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34th time lucky? History
Thursday, 2nd Nov 2017 16:51 by Clive Whittingham

The full list of QPR’s inglorious 33-game quest for a first win at the City Ground, details of the more recent failures, and a bit on Gary Bannister’s fine goalscoring form to cheer you up.


Recent Meetings:

Queens Park Rangers 2 Nottingham Forest 0, Saturday April 27, 2017, Championship

QPR snapped an alarming run of six straight defeats, belatedly securing their status in the Championship in the process, by beating Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Loftus Road in the final home game of last season. Conor Washington settled nerves by storming through a weak Worrall challenge and finishing coolly straight after half time. Then the impressive Ryan Manning hooked a corner back into the danger zone for Joel Lynch to head home against his former club.

QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 5, Onuoha 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Wszolek 7, Luongo 6, Freeman 6 (Doughty 82, -), Manning 7; Smith 6 (Ngbakoto 82, -), Washington 6 (Mackie 66, 6)

Subs not used: Ingram, Lua Lua, Furlong, Sylla

Goals: Washington 49 (assisted Luongo), Lynch 60 (assisted Manning)

Bookings: Onuoha 3 (foul), Manning 58 (foul)

Trees: Smith 6; Lichaj 6, Worrall 5, Mancienne 6, Pinilos 6 (Mills 62, 5); Vaughan 6, Cohen 6, Osborn 6, Carayol 6 (Cash 62, 6); Brereton 6 (Ward 61, 6), Assombalonga 5

Subs not used: Tshibola, Evtimov, Lam, Vellios

Bookings: Osborn 72 (dissent), Vaughan 76 (foul), Ward 80 (foul)

Nottingham Forest 1 Queens Park Rangers 1, Saturday November 5, 2016, Championship

One fresh out of the Keith Stroud house of horrors when these two met earlier that season. Britt Assombalonga rounded Alex Smithies and beat Grant Hall on the line from a tight angle for the opener and Idrissa Sylla headed home Nasser El Khayati’s near post cross to equalise four minutes from time for Rangers. But it was the sendings off of Karl Henry and Hldeberto Pereira, reducing both sides to ten men, amidst an absolute snow storm of red and yellow cards, that were the main talking point until Rangers abruptly sacked Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager straight after the game.

Forest: Stojkovic 4; Pereira 5, Mills 5, Perquis 6, Lichaj 6; Worrall 6, Kasami 6, Cohen 5 (Lam 82, -), Lansbury 6, Osborn 5; Asombalonga 7 (Vellios 90+3, -)

Subs not used: Dumitru, Fox, Lica, Henderson, Grant

Goals: Assombalonga 38 (assisted Kasami)

Red Cards: Pereira 71 (two bookings, see below)

Bookings: Deep breath… Worrall 50 (foul), Stojkovic 61 (time wasting), Pereira 66 (time wasting), Cohen 68 (foul), Pereira 71 (foul), Lichaj 90+3 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onouha 5, Hall 6, Robinson 6 (El Khayati 84, -); Henry 3, Cousins 6; Wzsolek 5 (Shodipo 55, 7), Chery 5, Washington 6 (Sylla 77, 7); Polter 6

Subs not used: Lynch, Gladwin, Ingram, Hamalainen

Goals: Sylla 85 (assisted El Khayati)

Red Cards: Henry 34 (two bookings, see below)

Bookings: Henry 11 (dissent), Henry 34 (foul), Robinson 67 (foul), Sylla 86 (over celebrating)

Forest 0 QPR 0, Tuesday January 26, 2016, Championship

The value of dropping Robert Green for Alex Smithies started to shine through almost immediately as the former Huddersfield man made a series of saves to secure a 0-0 draw at Forest on our last visit. The two most spectacular saw him tip a header from Michael Mancienne over the bar at a back post corner, then almost immediately tip Ben Osborn’s drilled shot onto the post. That would have been enough for a win had Ale Faurlin’s second half free kick not been tipped onto the underside of the bar and out by Smithies’ opposite number Dorus De Vries at the other end.

Forest: De Vries 7; Lichaj 6, Mills 5, Hobbs 6, Jokic 6; Mendes 5 (Burke 55, 6), Mancienne 7, Tesche 6, Osborn 6; O’Grady 5 (Ward 55, 6), Oliveira 7 (Blackstock 88, -)

Subs not used: Wilson, Cohen, Gardner, Evtimov

Bookings: Mendes 35 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 5, Onuoha 6, Hall 7, Konchesky 5; Faurlin 6, Luongo 6; Phillips 6 (Chery 90+3, -), Hoilett 6 (Washington 62, 7), Fer 5, Polter 6

Subs not used: Mackie, Angella, Henry, Tozser, Ingram

Bookings: Perch 71 (foul), Luongo 85 (foul)

Forest 1 QPR 0, Saturday January 9, 2016, FA Cup Third Round

The ground where QPR find it impossible to win, in a competition the club has consistently embarrassed itself in over the last 20 years – January’s Third Round tie really was the perfect storm. Despite Forest, like Rangers, picking a scratchy side, they took the lead before halftime when Jamie Ward tapped in from close range after good work by Olly Burke. They never really looked likely to relinquish that and the R’s were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first possible stage once more.

Forest: De Vries 7; Mancienne 6, Hobbs 6, Wilson 6, Cohen 6 (Lichaj 71, 6); Tesche 5, Gardner 6 (Lansbury 62, - (Jokic 79, -)) Osborn 6, Burke 8; Blackstock 5, Ward 7

Subs Not Used: Mendes, Burke, Walker, Evtimov

Goals: Ward 24 (assisted Burke)

QPR: Lumley 6; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 6, Hill 6 (Perch 67, 5); Tozser 6; Mackie 5 (Petrasso 61, 6), Luongo 5, Doughty 6, Gladwin 6 (Chery 52, 6); Emmanuel- Thomas 4

Subs Not Used: Polter, Hoilett, Faurlin, Brzozowski

Yellow Cards: Hall 17 (foul), Doughty 43 (foul)

Queens Park Rangers 1 Nottingham Forest 2, Saturday September 12, 2015, Championship

Another one of those special Robert Green moments turned a QPR win into a defeat when these sides met at Loftus Road back in September. Despite a lacklustre display, Rangers had been apparently cruising to victory after Charlie Austin powered a shot through a weak attempted save by Dorus De Vries to give the R's the lead on the hour. But struggling Forest were invited back into the game when Green miscontrolled Nedum Onuoha's pass back on 71 minutes and then hacked down Mendes after he stole the ball from him. Henri Lansbury scored the resulting penalty and with Rangers collapsing with only ten men Oliveira slid a winning goal under substitute goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who should have done better. Not a day for the keepers.

QPR: Green 3; Perch 5, Onuoha 6, Angella 7 (Hall 32, 6), Konchesky 5; Tozser 6 (Gladwin 86, -), Henry 4; Chery 5, Luongo 6 (Smithies 73, 4), Phillips 5; Austin 5

Subs not used: Hill, Emmanuel-Thomas, Doughty, Hoilett

Goals: Austin 65 (unassisted)

Red Cards: Green 71 (Idiocy)

Bookings: Perch 20 (“foul”)

Forest: De Vries 4; Lichaj 6, Mills 6, Wilson 6, Pinillos 6; Mancienne 5 (Ebecilio 52 4 (Oliveira 69, 7)) Vaughan 7, Lansbury 7, Mendes 6; Walker 6 (Ward 45, 6), O’Grady 5

Subs not used: Blackstock, Hobbs, Evtimov, Burke

Goals: Lansbury 73 (penalty won O’Grady), Oliveira 81 (assisted Mendes)

Bookings: Lansbury 87 (kicking ball away), O’Grady 90 (repetitive fouling)

QPR 5 Nottingham Forest 2, Saturday April 12, 2014, Championship

With automatic promotion out of reach but a play-off position secure, QPR went through a run of indifferent form and poor performances in the spring of what turned out to be their promotion year of 2013/14. Comfortable away defeats at Brighton, Bournemouth, Sheff Wed and Blackburn felt like something of a slump but Rangers randomly hit form again at Loftus Road against Nottingham Forest. Yossi Benayoun headed the first in front of the Sky cameras after just a minute when Forest keeper Karl Darlow made a hash of a long range shot from Ravel Morrison. The R’s looked vulnerable at set pieces all day though, conceding first to a Lescelles header in the first half and then, after Junior Hoilett had poked them back in front, to Matt Derbyshire 15 minutes from time. But the home side cut loose in the final 15 minutes with first Nedum Onuoha after neat approach work from Little Tom Carroll, and then Ravel Morrison sweeping home classy goals. Bobby Zamora bundled in some cake icing in stoppage time.

QPR: Green 6; Simpson 8, Dunne 6, Onuoha 6, Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 7, Jenas 6 (Henry 13, 7); Benayoun 8, Morrison 7, Hoilett 7 (Kranjcar 77, 6); Austin 5 (Zamora 73, 8)

Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy

Goals: Benayoun 1 (assisted Carroll), Hoilett 43 (assisted Carroll/Benayoun), Onuoha 84 (assisted Carroll), Morrison 90+1 (assisted Zamora), Zamora 90+3 (assisted Morrison)

Forest: Darlow 4; Halford 6, Lascelles 6, Wilson 5, Fox 5; Peltier 5, Jara 6 (Greening 65, 5); Lansbury 5 (Osborn 65, 6), Mackie 5, Cox 5 (Henderson 74, 5); Derbyshire 7

Subs not used: Harding, de Vries, Gomes, Vaughan

Goals: Lascelles 37 (assisted Lansbury), Derbyshire 75 (assisted Osborn)

Nottingham Forest 2 QPR 0, Thursday December 26, 2013, Championship

QPR slipped to their annual meek defeat at the City Ground in a televised fixture on Boxing Day earlier that season. Despite picking defender Greg Halford up front, Forest were by far the better side with Djamel Abdoun, Henri Lansbury, Jamie Makcie and others particularly impressive. Halford had missed several gilt edged chances when he finally opened the scoring with a powerful header after half an hour. There was a degree of controversy about the second, with scorer Andy Reid initially flagged offside only for the goal to be allowed when referee Keith Stroud deemed the ball had travelled through to him without touching another team mate en route. But the moaning and groaning about that only provided QPR with a cover story for an abject performance and defeat that should have been far more severe.

Forest: Darlow 6; Jara 6, Lascelles 6, Hobbs 7, Lichaj 6; Vaughan 6 (Chalobah 67, 6), Lansbury 8; Mackie 7 (Derbyshire 86, -), Reid 7, Abdoun 8 (Paterson 82, -); Halford 6

Subs not used: Harding, Majewski, de Vries, Osborn

Goals: Halford 29 (assisted Abdoun), Reid 80 (assisted Abdoun)

Bookings: Darlow 84 (time wasting)

QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 5, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 5; Carroll 6, Henry 3 (Hoilett 45, 5); Phillips 5 (Benayoun 76, 5), Jenas 4, Kranjcar 6; Zamora 2 (Johnson 45, 6)

Subs not used: Traore, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Murphy

Bookings: Assou-Ekotto 48 (foul)

QPR 1 Nottingham Forest 1, Sunday February 13, 2011, Championship

With Nottingham Forest bang in form and boasting two games in hand over league leading Queens Park Rangers, the last meeting between these sides was every bit as crucial as this week’s Boxing Day clash. Things seemed to be going QPR’s way when Tommy Smith cut in from the flank and curled home a trademark low shot from the edge of the area and when Radoslaw Majewski dived in on Adel Taarabt and was sent off by referee Mark Clattenburg before half time the writing seemed to be on the wall. But David McGoldrick equalised almost immediately and Forest could easily have won the game in the second half despite their numerical disadvantage. They made a serious error at full time though. Former QPR keeper Lee Camp and Forest boss Billy Davies led on-pitch celebrations in front of the away end more akin to a league championship than a point away from home. Forest could scarcely have been more pleased with themselves, but they ultimately won neither of their games in hand over Rangers and made no impact in the end of season play offs either while Neil Warnock’s side won the title and went to the Premier League.

QPR: Kenny 6, Orr 6, Connolly 5, Gorkss 5 (Chimbonda 73, 6), Hill 7, Faurlin 8 (Moen 79, 6), Derry 7, Smith 8 (Miller 46, 7), Taarabt 6,Routledge 6, Hulse 5

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hall, Helguson, Shittu

Booked: Taarabt (unsporting conduct), Gorkss (foul), Derry (foul)

Goals: Smith 16 (assisted Faurlin)

Nottm Forest: Camp 6, Gunter 7, Chambers 8, Morgan 8, Konchesky 7, Cohen 6,Majewski 5, McGugan 6 (Anderson 68, 6), McKenna 7, McGoldrick 7 (Tyson 74, 7), Tudgay 7 (Lynch 46, 5)

Subs Not Used: Smith, Adebola, Earnshaw, Moloney

Sent Off: Majewski 23 (serious foul play)

Booked: Tyson (foul)

Goals: McGoldrick 26 (assisted McGugan)

Nottingham Forest 0 QPR 0, Saturday November 13, 2010, Championship

Camp was predictably the star of the show at the City Ground in November as QPR were denied a win only by the form of their former keeper and the incompetence of referee Andy D’Urso. The match officials failed to spot a blatant trip on Tommy Smith in the Forest penalty area in the first half as he raced through on goal – a penalty and red card would have been the only outcome had the foul been seen. Camp made several fine saves in the first 80 minutes of the game, including an acrobatic tip over from a Taarabt lob, but it was Forest who finished the stronger and only a fine stop from Paddy Kenny and some brave blocks in the area in the closing stages prevented the annual QPR defeat on this ground.

Nottm Forest Camp 8, Gunter 6, Morgan 6, Chambers 6, Bertrand 6, Anderson 6, McGugan 7 (Tyson 79, 6), McKenna 6, Majewski 6 (Earnshaw 61, 7),Cohen 6, Blackstock 5 (Adebola 61, 6)

Subs Not Used: Smith, McCleary, Moussi, Lynch

Booked: Blackstock (foul), McKenna (foul)

QPR: Kenny 7, Mackie 7, Hill 7, Gorkss 7, Walker 7, Derry 7, Faurlin 6, Ephraim 5 (Clarke 79, 5), Taarabt 8 (Rowlands 89, -), Hulse 5 (Agyemang 67, 6).

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hall, Borrowdale, Andrade

Booked: Hulse (foul), Derry (foul)

Previous Results

Head to head >>> Forest wins 28 >>> Draws 21 >>> QPR wins 16

2016/17 QPR 2 Forest 0 (Washington, Lynch)

2016/17 Forest 1 QPR 1 (Sylla)

2015/16 Forest 0 QPR 0

2015/16 Forest 1 QPR 0**

2015/16 QPR 1 Forest 2 (Austin)

2013/14 QPR 5 Forest 2 (Benayoun, Hoilett, Onuoha, Morrison, Zamora)

2013/14 Forest 2 QPR 0

2010/11 QPR 1 Forest 1 (Smith)

2010/11 Forest 0 QPR 0

2009/10 Forest 5 QPR 0

2009/10 QPR 1 Forest 1 (Leigertwood)

2008/09 Forest 2 QPR 2 (Alberti 2)

2008/09 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Balanta, Buzsaky)

2004/05 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Bircham, Curtis OG)

2004/05 QPR 0 Forest 3 **

2004/05 Forest 2 QPR 1 (Santos)

2000/01 Forest 1 QPR 1 (Wardley)

2000/01 QPR 1 Forest 0 (Crouch)

1999/00 Forest 1 QPR 1 (Ready)

1999/00 QPR 1 Forest 1 (Kiwomya)

1997/98 QPR 0 Forest 1

1997/98 Forest 4 QPR 0

1995/96 Forest 3 QPR 0

1995/96 QPR 1 Forest 1 (Sinclair)

1994/95 QPR 1 Forest 1 (Barker)

1994/95 Forest 3 QPR 2 (Allen, Ferdinand)

1992/93 QPR 4 Forest 3 (Ferdinand 3, Wilson)

1992/93 Forest 1 QPR 0

1991/92 Forest 1 QPR 1 (Sinton)

1991/92 QPR 0 Forest

1990/91 QPR 1 Forest 2 (Wegerle)

1990/91 Forest 1 QPR 1 (Wegerle)

1989/90 QPR 2 Forest 0 (Sinton, Barker)

1989/90 Forest 2 QPR 2 (Sinton, Wright)

1988/89 Forest 0 QPR 0

1988/89 QPR 1 Forest 2 (Stein)

1988/89 Forest 5 QPR 2* (Stein, Kerslake)

1987/88 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Coney, Fereday)

1987/88 Forest 4 QPR 0

1986/87 QPR 3 Forest 1 (Bannister, Fereday, McDonald)

1986/87 Forest 1 QPR 0

1985/86 Forest 4 QPR 0

1985/86 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Bannister, Fenwick pen)

1984/85 Forest 2 QPR 0

1984/85 QPR 3 Forest 0 (Fereday 2, Bannister)

1983/84 QPR 0 Forest 1

1983/84 Forest 3 QPR 2 (Dawes, Stainrod)

1978/79 Forest 0 QPR 0

1978/79 QPR 0 Forest 0

1977/78 Forest 1 QPR 0

1977/78 Forest 1 QPR 1** (Shanks)

1977/78 QPR 1 Forest 1** (Busby)

1977/78 Forest 3 QPR 1** (Bowles)

1977/78 QPR 0 Forest 2

1972/73 Forest 0 QPR 0

1972/73 QPR 3 Forest 0 (Givens, Bowles, McCulloch)

1968/69 Forest 1 QPR 0

1968/69 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Marsh, Hazell)

1961/62 QPR 1 Forest 2* (Towers)

1951/52 Forest 3 QPR 1 (Muir)

1951/52 QPR 4 Forest 3 (Smith, Hatton, Shepherd, Gilberg)

1948/49 Forest 0 QPR 0

1948/49 QPR 2 Forest 1 (Hartburn, Pattison)

1933/34 Forest 4 QPR 0**

* League Cup

** FA Cup

Connections

Gary Bannister >>> QPR 1984-88 >>> Forest 1992-93

Born in Warrington in 1960 Bannister was one of the most consistent goal scorers of the 1980s, especially at Loftus Road. A product of the Coventry youth system, Bannister broke his way into the first team to make his debut in May 1978. To gain some first-team experience he was sent on loan to American side Detroit Express impressing with a goal every other game in a three month spell. Once back at City he found it difficult to break into the team and decided to drop a division, joining Sheffield Wednesday for £100,000. At Wednesday, Bannister started to show his predatory instincts and was top scorer for the club in each of his three seasons at Hillsborough, and helped the Owl’s gain promotion to the First Division. However Gary never got to play for Wednesday in the top flight as he was snapped up that summer by QPR who bought him to fill the void left by Clive Allen.

He made an immediate impact on the R’s faithful by scoring on his debut against West Brom and went on to have steady first campaign in the hoops, with most of his strikes coming at Loftus Road. But when Jim Smith took over the R’s in 1985 things really took off for Bannister and he flourished on Rangers plastic pitch and formed a formidable partnership with John Byrne. Their goals led R’s to Wembley, in their first League Cup Final since 1967, beating Liverpool in the semis on route. Sadly the final was a day Rangers would rather forget, as Oxford running away with it 3-0.

Bannister’s finest hour however came on Easter Monday 1986 when Rangers entertained local rivals Chelsea, who were within a shout of the title at the time. Many expected them to rollover Rangers but on a day that’s gone down in R’s folk law, QPR hit Chelsea with six without reply – Bannister getting three of them.

He stayed at the Loft for another season until the arrival of Trevor Francis and Marc Falco saw him pushed out the picture and he moved back to first club Coventry. Spells at West Brom and Oxford followed before he joined Nottingham Forest in time for the inaugural season of the Premier League. But despite scoring against Rangers, the season at the City Ground was a disappointing one as Forest were relegated. He moved to Hong Kong side HK Rangers and played for Stoke and Darlington before retiring in 1996. Now owns a holiday apartment business in Cornwall. Famed for having one leg shorter than the other.

Others >>> Armand Traore, Forest 2016-present, QPR 2011-2016 >>> Jermaine Jenas, QPR 2013-2015, Forest (loan) 2012-2013, 2000-2002 >>> Jamie Mackie, Forest 2013-2015, QPR 2015-present, 2010-2013 >>> Shaun Derry, QPR 2010-2013, Forest (loan) 2004-2005 >>> Clint Hill, QPR 2010-present, Forest (loan) 2011 >>> Mick Harford, QPR (manager) 2010, 2007, Forest (manager) 2004-2005 >>> Dexter Blackstock Forest 2009-present, QPR 2006-2009 >>> John Curtis, Forest 2005-2007, QPR 2007 >>> Danny Cullip, QPR 2007-2008, Forest 2005-2007 >>> Lee Camp, Forest 2009-2013, QPR 2007-2009, (loan) 2004 >>> Gino Padula, Forest 2005-2007, QPR 2002-2005 >>> Junior Agogo, Forest 2006-2008, QPR 2002 >>> Nigel Quashie, QPR 2010, 1995-1998, Forest 1998-2000 >>> Andy Impey, Forest 2004-2005, QPR 1990-1997 >>> Dougie Freedman, Forest 1998-2000, QPR 1992-1994 >>> Steve Hodge, QPR 1994-1995, Forest 1988-1991 >>> Trevor Francis, QPR 1988-1990, Forest 1978-1981 >>> Stan Bowles, Forest 1979-1980, QPR 1972-1979 >>> Chris Woods, QPR 1979-1981, Forest 1976-1979 >>> Steve Burke, QPR 1979-1986, Forest 1978-1979 >>> Dave Needham, Forest 1977-1982, QPR 1977

Memorable Meeting

Nottingham Forest 1 Queens Park Rangers 1, Saturday August 28, 1999, First Division

QPR had only avoided relegation from the First Division on the final day of the 1998/99 season thanks to a thumping 6-0 home win against Crystal Palace at Loftus Road. Manager Gerry Francis, who replaced Ray Harford halfway through that campaign, was hailed as a returning hero but with Chris Wright no longer willing to bank roll the club, and no new buyers on the horizon, money was tight and hopes of any significant improvement in 1999/00 were slim.

Francis said: “We knew we had no money, we knew we were in a lot of trouble financially, we knew we had to go to non-league areas. We got all our scouts out into the non-league looking for talent that we might possibly be able to pick up. We found the likes of Jermaine Darlington, Stuart Wardley and Ross Weare – in Ross’ and Stuart’s case well below the Conference – and they all ended up playing for the first team at some point. It’s been tremendous value. We were obviously very pleased with what we got.”

Forest meanwhile had been in the Premier League the year before, and had brought in former Arsenal and Sampdoria midfielder David Platt as their new manager that summer to try and ensure an immediate return to the top flight. Big money was spent, the best part of £7m in the summer, with Gianluca Petrachi and Salvatore Matrecano both arriving from Perugia for a combined fee of £2.4m, Moreno Mannini coming from Sampdoria and Jim Brennan for £1.5m from Bristol City. Platt also spent £3m on Aston Villa’s Riccy Scimeca.

But perhaps the most high-profile signing was the loan acquisition of Arsenal’s record goal scorer Ian Wright from West Ham. Wright made his debut at the City Ground on the final round of games in August with QPR the visitors. On a ground where the R’s had never won, Gerry Francis’ men looked like lambs to the slaughter – they’d been beaten 4-0 on their last visit two years prior.

Wright had a reputation for scoring on his debut having done so previously for Palace, Arsenal and West Ham and QPR were in accommodating mood on the half hour with a wide open back line that Wright was able to run in behind and chip the opening goal of the game beyond Ludek Miklosko and into the net.

Wright, with typical class, celebrated in front of the QPR fans behind the goal and on the stroke of half time it looked certain that he would be doubling his tally and leaving Rangers facing an impossible task in the second half. When Rangers failed to deal with a low corner Wright turned and struck a mishit shot towards goal that beat Miklosko but was punched off the line by Darlington who’d been defending the far post at the original set piece. Forest put the ball in the net anyway but referee Mark Cowburn had been quick with his whistle leaving the home side with a penalty, and Rangers down to ten men with Darlington sent off.

Wright took a short run up, no more than two steps, and sent Miklosko the wrong way but unfortunately for him, and to the delight of the travelling faithful behind the goal, he planted his kick firmly against the post and back out to safety.

Still, 1-0 down away from home at a newly relegated side and down to ten men wasn’t exactly a recipe for success so the missed spot kick didn’t necessarily matter that much. But that QPR team was a decent little outfit and could easily have made the play offs that year but for a slightly better Christmas period. Despite the numerical disadvantage the R’s fought back to equalise and snatch a point midway through the second half.

QPR had a debutant of their own that day, former Saffron Walden Town midfielder Stuart Wardley – a furniture removal man just a few weeks prior to this – made his first start for the R’s and gave a hint of the extraordinary goalscoring exploits to come when he almost converted a low Gavin Peacock cross for the equaliser. Wardley couldn’t quite force the ball home but it fell nicely to centre half Karl Ready, up in the Forest box following an earlier set piece, and he acrobatically hooked in the leveller.

Neither team would find a winner which meant two long-standing records remained – QPR still hadn’t won at the City Ground, but they’d also never lost when Karl Ready scored. In 11 years at Rangers the gangly centre half started 232 matches and came off the bench a further 24 times. He scored 12 times in those appearances and never once did Rangers end up losing the game when he netted.

The R’s would go on to finish tenth that season, and Wardley top scored with 14 goals – including two on his home debut against Port Vale just a couple of days after the Forest draw. Platt’s team, meanwhile, could only manage fourteenth and the financial gamble they took to return to the big time blew up in their faces with a stint in the third tier of the English game only just around the corner.

Forest: M Crossley, M Louis-Jean (S Melton, 64), s Matrecano, S Chettle, A Rogers, G Petrachi (B Allou, 83), C Palmer, R Scimeca, N Quashie, D Freedman (M Harewood, 68), I Wright

Subs not used: D Beasant, M Mannini

Goals: Wright 29

Bookings: Chettle

QPR: L Miklosko, I Baraclough, S Wardley, K Ready, D Maddix, J Darlington, G Peacock, M Rose, R Langley (K Rowland, 69), K Gallen, C Kiwomya (A Scully, 45)

Subs not used: S Morrow, L Harper, S Slade

Goals: Ready 69

Sent Off: Darlington 45 (deliberate handball/denying goal scoring opportunity)

Boomings: Baraclough

Referee: Mark Cowburn

Attendance: 18,442

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