It's Loftus Road again - why Portsmouth fans aren't enthused by QPR cup draw

Matt Clarke reflects on Pompey FA Cup defeat in their last visit to Loftus Road - in February. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke reflects on Pompey FA Cup defeat in their last visit to Loftus Road - in February. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey had waited eight years to return to Loftus Road.

Now they’re booked in for a second visit in six months, with the clubs once again matched in cup competition.

On Tuesday evening, many of the Fratton faithful were disappointed with the identity of their opposition in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

The draw included the entrance of Premier League clubs, having been handed a bye from the first round.

Yet, for the Blues, the outcome instead offered a relatively swift return to Loftus Road.

An unsatisfying match-up considering the sides last met in February during the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Nahki Wells’ strike 16 minutes from time earned Rangers a 1-1 Fratton Park draw – and a replay – in January 2019.

It cancelled out Joel Lynch’s own goal, which threatened to earn Kenny Jackett’s side a successive Championship scalp, having eliminated Norwich in the previous round.

Then, 10 days later, the teams staged their re-match at Loftus Road.

It represented the Blues’ first visit since Steve Cotterill’s side ventured there in February 2011, with both clubs occupying the Championship.

On that occasion, eight years previously, Adel Taarabt and Clint Hill earned the hosts a 2-0 victory.

For last season's return, the scoreline repeated, with Wells and Matt Smith registering in the final 20 minutes to collect victory.

QPR’s own progress ended in the following round, with a 1-0 home defeat to eventual finalists Watford.

Now focus is fixed on the Carabao Cup, with Mark Warburton’s side beating Bristol City on penalties to reach the second round.

Following a 5-4 success, when keeper Liam Kelly saved Bradley Wright’s penalty, they were paired with increasingly-familiar foes Pompey.

The tie will be played at Loftus Road in the week beginning August 26, with a more precise date to follow.

Interestingly, the clubs never met during Pompey’s seven-season residency of the Premier League, which ended in May 2010.

At this moment in time, the Blues have totalled just two Loftus Road visits in almost 19 years.

Soon it’s going to be twice in six months.