But in between all that were long spells of quite poor fare. “A nothing game,” Strachan said. Misplaced passes, hopeful punts forward, disjointed spells of play peppered with free-kicks, defenders drifting out of position and getting turned, chaotic scrambles in and around both boxes… plenty of endeavour and work but very little quality. It was a good job the penalties came because Boro looked unlikley to score from open play.
QPR created much more in that respect and Danny Coyne made good saves in both halves while in a frantic final spell there were some fantastic tackles flying in with Robson, O’Neil and Flood all helping out a defence that was superbly marshalled by the increasingly confident pairing at the back of Wheater and ‘Mick’ McMmanus..
But winning ugly is the way forward. After the back to back defeats last week the Boro bandwagon is inching forward again and the numbers are starting to add up: six unbeaten at home and three wins in a row at the Riverside. Two points behind wobbling Cardiff – and them to play next. Win that one and it is game on.