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04/10 QPR Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 05/10/2003

TOWN - no, no, not yet. On and on the game went, with Town hoofing hurriedly and QPR controlling the match. A Town corner! Barnard clipped the ball back to Campbell, 25 yards out. Except it didn’t get that far as a QPR player ran out and intercepted the ball, like he knew it was going to happen.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > QPR (h)

Grimsby Town 0 Queens Park Rangers 1
04 Oct 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

A dozen matches and we’ve been sussed. So still not yet then. The linesmen were flag wavers of the first order, infuriating sections of the lower Stones/Smiths/Findus with the defenestration of Michael Boulding, but saving the Town defence some collective embarrassment with some exceedingly dodgy wafting. A couple of absolute sitters were missed in front to the Town goal but, hey, they wouldn’t have counted, so why are we bothered about them? You’re not, so on with the show.

Town, yes, yet! A long throw from the Town left high and long towards the near post. Crane headed once, twice, three times, nodding like a donkey at the bouncing ball, which eventually squirmed out to Campbell, in the middle of the penalty area. Campbell leant back and hooked a shot (in the context of Town’s first half efforts this was a chance) over the bar and just under the new scoreboard. There was enough power in the shot to dislodge a programme from a child. Not much of a yet, was it.

After about 17 minutes, whilst shepherds watched their flocks, trippers snoozed under a tartan blanket and the Town defence stared at a passing speedboat, QPR took a throw-in in front of the Lower Stones/ Smiths/Findus, with Gallen turning and smacking a low driven cross through the penalty area from the right hand corner. The ball hit the unmarked Furlong’s knee and plopped into Davison’s waiting hands. Nice of him to miss. A minute later another sitter missed. A one-two, flick and punt around the edge of the area saw the ball arc towards goal. Crane took a step back and attempted to guide a glancing header towards Davison. Fine. Great, no problem. Ah, problem. Thorpe had read Crane’s "big book of flippin’ obvious defending (Vol 2)" before he arrived on the luxury padded coach and there he was, waiting on a friend. Fortunately Davison rushed out and smothered as Thorpe twisted and flicked a shot goalwards.

Well, that’s lucky. After 21 minutes or so more fortune as the worm turned. The referee spent the first part of the game failing to notice little fouls by QPR. I particularly like the way he thought Town players could make themselves move several feet laterally whilst suspended in mid-air. Do we have hoverpacks or are their poltergeists on the playing surface? Stop griping, he took agin the opposition for 20 minutes after he awarded Town a free kick. Thorpe moaned and moaned and groaned, sufficient to get booked and for the free kick to be marched forward 10 yards. Perhaps he was pointing out the small print in the contract between the two parties "we don’t foul, they do"? Barnard whacked the free kick into the wall, the ball bounced down, up and flew towards the top left hand corner. Palmer nodded the ball away from near the goal-line, with Day seemingly unconcerned behind him. After much debate the Pontoon decided it was worth a half hearted "ooh", so half of us heartily "Ooohed".

Hey, Town pressure, in the sense that there was a five minute period when QPR didn’t mesmerise and make mincemeat of Town. A Daws long throw was scrambled away to Hamilton, 20 yards out in the centre. The crowd sucked in air, anticipating glory as Hamilton wound himself up to thwack the loose ball goalwards. And he did!

Barnardyellow card


Anderson74 mins


Alan Kaye


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The ball sliced away, away, on to the roof, over the roof and towards the goals on Sussex Rec. Pouton would be proud of you Discotheque Derrick, you are fit to fill his shooting boots. A Town free kick from the left was flung way beyond the far post. Crane snuck around the back and firmly headed downwards. Day made an instinctive parry at the foot of the post, the ball trundling out for a corner, the wavy blue ‘keeper rolling back into the net.

As the half ended QPR pressed again, with Town being fortunate with offside flagging and wayward crossing. Furlong was released down the QOR right and crossed dangerously into the centre of the goalmouth, only Crane’s knee being between ball and the unmarked Thorpe. Welcome to Lottery corner, as the ball could have gone anywhere. It ended up looping over Davison and bouncing behind the goal. My, my, it was almost a Lever moment. We were almost back on the heritage trail. The club really should think about erecting a blue plaque to commemorate the Beverley Bumbler, advertising historical re-enactments every two weeks. That’d get the missing fans back. Yet more QPR pressure. McDermott to the rescue, heading the ball away from under the crossbar as a cross was dinked over Davison and an attacker lurked. Replay scene, add one minute, substitute Edwards for McDermott. You get the picture.

Half time: Grimsby Town 0 Queens Park Rangers 0

That’s the first half, leaving out many minor details of huffery and puffery. In simple terms QPR out though and out fought Town, which isn’t so much a criticism of Town as a compliment to QPR. They had clearly studied Town and sought to nullify threats and exploit weaknesses. It’s only what you’d expect the opposition to do. The Town midfield was malfunctioning, with Hamilton looking ponderous in the extreme, almost Onuoraian in the time delay between lights, camera and action. It was like he was on his first driving lesson and having to think mirror, signal then manoeuvre. By which time four QPR saloon cars had overtaken him down Taylors Avenue. Let’s hope he knows where the petrol cap is. Crowe and Campbell were non-presences, adding nothing in attack and only occupying space in defence. Daws did his best, but could only be in two, not four, places at once. The defence creaked, the Town fans silently groaned, but it was still 0-0. No-one booed, no one moaned (out loud anyway), it was all remarkably tolerant viewing. Perhaps there was a collective recognition that QPR were any good and it wasn’t Town being rubbish that was causing the paucity of free flowing football expected.

Drawing at half time was a bonus. Much less than QPR deserved. And weren’t we thankful for that.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"They’ve just signed Warren Beatty".
"Two ambulances at Blundell Park? They’re just like busses, aren’t they".
"Have they got a bicycle kick fetish?".
"QPR know what they’re doing. That’s a first for this division".
"Is that a fur lined cagoule?"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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