Is it too late to postpone the return of fans…?
On the Eve of the end of a second lockdown it only seemed right to sit back and watch the R’s after an unjust result previous against Brentford. But please Boris can we get put back into Lockdown again, because I cannot face going back to the Kiyan Prince Foundation if this is the narrative of our cramp Christmas calendar.
Two changes to the R’s line-up ahead of the game- both fullbacks being subject to freshness, both for different reasons. We started the game brilliantly with Dickie opening the scoring. A short corner played to Willock was crossed into the box for the run of Rob Dickie to thump the header into the back of the net. Capitalising upon early chance seemed to be Ranger’s Achilles heel as of late but this chance was nothing short of a goal.
The R’s continued to pile on the pressure with Carroll’s close-range volley deflected over the bar, falling kindly from Wallace’s effort. Another rued chance as Willock found himself in space on the edge of the box. He opted for placement rather than power.
Bright Osayi-Samuel was our big game player in the opening half, sparking attacks out of nothing- continuously driving down the right flank after being kept quiet under the entertaining battle he found himself in with Rico Henry.
But the vain of QPR’s season was our failure to capitalise our chances and that came to bite us. Former striker Nakhi Wells found himself in the right place at the right time. A quick transition from a QPR corner resulted in an O’ Dowda cross deflected across the back post for Wells to tap in. Thankfully Wells eased the pains by not celebrating against his former club, whilst the narrative painted a different picture.
Those missed chances came to bite us harder. Five minutes into the second half and O’ Dowda intercepted Dickie’s poor pass. Nagy was found on the edge of the box who composed himself before drilling it into the bottom corner. The goal seemed to shape the rest of the game as Bristol City set up in a more conservative shape, inviting the pressure for QPR to try and find the elusive second gaol we so craved.
The threat of Bright Osayi Samuel notably diminished second half after the substitution of Tommy Rowe since his arrival on the field. He made City a lot more solid in their shape defensively and has helped marshall the influence of Bright, being surrounded by three or four defenders at a time.
QPR certainly piled the pressure on late as the introduction of Bonne and Adomah changed the shape of the team- moving to a 4-1-4-1 formation, leaving Carroll exposed when going forward. From then on in, the game was very open and we looked vulnerable in the middle of the park. Bonne had a great chance when coming on. Carroll’s diagonal pass from deep found Bonne who controlled it down well whilst holding off two Bristol City defenders but placed the ball past the post. That was a great chance we had and another big chance missed. The story of our season. But another big chance came for the quiet Bright Osayi Samuel at the end of the game. Carroll squared the ball to Bright on the edge of the box who cut inside and shot just wide of the post. The chance didn’t just leave everyone watching in shock, Warburton’s hands were placed firmly on his head. A very close effort indeed.
It was a dominant display for QPR for the most part of the game but it is what happens when you do not take your chances. Bristol City had few and far between but gave the R’s a schooling on how to be clinical with them. Whilst the frustrations were vented no doubt tonight do not let away from the fact it is a young side that is still continuing to develop stride by stride.