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Hoola Hoopla: QPR Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 05/10/2003

ON a clear day you can see forever, or at least to Spurn Point, the stunning vista which is what probably delayed all those QPR fans who seeped into the Osmond Stand a few minutes before three o’clock.

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

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

Hundreds of ‘em, at least 700, spilling into the covered corner too, a huddling, heaving mass which would assist in keeping them warm against the brisk autumn wind which sporadically chuntered into the Osmond Stand.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. as shown. Mansaram had been warming up, with Soames wandering around the stands in regulation club attire of dark grey everything, but was replaced by Soames at the last minute. In other words the same starting team as against Blackpool.

QPR underlined their status as media favourites by re-introducing mass bad hair to Blundell Park. A bit like a Moonie wedding, too much of a bad thing. Hello Marc Bircham, with a blue stripe right down the middle, putting Proudlock’s sloppy OAP’s rinse to shame. Ooh, hark on Day, the Larry Grayson of goalkeeping, with a drunken wiggle of blue down the back of his neck, almost like a badly tied ribbon. Padula, tiny, tiny Gino, like a waxwork Hernon Crespo. Is that a goatee I see before thee, or have you overdone the Mars bars? Ainsworth just looked like the pub rocker he is. Woah-oh-oh-oh, here he comes, smiling from his head down to his feet. He’d just roasted and toasted Galli, hadn’t he?

The good news was the return of the real Mighty Mariner, foamfoolery to please the masses. Did I say good news? Perhaps the real MM only comes out when crowds are expected to top 5,000. You know, it’s a safety matter, subject to HSE rules.

1st half

Town kicked off towards the Osmond Stand and wellied the ball straight out of play, no messing, no thrills, deep into the Lower/Smiths/Findus Stand. What a class act we are sometimes. And it rather set the pattern for the first half, with Town totally unable to produce any rhythmic football. QPR were organised and professionally prepared, seemingly knowing our tactics and set plays. Cheats!

Within the first couple of minutes QPR had a shot. Nothing exciting, momentarily concerning, but it was outside the area, miss-hit and straight at Davison. All the ingredients for Pontoon satisfaction then. Town - no, no, not yet. QPR nibbled and nudged in midfield, robbing and rolling their way through with swift inter-passing and late runs from midfielders. All very impressive stuff, if a little irritating for the monochrome paying customers. Still more impressive stuff as they knocked short passes behind the Town defence and pesky Thorpe kept nipping in front of Crane, causing yet more moments of danger. A couple of corners, a few crosses, pressure building on Town. The ball never "stuck" upfield, and so the hoops flowed forward, imposing their will upon the strangely hesitant homesters. The crowd were restive, then silent, as Davison punched away a cross in most curious fashion, like he was teeing up a volleyball slam. The ball lazily looped to Gallen, about 10 yards outside the penalty area on the centre right, who side footed it back. Davison caught the falling star’s soft drooper and put it in his pocket. A minute or so later another corner, this time from their left, was curled inwards at speed to the near post. The unmarked Ainsworth sauntered forward and lashed it with his quiff, the ball crawling over the bar and running across the top of the net. Ooh indeed, Mr QPR fan.

Barnardyellow card


Anderson74 mins


Alan Kaye


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