Steiner double slays Ipswich – History
Monday, 25th Dec 2017 14:02 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Ipswich, LFW looks back to 1999 when Gerry Francis’ side turned in a fine performance and recorded a 4-1 win at Portman Road.
Ipswich Town 1 Queens Park Rangers 4, Saturday October 16, 1999, First Division
The 1999/00 season may not look remarkable on paper, Rangers finished tenth, but given what had gone before and the financial situation the club found itself in to be launching a play-off push that year was really quite something.
The Chris Wright funding had dried up, and Rangers would be in administration within 18 months. They’d been incredibly fortunate not to be relegated from the First Division in 1998, when Jamie Pollock’s ridiculous own goal saved the R’s at Man City, and again a year later with that rather odd 6-0 home win against Crystal Palace.
Gerry Francis had returned for a second spell at the club, but having left behind a team containing the likes of Les Ferdinand, Trevor Sinclair and Alan McDonald he inherited something of a mess - heavily in debt, unable to make signings and relying on sub-standard players like Karl Ready, Tim Breaker and Tony Scully.
Francis adopted his old Bristol Rovers technique, shopping around the non-league scene. At Rovers he’d uncovered Nigel Martyn who went on to keep goal for England, and while none of his QPR signings quite scaled those heights the impact made by Stuart Wardley, an office furniture removal man from Saffron Walden Town, and Jermaine Darlington, a flying winger from Aylesbury, was exceptional.
The team was led from the front by Chris Kiwomya, who Francis inherited, and Rob Steiner, a massively underrated target man at Rangers, picked up for a five figure fee from Bradford after a successful loan spell the year before. The Swede had opened his account for the season with a flying header against Tranmere in a 2-1 victory the week before an early October trip to Portman Road.
Rangers had, nevertheless, struggled rather away from home to this point – losing at Bolton and Fulham, and drawing at Nottingham Forest, before succumbing to two highly controversial penalties at Birmingham City with a future R’s legend Paul Furlong converting both. It looked like more of the same to come when Darlington misjudged a cross from Gary Croft after just three minutes, diverting the ball into the path of a young Matt Holland who poked the ball home from close range.
But this was to be the day when Francis’ new-look Rangers really clicked into gear, becoming a side that believed it could win away from Loftus Road and regularly did so. They were level on the half hour when Kiwomya, against his former club, cut the defence in two with an excellent reverse pass from midfield. Gavin Peacock, as he did so well in those days, joined the attack from deep, springing the offside trap and beautifully lobbing Richard Wright from the edge of the area as the keeper rushed out to narrow the angle.
Afterwards Peacock said: “I’d been speaking to Chris Kiwomya before the game – we both played in a match many years before that when I was at Newcastle and he was at Ipswich. We lost 3-2, I scored a couple, he scored a couple, and the second one I scored was a carbon copy of the one I got here. Same end, same angle, the keeper came out and I chipped it over him. It was my favourite goal of the season.”
The last thing Ipswich needed after that was to go down to ten men, but on the stroke of half time midfielder Jim Magilton – another with a QPR connection to come later in his career – decided to embark on some sort of Riverdance manoeuvre on Peacock when the Rangers man lost his footing and fell on top of the ball in midfield. Having wellied Peacock in the gut several times in quick succession the only surprise was why Magilton seemed so surprised and aggrieved that the red card came his way.
And Town continued to be their own worst enemies after the break. There seemed little danger to the home side when Manuel Thetis received the ball under little pressure wide in the right back slot, but he inexplicably decided to turn and launch a 30 yard back pass to Wright – executed without looking and inadvertently providing the perfect assist for Wardley as a result.
Wardley’s break-out season had already saw him score twice on home debut against Port Vale and he followed this goal up with another at Blackburn a fortnight later. His knack for arriving late in the penalty box, and decent ability in the air, saw him notch 14 goals from midfield in his first season in the professional game.
Now full of confidence, and with Ipswich falling apart, Rangers made it 3-1 five minutes later and 4-1 ten minutes after that. First it was young Richard Langley’s turn to carve the home defence in two with a slide rule pass from midfield and although Wright was able to save one on one v Kiwomya the ball fell to Steiner who was able to gently tap into the empty net.
His second, Rangers’ fourth, required much more finishing. The centre forward, defying his lumbering pose and lack of pace, squared up Mark Venus on the edge of the area before tricking his way through, leaving the Ipswich man bamboozled and flat on his back. From there he produced a magnificent finish, into the far top corner from 15 yards out, leaving Wright a virtual spectator.
Reflecting on the match at the end of the season, Francis rated it as the team’s best result – Ipswich, after all, went on to finish third and win promotion via the play-offs. Francis said: “We had some good results but I felt that was a very good game, Ipswich were going well and having gone one down against the run of play Gavin got a great equaliser and we did well. We acquitted ourselves well, ended up 4-1 runaway winners. That was the beginning of a run that went for nine matches for us.”
Suddenly Rangers didn’t know how to lose away. They won 1-0 at West Brom thanks to another Wardley goal that Tuesday night, and then got Brian Kidd the sack at Blackburn with a 2-0 victory the following week. Going 3-0 down at Stockport the match after suggested the run was over, but three goals in the final 25 minutes secured a point and victories subsequently followed at Swindon, Man City, Walsall and Portsmouth that year.
Ipswich: R Wright, G Croft (M Stockwell, 46), J Thetis, J McGreal, M Venus, J Wright, M Holland, J Magilton, J Clapham, D Johnson (R Naylor, 79), J Scowcroft
Subs not used: J Axeldal, M Salmon, S Friary
Goals: Holland 3
Red Cards: Magilton 45
Yellow Cards: Thetis
QPR: L Harper, T Breacker yellow card, S Wardley, D Maddix, K Ready yellow card, I Baraclough, G Peacock (K Gallen, 87), R Langley yellow card, J Darlington, R Steiner, C Kiwomya yellow card (K Rowland, 87)
Goals: Peacock 33, Wardley 65, Steiner 71, 82
Subs not used: Jeanne, Bankole
Yellow Cards: Breaker, Ready, Langley, Kiwomya
QPR 2 Ipswich 1, Saturday September 9, 2017, Championship
Rangers celebrated 100 years at Loftus Road with their best performance of the 2017/18 season so far back in September, but were still left clinging on for victory in stoppage time after Celina scored a wonder goal off the bench in the final minute for Ipswich. Earlier Jamie Mackie finished a flowing move for the first goal just before half time and Luke Freeman scored from outside the area for the second.
Subs not used: Furlong, Manning, Lumley, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Mackie 43 (assisted Wszolek), Freeman 49 (unassisted)
Bookings: Freeman 90 (foul)
Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Connolly 6, Spence 6, Iorfa 6, Knudsen 6; Ward 5 (Celina 76, 7), Skuse 6, Downes 6 (Adeyemi 66, 7); Waghorn 5 (Sears 67, 6), McGoldrick 6, Garner 5
Subs not used: Gerken, Rowe, Kenlock, Woolfenden
Goals: Celina 89 (unassisted)
Bookings: Downes 34 (foul), Connolly 90+5 (foul)
QPR 2 Ipswich Town 1, Monday January 2, 2017, Championship
After six-straight defeats, QPR made it two wins in a weekend with a 2-1 success against Ipswich at Loftus Road on the New Year Bank Holiday. Idrissa Sylla spectacularly volleyed the R’s into a first half lead when a long throw from James Perch dropped over his shoulder, but when Tom Lawrence pinged in Ipswich’s goal of the season from three quarters of a mile out just after half time it looked like the game was heading for a draw. Then, eight minutes from time, Pawel Wszolek showed great strength and deftness of touch to run off the back of his man, bring down a long ball from Nedum Onuoha, round the Ipswich keeper and slide in the winning goal in one beautiful, fluid movement.
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Hall 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Manning 6 (El Khayati 68, 6), Cousins 6, Borysiuk 6 (Onuoha 58, 7); Mackie 7, Wzsolek 7, Sylla 7 (Washington 38, 5)
Ipswich Town 3 QPR 0, Saturday November 26, 2016, Championship
Ian Holloway’s honeymoon period at the start of his second spell in charge of QPR came to an end after just one victory over Norwich with an odd defeat at Ipswich in his first away game. Beaten 3-0, in a game that could easily have been five or six, Rangers were also perversely quite unlucky to lose. Dominant in the first half they were unfortunate to concede to a scuffed shot by Ward after 13 minutes, and unlucky not to equalise when Bialkowski rushed from his line to save one on one from Washington. A dreadful mistake by Alex Smithies to gift Luke Varney a second goal early in the second half changed the course of the match entirely with the previously awful Tom Lawrence making it 3-0 and Smithies making two fine last saves to stop if being worse still.
Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Webster 6, Chambers 6, Berra 6, Knudsen 6; Ward 7, Skuse 5, Douglas 6; Lawrence 5 (Best 80, -), Varney 6 (Sears 68, 6), McGoldrick 6
Subs not used: Gerken, Bishop, Bru, Williams, Emmanuel
Goals: Ward 13, Varney 54, Lawrence 61
Bookings: Lawrence 71 (fighting)
QPR: Smithies 5; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Lynch 6; Perch 5 (Sandro 59, 4), Bidwell 6; Henry 4, Cousins 5 (Ngbakoto 67, 6), Chery 5; Washington 6, Polter 6 (Sylla 59, 4)
Subs not used: Ingram, Wzsolek, El Khayati, Shodipo
Bookings: Perch 25 (foul), Chery 71 (fighting)
QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0, Saturday February 6, 2016, Championship
QPR secured a long overdue home win with a 1-0 success against Ipswich at Loftus Road when these sides met in February last year. On the balance of the first half the win was deserved, as Ipswich keeper Bialkowski made a string of saves to deny Matt Phillips, James Perch and on two occasions Junior Hoilett. The goal arrived late, Matt Phillips skilfully heading in Nasser El Khayati's wayward shop. But the hosts were indepted to their goalkeeper Alex Smithies during a terrifying period of injury time when Town could easily have come back to be win,.
QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 6, Hall 7, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Phillips 6, Luongo 7, Faurlin 6 (Tozser 59, 7), Hoilett 7 (Mackie 70, 7); Washington 7 (El Khayti 80, 7), Polter 6
Subs not used: Chery, Angella, Ingram, Petrasso
Goals: Phillips 88 (assisted El Khayti)
Bookings: Faurlin 34 (foul) Onuoha 60 (foul)
Ipswich: Bialkowski 8; Chambers 6, Smith 6, Berra 7, Knudsen 6; Bru 5, Skuse 5 (Coke 58, 7), Fraser 6 (Toure 90+6, -), Sears 6; Pitman 4, Varney 5 (Murphy 57, 6)
Subs not used: Maitland-Niles, Henly, Digby, Foley
Bookings: Bru 7 (foul)
Ipswich Town 2 QPR 1, Saturday December 26, 2015, Championship
QPR entered into the season of giving with rather too much gusto when these sides met at Portman Road over Christmas last season. Having taken the lead on the stroke of half time when good approach work from Seb Polter and Matt Phillips set Junior Hoilett up for a headed opener, the R’s missed a glorious chance to put then game to bed when Leroy Fer went round Dean Gerken the home goalkeeper but dallied over his finish. That left the door ajar and Ipswich fought back with a hooked effort from Jonathan Dougles and an injury time header from Luke Chambers.
Ipswich: D Gerken; L Chambers, T Smith, C Berra, J Knudsen; J Douglas, A Maitland-Niles (R Fraser 61), C Skuse, F Sears; D Murphy (L Varney 89), B Pitman (T Oar 68)
Goals: Douglas 77 (assisted Murphy), Chambers 90+2 (assisted Sears)
Yellow Cards: Oar 87 (foul)
QPR: R Green 6; N Onuoha 6, G Hall 7, G Angella 7, Konchesky 7; L Fer 5 (Sandro 71), D Hoilett 7, K Henry 7, M Phillips 5 (T Chery 83), A Faurlin 8; S Polter 7
Subs not used: A Smithies, D Tozser, J Emmanuel-Thomas, C Hill, M Luongo
Goals: Hoilett 45+5 (assisted Phillips)
Yellow Cards: Konchesky, Onuoha
Ipswich Town 1 QPR 3, Saturday January 11, 2014, Championship
QPR completed the double over Ipswich with one of their best performances and results from an otherwise largely forgettable 2013/14 season the last time these sides met at Portman Road. With inconsistent performers like Little Tom Carroll and Big Fat Niko Kranjcar finally hitting form at the same time, Rangers were able to cut loose in the second half against the division’s form team and score three quickfire goals through Kranjcar, Gary O’Neil and Armand Traore. A late consolation from Tommy Smith did little to take the gloss off a fantastic away win, and a violent dispute between the stewards and a group of the home fans to the immediate left of the away end resulting in a mass ejection of Ipswich fans only added to the spectacle.
Ipswich: Gerken 6; Chambers 6 (Mings 86, -), Berra 6, Smith 6, Cresswell 6; Hyam 6 (Hunt 72, 6), Skuse 6, Tunnicliffe 6, Anderson 6 (Nouble 72, 5); Taylor 6, McGoldrick 6
Subs not used: Loach, Edwards, Tabb, Lee
Goals: Smith 90+1 (assisted Hunt)
Bookings: Hyam 22 (foul)
QPR: Green 7; Simpson 7, Dunne 8, Hill 7, Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 8, Barton 6 (Henry 40, 7); Benayoun 6 (Traore 68, 7), Kranjcar 7 (Phillips 85,-), O’Neil 7; Austin 7
Subs not used: Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Murphy
Goals: Kranjcar 52 (unassisted), O’Neil 66 (assisted Austin), Traore 74 (assisted Hill)
Bookings: Hill 57 (dissent)
QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0, Saturday August 17, 2013, Championship
Rangers left it very late to win the first meeting between these sides that season at Loftus Road back in August. The visitors seemed more than happy with their 0-0 draw at a newly relegated side and a dire encounter was threatening to drift away into a bland mess of time wasting and scrappy midfield play. But Harry Redknapp introduced youth team product Tom Hitchock with seven minutes remaining, removing ineffective Bobby Zamora into the bargain, and when Town keeper Scott Loach palmed an injury time effort on goal away to his left the youngster was in exactly the right place at the right time to slam in his first goal for the senior team and win the match. Hitchcock barely played a minute for Rangers after that and after loan spells at Fleetwood, Crewe and Rotherham eventually signed permanently with MK Dons.
QPR: R Green 7, D Simpson 6, R Dunne 6, N Onuoha 7, C Hill 6, S Wright-Phillips 6, K Henry 6 (J Jenas, 77, 6), J Barton 8, D Hoilett 6 (G O'Neil, 56, 8), B Zamora 5 (T Hitchcock, 83, -), C Austin 6
Subs not used: B Murphy, M Ehmer, Yun Suk-Young, M Sharif
Goals: Hitchock 90 (assisted Austin/Wright Phillips)
Ipswich S Loach 7, E Hewitt 6, L Chambers 6, T Smith 6, A Cresswell 7, J Tabb 6, C Skuse 6 (R Tunnicliffe, 45, 6), C Edwards 5, L Hyam 6, D Murphy 6 (P Taylor, 63, 5 (F Nouble, 86, -)), D McGoldrick 6
Subs not used: M Crowe, F Veseli, C Berra, P Anderson
Bookings: Tabb 60 (foul)
QPR 2 Ipswich Town 0, Tuesday February 23, 2011, Championship
QPR had been in free-scoring, free-wheeling form when they won easily at Portman Road in the first meeting between these sides in the R’s 2010/11 promotion season. By the time the Tractor Boys, by now under the new management of Paul Jewell, came to Loftus Road there was a nervousness about the QPR team and a grinding nature to the wins they were somehow continuing to clock up. A 2-0 midweek win against Portsmouth owed much to goalkeeping errors and a subsequent success at Reading had been achieved while playing for an hour with ten men. Draws against ten man Nottingham Forest and soon to be relegated Preston followed and when Ipswich veteran Jimmy Bullard dictated the pattern of the first half here there was an air of apprehension about the place. Step forward Clint Hill, fast winning hearts and minds after a summer move from Crystal Palace, who followed up his thumping header against Pompey with another here in similar circumstances. Suddenly Bullard’s influence had been nullified and having taken the lead 13 minutes from time Rangers then doubled that advantage when Helguson forced in from close range after Hill had attacked another corner well. A 3-0 weekend win at Middlesbrough followed as the march towards the league title picked up pace.
QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 6, Hall 8, Shittu 8 (Connolly 90, -), Hill 8, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Routledge 6, Taarabt 6, Miller 6 (Buzsaky 75, 7), Helguson 6
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gorkss, Hulse, Moen, Chimbonda
Goals: Hill 77 (assisted Taarabt), Helguson 83 (assisted Hill)
Ipswich: Fulop 5, Edwards 6, Delaney 7, McAuley 7, Kennedy 6, Bullard 7, Leadbitter 6, Healy 6 (Drury 40, 6), Martin 6 (Civelli 84, -), Wickham 7, Scotland 5 (Priskin 71, 5)
Subs Not Used: Lee-Barrett, Peters, Smith, O'Dea
Booked: Kennedy (foul)
Ipswich Town 0 QPR 3, Tuesday September 14, 2010, Championship
This was a battle between first and third when the teams met at Portman Road in September 2010 – a battle QPR came out firmly on top in. Neil Warnock’s Rangers had started the season in scintillating form with four wins and a draw from their first five league games and four clean sheets into the bargain. That progress was threatened by long term injuries to two right backs picked up in a 3-0 home win against Middlesbrough just three days before the difficult looking trip to Portman Road but with both Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage unavailable Warnock pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the form of Kyle Walker on loan from Spurs. The speedy youngster was a tremendous addition to the side and looked right at home immediately in the teaming Suffolk rain. Rangers went in at half time two to the good thanks to a brace from the in form Jamie Mackie. First he showed great persistence in the penalty area to score at the second attempt after being set up by Heidar Helguson, then ten minutes later he accelerated past the Ipswich defence in a swift counter attack and buried a low shot into the far corner from the edge of the box. Ipswich had been set up to contain QPR rather than hurt them and, having seen that plan destroyed, manager Roy Keane was unable to kick start a plan B for the second half. QPR extended their lead from the penalty spot through Heidar Helguson although had the referee Keith Stroud waited a split second before blowing his whistle Akos Buzsaky had already ripped a 30 yarder into the top corner anyway. That strike rather summed up the emphatic nature of the victory and the R’s followed it up with a 2-0 win at Leicester that Saturday.
Ipswich: Fulop 6, Peters 6, McAuley 4, Smith 5, Kennedy 5, Edwards 5 (Brown 72, 5), Norris 5, Hyam 4 (Priskin 46, 4), Leadbitter 5, Townsend 5 (Wickham 46, 7), Scotland 5
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Eastman, Healy, Hourihane
Booked: Scotland (foul), Smith (foul), Leadbitter (foul)
QPR: Kenny 7, Walker 8, Gorkss 8, Connolly 8, Hill 7, Derry 8, Faurlin 6 (Buzsaky 36, 7), Ephraim 7, Taarabt 7 (Leigertwood 60, 7), Mackie 9 (Smith 80, 6), Helguson 8
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Agyemang, German, Parker
Goals: Mackie 31 (assisted Helguson), 42 (assisted Taarabt), Helguson 68 (penalty, won by Mackie)
Head to Head >>> Ipswich wins 30 >>> Draws 18 >>> QPR wins 28
2016/17 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Mackie, Freeman)
2016/17 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Sylla, Wszolek)
2016/17 Ipswich 3 QPR 0
2015/16 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Phillips)
2015/16 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Hoilett)
2013/14 Ipswich 1 QPR 3 (Kranjcar, O’Neil, Traore)
2013/14 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Hitchcock)
2010/11 QPR 2 Ipswich 0 (Hill, Helguson)
2010/11 Ipswich 0 QPR 3 (Mackie 2, Helguson pen)
2009/10 QPR 1 Ipswich 2 (Simpson)
2009/10 Ipswich 3 QPR 0
2008/09 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Di Carmine)
2008/09 Ipswich 2 QPR 0
2007/08 Ipswich 0 QPR 0
2007/08 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Nygaard)
2006/07 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Furlong)
2006/07 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Gallen)
2005/06 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Moore, Furlong)
2005/06 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Rowlands, Gallen)
2004/05 Ipswich 0 QPR 2 (Furlong, Shittu)
2004/05 QPR 2 Ipswich 4 (Furlong 2)
1999/00 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Peacock, Koejoe, Kiwomya)
1999/00 Ipswich 1 QPR 4 (Steiner 2, Peacock, Wardley)
1998/99 Ipswich 3 QPR 1 (Kiwomya)
1998/99 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Gallen)
1997/98 QPR 0 Ipswich 0
1997/98 Ipswich 0 QPR 0
1996/97 Ipswich 2 QPR 0
1996/97 QPR 0 Ipswich 1
1994/95 Ipswich 0 QPR 1 (Ferdinand)
1994/95 QPR 1 Ipswich 2 (Ferdinand)
1993/94 Ipswich 1 QPR 3 (Impey 2, Ferdinand)
1993/94 QPR 3 Ipswich 0 (White 2, Barker)
1992/93 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (White)
1992/93 QPR 0 Ipswich 0
1985/86 Ipswich 1 QPR 0
1985/86 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Byrne)
1984/85 QPR 3 Ipswich 0 (Fereday 2, Bannister)
1984/85 QPR 1 Ipswich 2* (Bannister)
1984/85 Ipswich 0 QPR 0*
1984/85 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Gregory)
1983/84 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (C Allen)
1983/84 Ipswich 3 QPR 2* (Gregory, Stewart)
1983/84 Ipswich 0 QPR 2 (Gregory, Stainrod)
1978/79 QPR 0 Ipswich 4
1978/79 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Francis)
1977/78 QPR 3 Ipswich 3 (McGee 2, James)
1977/78 Ipswich 3 QPR 2 (McGee, Bowles (pen))
1976/77 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Givens)
1976/77 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Givens, Masson)
1975/76 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Thomas, Webb, Wark og)
1975/76 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Givens)
1974/75 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Gillard)
1974/75 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Francis)
1973/74 QPR 0 Ipswich 1
1973/74 Ipswich 1 QPR 0
1968/69 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Bridges, R Morgan)
1968/69 Ipswich 3 QPR 0
1967/68 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Marsh (pen), Leach)
1967/68 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Marsh)
1956/57 QPR 0 Ipswich 2
1956/57 Ipswich 4 QPR 0
1955/56 Ipswich 4 QPR 1 (Clark)
1955/56 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Clark)
1953/54 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Cameron)
1953/54 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Petchley, Woods, Shepherd)
1952/53 Ipswich 0 QPR 1 (Hatton)
1952/53 QPR 2 Ipswich 2 (Addinall 2)
1947/48 QPR 2 Ipswich 0 (Hatton, Boxshall)
1947/48 Ipswich 1 QPR 0
1946/47 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Hatton)
1946/47 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Hatton)
1945/46 Ipswich 0 QPR 2
1945/46 QPR 4 Ipswich 0
1938/39 Ipswich 1 QPR 0
1938/39 QPR 0 Ipswich 0
Chris Kiwomya >>> Ipswich 1987-1995 >>> QPR 1998-2001
Born in Huddersfield of Ugandan descent Kiwomya initially made his professional breakthrough down in Suffolk at Portman Road. He was reasonably hot property too - top scoring in the old Second Division in the 1991/92 promotion campaign that crucially won Ipswich a place in the inaugural Premier League. Rangers drew 0-0 with the Tractor Boys at Loftus Road that season despite dominating, and then 1-1 in the away game when Devon White’s first goal for the club only served to cancel out an earlier strike from Neil Thompson which frankly Tony Roberts should have been able to save with his limbs chained together.
Kiwomya built his reputation with Ipswich, scoring 64 goals in 259 appearances for a team that was often battling relegation from the top flight. When they finally succumbed to the drop in 1994/95 Arsenal moved in and paid £1.25m for his services. This was an odd period in the Gunners’ history. The reign of manager George Graham had turned sour after league title wins in 1989 and 1991, FA and League Cup success in 1993, and a Cup Winners Cup win in 1994. Graham had been caught taking £425,000 in bungs from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge to aid the purchase of two of Hauge’s clients John Jensen and Pål Lydersen. Jensen, bought as a goalscoring midfielder after an impressive Euro 92, infamously only scored one goal in more than 150 appearances for the Gunners – against QPR. Rangers did win the game 3-1 though.
Kiwomya joined on the same day as young Luton striker John Hartson, but neither signing really looked like they had the wherewithal to help the Gunners challenge for trophies once again, and both arrived just as the club was about to go through an amazing transition. Bruce Rioch, a very similar manager to Graham in background and style, was brought in after a successful stint with Bolton Wanderers but he lasted just over a season (in which Arsenal finished fifth) before a dispute with first Ian Wright, and then the board over transfer funds led to his demise. The signing of Dennis Bergkamp from Inter Milan during Rioch’s reign showed where Arsenal were heading as a club and, after another prolonged caretaker spell under furture QPR boss Stewart Houston, Frenchman Arsene Wenger arrived and transformed the club forever. All this rather left Kiwomya (who only managed six starts, 11 sub appearances and three goals in three years at Highbury) and Hartson in a state of flux. Eventually Kiwomya tried his luck on loan in France with Le Havre and Malaysia with Selangor before his contract expired and Ray Harford picked him up on a free transfer for QPR prior to the start of the 1998/99 season.
Harford would last barely two months into the campaign before resigning and being replaced first by Iain Dowie on a caretaker basis and then returning hero Gerry Francis. It was then, with Rangers cash strapped, that Kiwomya really started to shine. As the R’s battled relegation he scored twice in a crucial 4-0 home win against Swindon Town and then wrote his name into the club’s folklore on the final day of the season.
Locked in a struggle at the bottom of the table with Oxford, Bury, Port Vale and Portsmouth, Rangers knew they needed a victory on the final day of the campaign at home to Crystal Palace to secure safety. Since the Swindon win the R’s had managed just one victory and a draw from eight matches and a 2-0 setback at Port Vale the week before in front of a huge travelling support – a fifth defeat on the spin – looked to have doomed them to the Second Division.
It’s always been my opinion that there was something very fishy about what happened next. Palace – financially stricken and in the midst of a messy divorce from owner Mark Goldberg – rolled over and died on a pitch bathed with sunshine and protest balloons in the most obvious and dramatic manner anybody could ever have imagined. When George Kulscar and Tony Scully are lashing in volleys from outside the penalty box something is seriously amiss, and the Kulscar goal in particular – the first of the game – looked eminently saveable only for keeper Kevin Miller to stand still and watch it go past him. Kiwomya scored possibly the lowest quality hat trick ever registered in the professional game and missed a penalty into the bargain and Rangers survived.
Francis rebuilt the team intelligently, adding Stewart Wardley’s hard running to the midfield along with youth team graduate Richard Langley, Jermaine Darlington’s pace to wide areas and most crucially Rob Steiner as a focal point for the attack. Kiwomya thrived, scoring 14 goals as Rangers finished tenth. A well taken late goal in a 3-2 March win at Walsall had put the R;s within touching distance of the play offs but a subsequent brace was only good enough to secure a draw at home to Norwich and the form fell away slightly – his final goal of the campaign capped a memorable 3-1 home win against his former club Ipswich who were heading for promotion at the time nevertheless. That was also the day of the lesser spotted Sammy Koejoe blockbuster as well.
So, despite being on the brink of financial ruin, hopes were reasonably high going into 2000/01 with impressive England Under 21 hopeful Clarke Carlisle added to the defence and Peter Crouch arriving from Spurs. However, crucially, Rangers lost Steiner to a career ending injury and Kiwomya never functioned as well without him. Kiwomya’s early season form was good – four goals in his first eight appearances - but a September away game at Barnsley saw QPR go in at half time three nil down and with disgruntled travelling fans massing around the tunnel at half time to give the players a piece of their minds Kiwomya didn’t cover himself in glory with an angry reaction. Although the striker then subsequently scored twice in the second half to threaten a comeback, the final score of 4-2 only served to plunge the team into greater difficulty. Kiwomya was in and out of the side thereafter with one niggly injury after another and the perception was he either wasn’t bothered, wasn’t trying, or both. He managed six appearances and no goals in the next four months, returning briefly to score twice in an FA Cup replay with Luton at Loftus Road and win through to a fourth round game with his old club Arsenal which Rangers promptly lost 6-0.
More time on the sidelines was broken briefly by a return and two goal haul as the R’s beat Barnsley 2-0 and Gillingham 1-0 as Francis made way for Ian Holloway but they were to be his last goals for the club. Holloway added Andy Thomson to the attack alongside Peter Crouch and at the end of the season, with the club now in administration, Kiwomya was one of dozens allowed to leave at the end of his contract. A record of 30 goals in 96 appearances for a mostly crap side stands up well on paper.
Spells in Denmark with Aalborg and the lower divisions with Grimsby preceded his retirement and coaching spells with first Arsenal, then Ipswich and finally Notts County. In the wake of Keith Curle’s sacking at Meadow Lane, Kiwomya had a prolonged caretaker spell in charge of Notts County which brought three wins and six draws from 11 games. Ominously they lost three on the bounce following his permanent appointment but rallied with two wins and a draw from the final three games and finished the season twelfth. An abysmal start to the following season saw him sacked and replaced by Shaun Derry. The jury therefore remains out on his ability as a manager, and divided on whether he was any good for QPR or not.
Others >>> Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, QPR 2015-present, Ipswich 2011-2013 >>> Massimo Luongo, QPR 2015-present, Ipswich (loan) 2012 >>> Danny Simpson, QPR 2013-2015, Ipswich (loan) 2008 >>> Andros Townsend, QPR (loan) 2013, Ipswich (loan) 2010 >>> Brian Murphy, QPR 2011-2015, Ipswich 2010-2011 >>> DJ Campbell, QPR 2011-2013, Ipswich (loan) 2012-2013 >>> Kieron Dyer, QPR 2011-2013, Ipswich 1996-1999, (loan) 2011 >>> Bradley Orr, QPR 2010-2012, Ipswich (loan) 2012-2013 >>> Tamas Priskin, Ipswich 2009-2012, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Marcus Bent, QPR (loan) 2010, Ipswich 2001-2004 >>> Jim Magilton, 1999-2006, (manager) 2006-2009, QPR (manager) 2009 >>> Damien Delaney, QPR 2008-2009, Ipswich 2009-2012 >>> Simon Walton, Ipswich (loan) 2006-2007, QPR 2007-2008 >>> Georges Santos, Ipswich 2003-2004, QPR 2004-2006 >>> Adam Miller, Ipswich 1999-2000, QPR 2004-2006 >>> Steve Palmer, Ipswich 1989-1995, QPR 2001-2004 >>> Kevin Lisbie, QPR (loan) 2000-2001, Ipswich 2008-2011 >>> Wayne Brown, Ipswich 1995-2002, QPR (loan) 2001 >>> Sieb Dykstra, QPR 1994-1996, Ipswich 1999 >>> Mark Stein, QPR 1988-1989, Ipswich (loan) 1997 >>> Paul Goddard, QPR 1977-1980, Ipswich 1991-1994 >>> Phil Parkes, QPR 1970-1979, Ipswich 1990-1991 >>> Alan Brazil, Ipswich 1977-1983, QPR 1986 >>> John O'Rourke, Ipswich 1968-1969, QPR 1971-1974 >>> Frank Clarke, QPR 1968-1970, Ipswich 1970-1973
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