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Ainsworth strikes on QPR's Championship return - History
Thursday, 22nd Feb 2024 12:27 by Clive Whittingham

QPR's first game back at this level after the memorable Ian Holloway promotion campaign of 2003/04 was a home match against Saturday's opponents Rotherham.

Memorable Match

QPR 1 Rotherham United 1, Saturday August 7, 2004, Championship

Rotherham United were QPR’s first opponents back in the Championship on the opening day of the 2004/05 season, with optimism and feel good factor coursing through everybody at Loftus Road.

Relegated, in administration, and with just six fit senior players under contract in 2001, Rangers had spent a memorable three years in the third tier rebuilding under Ian Holloway. A play-off final had been reached in season defining style with a late semi-final win against Oldham in 2003, but lost in extra time against Cardiff in Cardiff. It actually turned out to be a blessing, with Martin Rowlands and Gareth Ainsworth added to an already very strong QPR team that summer to set them up for a tilt at automatic promotion in 2003/04.

That was achieved by winning the final game of the season 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, holding off a challenge from third-placed Bristol City to win promotion alongside Plymouth. A parade around the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for finishing second in League One may sound a bit tin pot, but after what the club and the fans had been through that promotion meant so much to everybody. When the fixtures were released for the first season back at the highest level, Rotherham at home looked like exactly the sort of game Holloway’s team needed to hit the ground running.

The beginning of the new millennium was something of a golden period for Rotherham who won back-to-back promotions from Third Division to First between 1999 and 2001 under the management of Ronnie Moore. The Millers would spend four years at this level, surviving their first on goal difference from Crewe before finishes of fifteenth and seventeenth. It was and achievement that saw Moore linked with a host of jobs resulting in a ridiculous situation after a home draw with Gillingham in October 2002 when he waved farewell to the crowd after the match believing he was about to be appointed the new manager of Ipswich only for it to transpire that an ‘official approach’ received from Town chairman David Sheepshanks on the Friday was actually a prank phone call.

By the time 2004/05 rolled around, however, circumstances were starting to catch up with the South Yorkshire club, still based in their tiny and dilapidated Millmoor Stadium.

They fell behind early at Loftus Road with Rowlands, an attacking winger in those days, crossing from left for his wing man Ainsworth to head firmly home coming in from the right at the School End. But a quick reminder that things wouldn’t be quite as easy in the higher league came when former Arsenal youngster Paul Shaw scrambled an equaliser.

That was one of three draws at the start of the Millers’ season but it would take them until November 29 at home to Leeds (1-0) to get their first win and by then 20 matches had already passed and they were well adrift at the bottom. Moore left the club in January to be replaced on a caretaker basis by former Rotherham centre back Alan Knill but although they registered surprise away wins at Leicester and Millwall (1-0 and 2-1) over the Christmas period they then embarked on another arduous ten-match winless run to effectively have them relegated by the time QPR came back for the return fixture in mid-March which Rangers won 1-0.

QPR started poorly themselves. There was another draw at Sunderland and defeats to Watford, Derby and Sheff Utd as Ian Holloway’s side struggled to adapt to the higher level. Rumours of new investor Gianni Paladini’s boardroom politicking and attempt to replace Holloway with Argentinean Ramon Diaz were doing the rounds, despite the ‘Hand of Bean’ winning goal at Gillingham in a Sky Friday night game removing some of the pressure.

With Danny Shittu returning from his long term knee injury and Holloway’s players rallying around their boss, a dramatic 3-2 home win against Plymouth was secured with goals from Paul Furlong (two) and Kevin Gallen when defeat would apparently have meant the boot for the boss. The R’s subsequently set off on a famous seven match winning run, beating Crewe (2-0), Brighton (3-2), Leicester (3-2), Coventry (4-1), Stoke (1-0) and West Ham (1-0) in some of the most memorable Rangers matches of the modern era. Burnley (3-0), promotion chasing Wigan (1-0) and old enemies Cardiff (1-0) were subsequently beaten at Loftus Road to make it ten wins from 15 games and at one stage the Hoops were as high as fourth in the league.

But, as we’ve become accustomed to over Ian Holloway’s two spells in charge as manager, long winning runs sit hand in hand with long periods of poor results. Seven defeats and a draw in eight games over Christmas restored a sense of normality and left us bobbing around midtable as we moved into 2005.

This would become a very odd period in the club’s history, as Paladini staged his infamous boardroom coup to oust chairman Bill Power and CEO Mark Devlin — QPR fans both — and take charge of the club himself with former football agent Antonio Caliendo and Brazilian World Cup winning captain Dunga. The very first hints of what was to come were starting to be seen as 2004/05 drew to a close, with Italian keeper Generosso Rossi fresh from a match fixing ban on the bench for the game at Rotherham and Dean Sturridge, signed through Paladini’s network of Midlands contacts with no medical, making a rare outing as a sub.

The weird and wonderful names only got more weird and wonderful as we moved through a 2005/06 of Mauro Milanese, Marc Nygaard, Ugo Ukah and Sammy Youssouff into the 2006/07 nadir of Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas, Nick Ward and Armel Tchakounte.

Rotherham stuck around at Millmoor until 2008, even starting a redevelopment of the side stand towards the end of their 100 year stint there. But an argument with their former owner Ken Booth, on whose scrap yard the ground sits, saw them move out and play until 2012 at the Don Valley Athletics Stadium in Sheffield before moving to their smart community stadium nearby where they reside today. Millmoor is still there, and visible on one side of the train between Doncaster and Sheffield, with the development of the main stand remaining half finished. It’s recently been used for youth football matches apparently.

QPR: Day; Bignot (Santos 81), Rose, Gnohere, Padula; Ainsworth, Bean (Thorpe 82), Johnson, Rowlands (McLeod 82); Gallen, Furlong

Subs not used: Cole, Edghill

Goals: Ainsworth 5

Rotherham: Pollitt; Stockdale, Swailes, Gilchrist, Minto; Sedgwick (Vernazza 84), Garner, Mullin (Scott 84), Shaw; Proctor (Warne 77), Barker

Subs not used: Montgomery, Hurst

Goals: Shaw 15

Attendance: 14,547

Classic encounters

LFW regular and AKUTR’s columnist Dave Barton has set up a QPR Memories YouTube channel, with a mixture of clips, classic games, and old highlights packages. His three recent meetings with Rotherham are embedded below, give him a subscribe on YouTube or follow @QPR_Memories on Twitter.

Recent Meetings

Rotherham 1 QPR 1, Saturday November 4, 2023, Championship

The Marti Cifuentes reign at QPR got underway with a draw away to relegation rivals Rotherham. In teeming rain, the result should have been more positive after Ilias Chair had cut in from the wing to curl in a goal of the season contender to open the scoring. Rangers missed numerous other chances besides, notably late in the game when Sam Field drilled wide when the ball fell to him in the box, but the hard work ahead for the new manager was laid bare by the standard shambolic goal conceded from a set piece to Georgie Kelly.

Rotherham: Johansson 7; Lembikisa 6, Morrison 5 (Ayala 87, -), Odoffin 6, Bramall 6; Cafu 6, Tiehi 5, Rathbone 6; Onyedinma 7 (Eaves 87, -), Hugill 6 (Nombe 71, 5), Clucas 5 (Kelly 61, 7)

Subs not used: Phillips, Revan, Appiah, McGuckin

Goals: Kelly 70 (assisted Bramall)

Bookings: Bramall 21 (foul), Clucas 37 (foul)

QPR: Begovic 5; Cannon 6 (Kakay 90, -), Dunne 5, Cook 6, Paal 6; Field 5, Dixon-Bonner 7, Smyth 5 (Richards 63, 4); Willock 6 (Armstrong 80, -), Dykes 4 (Adomah 80, - (Kelman 90, -)), Chair 7

Subs not used: Archer, Larkeche, Duke-McKenna, Drewe

Goals: Chair 50 (assisted Paal)

Bookings: Chair 19 (kicking ball away)

Rotherham 3 QPR 1, Saturday March 4, 2023, Championship

Hapless QPR were put to the sword by a former charge as they continued to crater towards what looked like certain relegation in 2022/23. Jordan Hugill crawled all over a bereft Rob Dickie all afternoon, horribly bullying a first out of him before the game had even got going, and then sealing the goal from the penalty spot after a ridiculous foul. QPR won, and converted, a late penalty of their own when Sinclair Armstrong was tripped and Jamal Lowe scored, but that only succeeded in keeping the fans in the away end long enough to miss the train back to Sheffield and made sure they were still in the ground long enough to catch Odofin making it 3-1 in injury time.

Rotherham: Johansson 7; Harding 5, Wright 6, Humphrys 6, Hjelde 7; Coventry 6, Odoffin 7, Fosu 8 (Washington 89, -); Ogbene 8 (Kioso 90+5, -), Hugill 8 (Kelly 89, -), Ferguson 6 (Lindsay 75, 6)

Subs not used: Bramall, Eaves, Vickers

Goals: Hugill 15 (assisted Ogbene), 70 (penalty, won Hugill), Odoffin 90 (assisted Kelly)

Bookings: Harding 82 (foul)

QPR: Dieng 5; Kakay 2, Dickie 1, Dunne 3, Drewe 5; Iroegbunam 3 (Richards 64, 6), Johansen 5, Field 5; Adomah 4 (Armstrong 65, 6), Martin 4, Lowe 4

Subs not used: Archer, Dozzell, Dickson-Bonner, Aurora Borealis

Goals: Lowe 83 (penalty, won Armstrong)

Bookings: Adomah 42 (attempting to retrieve his own first touch from the canal), Field 49 (foul), Dickie 69 (foul)

QPR 1 Rotherham 1, Saturday August 20, 2022, Championship

QPR’s stuttering start to 22/23 continued in August with a listless home draw against newly promoted Rotherham. The obligatory abysmally defended set piece allowed Ogbene to shovel home a scrappy opener after 33 minutes but Rangers were back on terms by the break when Chris Willock and Ilias Chair combined beautifully on the edge of the area and Willock slipped an equaliser into the bottom corner. Rangers piled on the pressure, chances and counter attacks in the second half but couldn’t find a way through. Sinclair Armstrong missed two chances an experienced player would probably have done better with, and only Ilias Chair will know how he took a swing and miss at a low cross that seemed to put the winner right on a plate in front of the Loft End, but visiting goalkeeper Viktor Johansson was in fairly inspired form as well.

QPR: Dieng 6; Laird 7, Dickie 7, Dunne 6, Paal 5; Johansen 6 (Dozzell 56, 6), Field 6; Chair 7, Roberts 6 (Adomah 70, 7), Willock 7 (Shodipo 81, -); Dykes 4 (Armstrong 70, 6)

Subs not used: Kakay, Archer, Travelman

Goals: Willock 43 (assisted Chair)

Bookings: Dickie 29 (foul), Dozzell 64 (foul), Field 74 (foul)

Rotherham: Johansson 8; Peltier 6 (Harding 55, 6), Hall 6, Wood 7, Humphreys 6, Ferguson 6 (Bramall 56, 5); Barlaser 6 (Lindsay 86, -), Rathbone 5 (High 65, 6), Wiles 7; Ogbene 7, Washington 5 (Kelly 65, 5)

Subs not used: Eaves, Vickers

Goals: Ogbene 33 (unassisted)

Bookings: Humphreys 64 (foul), Johansson 90+5 (time wasting, bet he’s devastated)

QPR 1 Rotherham 1, Saturday January 8, 2022, FA Cup Third Round

A two-hour FA Cup tie both promotion-chasing teams probably could have done without was eventually settled in QPR’s favour by Jordan Archer’s penalty save in an exhaustive shoot out. A 90 minutes nobody will ever remember gave way to extra time which looked to have been settled in Rotherham’s favour by Ihiekwe until substitute Lyndon Dykes headed home with five minutes to go. I’m surprised we’re not still there taking penalties now to be honest but Archer saved from Ogbene to put QPR through 8-7, dislocating his shoulder in the process plunging the squad into an unwelcome goalkeeping crisis.

QPR: Archer 6; Adomah 7, Dickie 6, Dunne 7, Barbet 6, Wallace 7 (Odubajo 59, 6)(Drewe 90, 6); Ball 6 (Amos 70, 6), Johansen 6, Thomas 6 (Dozzell 71, 6); Austin 5 (Dykes 59, 6), Gray 4

Subs not used: Field, Walsh, Duke-McKenna, Armstrong

Goals: Dykes 115 (assisted Adomah)

Bookings: Johansen 16 (foul)

Rotherham: Vickers 8; Harding 6, Edmonds-Green 6 (Ogbene 58, 6), Wood 6, Ihiekwe 7 Ferguson 6 (Bola 79, 6); Barlaser 7 (Odoffin 79, 6), Rathbone 7, Sadlier 7 (Lindsay 58, 6); Smith 7, Grigg 5 (Kayode 65, 6)

Subs not used: Johansson, Mattock, Ladapo, MacDonald

Goals: Ihiekwe 98 (assisted Harding)

Bookings: Lindsay 99 (time wasting), Harding 110 (foul)

Rotherham 3 QPR 1, Tuesday April 13, 2021, Championship

QPR gave Rotherham’s survival hopes a boost with a vintage surrendering of their fine form and fairly calamitous 3-1 defeat in South Yorkshire. Lyndon Dykes opened the scoring with a spectacularly good goal straight after half time but Freddie Ladapo had been a headache for Rangers across both league meetings with the Millers and turned the game on its head with a quickfire second half double before Michael Smith sealed the win in injury time. It looked a crucial win for Paul Warne’s men at the time, in one of their many games in hand, but the schedule got the better of them regardless and they were relegated at the end of the season.

Rotherham: Johansson 6; Harding 6, MacDonald 6, Robertson 6; Olusunde 6 (Wood 45, 6), Barlaser 6, MacDonald 5 (Wing 59, 7), Wiles 6 (Lindsay 59, 7), Giles 7; Crooks 6 (Smith 59, 7), Ladapo 8 (Sadlier 81, -)

Subs not used: Hirst, Ogbene, Blackman, Jozefzoon

Goals: Ladapo 64 (assisted Wing), 66 (assisted Harding), Smith 90 (assisted Lindsay)

Bookings: S MacDonald 38 (repetitive fouling), A MacDonald 41 (foul), Smith 70 (foul), Wood 75 (foul)

QPR: Dieng 5; Dickie 5, De Wijs 6 (Kane 45, 5), Barbet 4; Kakay 5, Johansen 5, Field 5 (Chair 80, -), Thomas 5 (Willock 80, -) Hämäläinen 4; Kelman 6 (Bonne 67, 5), Dykes 7

Subs not used: Lumley, Ball, Bettache, Adomah, Duke-McKenna

Goals: Dykes 52 (assisted Kakay)

QPR 3 Rotherham 2, Tuesday November 24, 2020, Championship

QPR cruised into a 3-1 half time lead when these sides met at Loftus Road in November, 2020, with Ilias Chair scoring via two deflections, Bright Osayi-Samuel torching Joe Mattock in first half stoppage time, and then Lyndon Dykes banging in a penalty after Barlaser’s handball right on the bell. Only Smith’s header from Harding’s cross had provided respite for the visitors, but the second half was a different story and having ridden at least one very good shout for a visiting penalty, QPR were left hanging on through a grim stoppage time of goal mouth scrambles after substitute Ladapo converted from close range after Smith’s initial header came back into play off the post.

QPR: Dieng 7; Kakay 5, Masterson 6, Barbet 6, Hämäläinen 6; Ball 6, Cameron 6 (Carroll 66, 5); Osayi-Samuel 8 (Adomah 79, 5), Chair 7, Willock 8 (Bonne 60, 4); Dykes 6

Subs not used: Kane, Wallace, Bettache, Kelman, Kelly, Alfa

Goals: Chair 20 (assisted Osayi-Samuel), Osayi-Samuel 45+1 (assisted Cameron), Dykes 45+3 (penalty, handball)

Rotherham: Blackman 5; Harding 6 (Hirst 84, -), Ihiekwe 6, MacDonald 6, Mattock 5; Jozefzoon 6 (Olosunde 59, 7), Wiles 6, Barlaser 5 (Crooks 45, 6), Clarke 5 (Lindsay 45, 6); Vassell 6 (Ladapo 74, 8); Smith 7

Subs not used: Johansson, Jones, Wood, Miller

Goals: Smith 38 (assisted Harding), Ladapo 84 (unassisted)

Bookings: Wiles 45+3 (foul), Ihiekwe 79 (dissent), Crooks 90+1 (foul)

QPR 1 Rotherham 2, Tuesday March 13, 2019, Championship

Rotherham won their only away match of the 2018/19 season as Steve McClaren’s brief reign as QPR manager flatlined across a disastrous week at Loftus Road when the bottom two sides both came and left with 2-1 wins. A truly horrendous spectacle looked to have been settled by a long range Semi Ajayi goal worthy of a greater stage, but Bright Osayi-Samuel forced an equaliser for Rangers four minutes from time. They couldn’t even hang on for that point though, conceding a second to Ajayi, this time with his head, after giving away a ridiculous free kick in the fourth minute of added time.

QPR: Lumley 5; Furlong 4, Leistner 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Osayi-Samuel 6, Luongo 6, Cousins 4 (Shodipo 72, 6), Freeman 5; Eze 5 (Wszolek 80, 6), Hemed 3 (Wells 72, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Cameron, Scowen, Manning

Goals: Osayi-Samuel 86 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Bidwell 43 (foul), Furlong 90+4 (foul)

Rotherham: Rodak 6; Vyner 6, Ihiekwe 8, Wood 6, Mattock 5; Taylor 7, Ajayi 8, Towell 7 (Crooks 64, 6), Newell 7 (Forde 83, -); Smith 6, Wiles 6 (Jones 90+2, -)

Subs not used: Palmer, Price, Yates, Williams

Goals: Ajayi 71 (unassisted), 90+5 (assisted Forde)

Bookings: Mattock 17 (foul)

Rotherham 2 QPR 2, Tuesday November 27, 2018, Championship

Luke Freeman rescued a point for QPR in injury time when these sides met for the first time that season in South Yorkshire at the end of November. Lousy defending had allowed Vaulks and Robertson to both score early for Rotherham either side of a well taken equaliser from Nahki Wells. That looked like being it through a trying second half, appallingly refereed by Andy Woolmer, when home keeper Rodak made an unbelievable save to deny Ebere Eze. That was until a late cross from the left by Jake Bidwell was bundled in at the near post by Freeman despite Rodak’s best efforts once again.

Rotherham: Rodak 8; Vyner 6, Ajayi 5, Robertson 7, Mattock 6; Vaulks 7, Williams 7 (Proctor 86, -), Towell 6, Palmer 6 (Wood 69, 6), Taylor 6 (Newell 60); Smith 7

Subs not used: Price, Forde, Wiles.

Goals: Vaulks 6 (assisted Towell), Robertson 15 (assisted Vaulks)

QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 5, Leistner 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 5; Cameron 6, Luongo 5 (Scowen 76 5); Wszolek 4 (Hemed 69, 5), Eze 7, Freeman 7; Wells 6 (Smith 76, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Cousins, Osayi-Samuels

Goals: Wells 7 (unassisted), Freeman 90 (assisted Bidwell)

Bookings: Bidwell 23 (foul), Wzsolek 35 (foul)

QPR 5 Rotherham 1, Saturday March 18, 2017, Championship

Although Joe Newell scored probably the goal of the season at Loftus Road in 2016/17 to draw Rotherham level at 1-1, the relegation haunted Millers were quickly swept aside as Rangers built on Matt Smith’s early goal to run in their biggest score of the season. Luke Freeman had burst through to add a second before half time and a penalty won by Smith was converted by Yeni Ngbakoto straight after half time to finish the game. The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Massimo Luongo’s first goal for the club just prior to his 100th appearance for Rangers, and Nedum Onuoha smacked in a fifth in injury time.

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Luongo 7 (Goss 74, 6), Hall 7, Freeman 7 (Morrison 63, 6); Sylla 6, Ngbakoto 7, Smith 7 (Washington 63, 6)

Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Wszolek, Manning

Goals: Smith 5 (assisted Sylla), Freeman 15 (unassisted) Ngbakoto 49 (penalty won Smith), Luongo 57 (assisted Ngbakoto), Onuoha 90+1 (assisted Ngbakoto)

Rotherham: Price 2; Vaulks 5, Ajayi 2, Belaid 2, Purrington 5; Taylor 5 (Forde 65, 5), Adeyemi 5, Frecklington 4, Newell 6; Ward 4 (Smallwood 85, -), Yates 5 (Morris 70, -)

Subs not used: Blackstock, Bray, Warren Bilboe

Goals: Newell 13 (unassisted)

Yellow Cards: Belaid 48 (foul)

Rotherham 1 QPR 0, Saturday December 10, 2016, Championship

While the home fixture was QPR’s biggest win, and one of their best performances, of the season, that was in stark contrast to the away fixture in December which was probably the nadir of the campaign. In the middle of one of Ian Holloway’s runs of six consecutive defeats, the R’s slipped to a 1-0 loss and should have been beaten by more. Isaiah Brown scored the only goal of the game after 24 minutes but only flying form from Alex Smithies kept the score down.

Rotherham: Price 7; Fisher 6, Wood 6, Belaid 6, Mattock 6; Forde 6, Adeyemi 6 (Vaulks 85, -), Frecklington 8, Newell 7 (Kelly 90+3, -); Ward 8, Brown 8 (Taylor 86, -)

Subs not used: Ball, Blackstock, Yates, Bilboe

Goals: Brown 24 (assisted Ward)

Bookings: Adeyemi 50 (foul), Frecklington 83 (foul), Forde 87 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 4, Hall 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 4; Sandro 4 (Gladwin 72, 5); Luongo 5, Cousins 5; Chery 5 (Wszolek 89, -); Ngbakoto 5 (Polter 59, 5), Washington 5

Subs not used: Ingram, Henry, El Khayati, Shodipo

Bookings: Ngbakoto 45+3 (repetitive fouling), Luongo 48 (foul), Polter 73 (foul)

Rotherham 0 QPR 3, Saturday January 16, 2016, Championship

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink secured his first win as QPR manager at the eighth time of asking when Rangers won 3-0 at Rotherham in January 2016. It wasn’t without difficulty, with the score deadlocked at 0-0 at half time and Rangers playing particularly poorly a victory looked a million miles away. But a quick blitz after half time featured goals from Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips inside two minutes and Seb Polter stuck one in from close range in injury time to round off a 3-0 win.

Rotherham: Camp 5; Facey 6, Broadfoot 5, Belaid 6, Mattock 6; G Ward 7, Green 6, Smallwood 5, Newell 6; D Ward 6 (Clarke-Harris 55, 5), Derbyshire 5 (Ledesma 80, -)

Subs Not Used: Wood, Collins, Richardson, Cairns, Thorpe

Bookings: Facey 76 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 7, Hall 7, Konchesky 5; Henry 6, Luongo 7; Hoilett 7 (Mackie 87, -), Fer 6, Phillips 5 (Chery 86, -); Polter 8

Subs not used: Lumley, Angella, Tozser, Sandro, Petrasso

Goals: Hoilett 52 (unassisted), Phillips 54 (assisted Luongo), Polter 90 (assisted Fer)

QPR 4 Rotherham 2, Saturday August 22, 2015, Championship

QPR were settling back into life in the Championship under Chris Ramsey when Rotherham were swept aside at Loftus Road in August 2015 on ‘Stan Bowles Day’. New signing Tjaronn Chery scored twice either side of half time, first picking his spot in the far corner after being perfectly teed up by Charlie Austin at the end of a flowing move, then sliding into an unguarded net after forceful approach play down the right by Mass Luongo. Poor goalkeeping allowed Charlie Austin to power in a third and although there were some nerves Harris and Thorpe brought it back to 3-2 with time still remaining, Austin settled the whole thing back down with a penalty in injury time.

QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Hall 6, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Faurlin 6 (Doughty 77, 6), Henry 5; Luongo 7 (Polter 82, -), Chery 8 (Kpekawa 90+2, -), Phillips 7; Austin 7

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

Goals: Chery 42 (assisted Perch/Austin), 50 (assisted Luongo), Austin 63 (unassisted), 90 (penalty — won Polter)

Bookings: Austin 61 (foul)

Rotherham: Roos 4; Buxton 6, Halford 6, Collins 5, Newell 6; Frecklington 6, Smallwood 5 (Thorpe 45, 6), Ward 5 (Maguire 78, 5), Ledesma 5 (White 68, 5); Clarke Harris 6, Derbyshire 5

Subs not used: D Ward, Green, Rawson, Collin

Goals: Clarke Harris 72 (assisted Frecklington), Thorpe 87 (assisted Newell/Collins)

Bookings: Buxton 68 (foul), Maguire 78 (foul)

Scores and Scorers

Head to head >>> QPR wins 8 >>> Draws 8 >>> Rotherham wins 8

2023/24 Rotherham 1 QPR 1 (Chair)

2022/23 Rotherham 3 QPR 1 (Lowe)

2022/23 QPR 1 Rotherham 1 (Willock)

2021/22 QPR 1 Rotherham 1** (Dykes)

2020/21 Rotherham 3 QPR 1 (Dykes)

2020/21 QPR 3 Rotherham 2 (Chair, Osayi-Samuel, Dykes pen)

2018/19 QPR 1 Rotherham 2 (Osayi-Samuel)

2018/19 Rotherham 2 QPR 2 (Wells, Freeman)

2016/17 QPR 5 Rotherham 1 (Smith, Freeman, Ngbakoto, Luongo, Onouha)

2016/17 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

2015/16 Rotherham 0 QPR 3 (Hoilett, Phillips, Polter)

2015/16 QPR 4 Rotherham 2 (Chery 2, Austin 2)

2004/05 Rotherham 0 QPR 1 (Rowlands)

2004/05 QPR 1 Rotherham 1 (Ainsworth)

1982/83 QPR 4 Rotherham 0 (Sealy, Flanagan, Gregory 2)

1982/83 Rotherham 2 QPR 1* (Gregory)

1982/83 QPR 0 Rotherham 0*

1982/83 Rotherham 0 QPR 0

1981/82 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

1981/82 QPR 1 Rotherham 1 (Flanagan)

1967/68 QPR 6 Rotherham 0 (I Morgan 2, Leach 2, R Morgan, Marsh)

1967/68 Rotherham 1 QPR 3 (Leach, Allen, Lazarus)

1951/52 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

1951/52 QPR 2 Rotherham 3 (Gilberg, Smith)

* - League Cup
** - FA Cup


Lee Camp >>> Rotherham 2015-2017 >>> QPR 2007-2009, (loan) 2007, (loan) 2004

QPR rarely do things the easy way, and when pushing for promotion from the Second Division in the spring of 2004 they were coming under increasing threat from a Bristol City side on a remarkable 13-match winning sequence. With reserve goalkeeper Nick Culkin already injured, first choice Chris Day and physio Prav Mathema chose this moment to have a go at lancing a boil on the keeper’s shin one afternoon down at the training ground. Things did not go well. With 48 hours to go until a tricky a away trip up to Hartlepool, Rangers now didn’t have a goalkeeper at all.

Manager Ian Holloway turned desperately to influential chief scout Mel Johnson, who began a rummage of his black book for not only a goalkeeper good enough to sustain a promotion push, and one who was available immediately, but even more ideally one they could pick up somewhere between London and the North East on the Friday afternoon. And so it came to pass that the QPR team coach left the Friday night rushour traffic of the M1 to wind its way through the back streets of suburban Derby looking for the home address of teenager Lee Camp so they could knock on the door and see if he could come out to play.

If Camp was nervous, it didn’t show. He kept the scores level through an inspired first half performance, which included a fine one on one save against Champ Manager legend Eifion Williams among others, making himself an instant hero to the thousand Rangers fans packed behind the goal. There were four QPR goals waiting on the other side of an incident with some deckchairs at half time, and even Pool’s late consolation goal was only scored after Camp had first made a spectacular double save to try and preserve his clean sheet. He was given a standing ovation at the end of the game.

Camp finished the season between the posts, playing a dozen games, including the crucial wins against Swindon and Sheff Wed in the final two fixtures to haul Rangers over the line. He was serenaded by the away end at Hillsborough as the team celebrated on the pitch at the end. A new cult hero was born in West London.

Despite the promotion, money was too tight in W12 to afford Camp permanently. Already Derby’s Young Player of the Year, the goalkeeper was highly rated at Pride Park and would go on to make just shy of 100 appearances for his boyhood club. He was an England U21 international and played for his country at that level against Italy in the first ever game at the new Wembley. Eventually though, things started to sour for him in Derbyshire. Another up and coming young keeper, Lee Grant, eased him out of the team, and when his dad Mick rang the Saturday night phone in on BBC Radio Derby to refute claims by other callers and deliver a few home truths about what was going on behind the scenes at the Rams that damaged his prospects further. He spent a brief period out on loan at Norwich.

By 2007, QPR were in the shit again. The talented team that won promotion had largely been broken up, along with the board of directors above it thanks to the coup by Gianni Paladini. With financial problems mounting again, and a disastrous summer of recruitment — god bless Armel Tchakounte — that had shafted Gary Waddock and Alan McDonald, John Gregory was hired as manager to try and keep QPR in the Championship. He performed surgery right down the spine of the team,. Adding Inigo Idiakez to the attack, Adam Bolder to the midfield, no nonsense defenders Danny Cullip and Sam Timoska at the back, and one Lee Camp in goal. He delivered a goalkeeping and shithouse masterclass in a 0-0 draw at Leeds on his debut, some turn around from the away game prior where Rangers had lost 5-0 in a Sky game at mighty Southend. He wa spart of the side that won memorably away at Leicester, at home to Preston in a key game in hand, and 3-2 against Luton on Easter Monday to keep us up and send them down.

That summer he was back for good. QPR stumped up the cash to sign him permanently and he was the headline addition along with Simon Walton from Charlton. Walton, however, immediately snapped his leg in pre-season and barely played for Rangers. Many of the other signings — Chelsea’s Ben Sahar, John Curtis, Danny Nardiello — flopped badly and the team cratered to the bottom of the Championship. Gregory was sacked after a 5-1 loss at West Brom by new owner Flavio Briatore who had bought the club on the bones of its arse and promised to turn it into a dominant force in English football.

QPR spent money on a whole raft of January signings and pulled away from the drop zone playing some swashbuckling football under Luigi De Canio. Quite how much of it was down to De Canio, who was rather fond of the London nightlife while he was here, and how much was the senior players running the dressing room themselves is a topic of frequent debate on podcasts these days. That summer money was spent again, including a handsome wage handed out to Spurs reserve keeper Radek Cerny. New manager Iain Dowie told Camp that, despite this, he would be the number one goalkeeper at the club until he gave the manager a reason to change that. When Briatore found out, a week before the start of the season, that Dowie intended to start Camp on the opening day against Barnsley and not the expensive new recruit Briatore had paid for he pulled rank, and demanded Cery be given the start. Camp was dropped for the final friendly at home to Chievo, and given a token ten minutes as a sub at the end. When Rangers started badly against Barnsley, and Cerny had a nervous opening, the crowd revolted and chanted Camp’s name.

There then began a long, slow, drawn out end to Camp’s QPR career. Briatore wasn’t having him, and vice versa. He spent a successful spell on loan at Nottingham Forest, which he enjoyed and wanted to be made permanent. However, when Cerny got injured he was recalled and played in a midweek win at Blackpool. A week later he started at The City Ground for QPR against the side he’d spent much of the season with and wanted to join. His part in Rangers blowing a rare lead and chance to win on that ground for the first time ever, and his acknowledgement of the Forest fans pre- and post-game, soured his relationship with the QPR fans somewhat.

He's since enjoyed a journeyman career encompassing half the Championship clubs — stints with Derby, QPR, Norwich, Forest, Coventry, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Sunderland and 60 matches for Rotherham between September 2015 and June 2017 before a knee injury started to curtail his playing time. After some initial hostility, he has been warmly welcomed on his more recent returns to Loftus Road.

His most recent game there was easily his most dramatic. Filling in at Birmingham City, and essentially playing on one leg because of his knee problems, Camp found himself embroiled in the classic QPR comeback from four goals down as Matt Smith scored twice and Jordan Cousins once to claw the deficit back to 4-3. Camp was inspired, his best performance for many a year, and when Rangers were awarded a stoppage time penalty to equalise you fancied him a lot more than you did the taker, Nahki Wells. So it proved.

A great keeper, character and servant to QPR in challenging circumstances.

Others >>> Jordan Hugill, Rotherham 2023-present, QPR (loan) 2019-2020 >>> Conor Washington, Rotherham 2022-2024, QPR 2016-2018 >>> Grant Hall, Rotherham (loan) 2022-present, QPR 2015-2020 >>> Dom Ball, QPR 2019-2022, Rotherham 2016-2019 >>> Ryan Manning, QPR 2015-2020, Rotherham (loan) 2018-2019 >>> Dexter Blackstock, Rotherham 2016-2017, QPR 2006-2009 >>> Stephen Kelly, Rotherham 2015-2017, QPR (loan) 2003 >>> Neil Warnock, Rotherham (manager) 2016, QPR (Manager) 2010-2012 >>> Paddy Kenny, Rotherham 2016, QPR 2010-2012 >>> Jerome Thomas, Rotherham 2016, QPR (loan) 2002 >>> Emmanuel Ledesma, Rotherham 2015-2016, QPR (loan) 2008-2009 >>> Leon Best, Rotherham 2015-2016, QPR (loan) 2004-2005 >>> Tom Hitchcock, QPR 2012-2014, Rotherham (loan) 2014 >>> Danny Nardiello, Rotherham 2012-2014, QPR 2007-2008 >>> Mick Harford, QPR (manager) 2007, 2010, Rotherham (manager) 2005 >>> Marcus Bean, Rotherham (loan) 2007, QPR 2002-2006 >>> Justin Cochrane, Rotherham 2006-2007, QPR 2000-2002 >>> Phil Barnes, QPR (loan) 2006, Rotherham 1996-1997 >>> Tony Thorpe, QPR 2003-2005, Rotherham (loan) 2005 >>> Marvin Bryan, Rotherham 2000-2003, QPR 1992-1995 >>> Tommy Docherty, QPR (manager) 1979-1980, 1968, Rotherham (manager) 1967-1968

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