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The greatest goal of all time - History
Tuesday, 2nd Mar 2021 09:55 by Clive Whittingham

Ahead of Barnsley's visit to Loftus Road on Wednesday night we look at their dreadful record in W12, and in detail at a meeting from 1997 that produced the greatest goal ever scored.

Memorable Match

QPR 3 Barnsley 2, Saturday January 25, 1997, FA Cup Fourth Round

Having dithered over team strengthening following his September 1996 appointment as manager, Stewart Houston finally seemed to have QPR fit and firing when Barnsley came to town in January as the R’s attempted to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. A run of three wins from 15 matches through the autumn which had dropped Rangers as low as fourteenth in the First Division had given way to seven wins and a draw from nine matches over the Christmas and New Year period.

One of those victories had been against Barnsley . The Tykes were the surprise package of the First Division that year, eventually defying the odds and finishing in the second automatic promotion spot behind Bolton , but QPR completed a double against them with 3-1 wins at Oakwell and Loftus Road . The first game, back in September, had been during the transition period between Ray Wilkins and Houston with goals from Simon Barker, young Mark Perry and Danny Dichio sealing victory for a caretaker management trio of Frank Sibley, Billy Bonds and John Hollins.

By the time Danny Wilson’s side came to W12 in January Houston had spent some of new chairman Chris Wright’s millions to plunder John Spencer and Gavin Peacock from Premier League neighbours Chelsea and both players had hit the ground running with a slew of goals and assists to fire Rangers up to seventh in the division. Spencer in fact had scored a perfect hat trick against Barnsley in the league game – a left foot strike from a seemingly impossible angle, a powerful near post header, and a smooth right foot finish in injury time to seal the victory. The R’s followed that up by dispatching Huddersfield from the FA Cup in a Third Round replay thanks to a late Alan McDonald goal, and then recovered from a 4-0 half time deficit at Port Vale to snatch an unlikely draw.

Barnsley had stuttered rather after QPR’s win at Oakwell earlier in the season. Having won all five of their league games at the start of the season, including a last minute success at newly relegated title favourites Man City , the 3-1 set back against the Super Hoops was immediately followed by an identical defeat against lowly Grimsby on their own patch and then eight draws and a loss from 12 matches.

Nevertheless, the profits of doom who expected them to drop back into the pack were silenced by a fine winter run of five wins and two draws from eight games including the completion of a double over City and a 1-0 win at Sheffield United in the South Yorkshire derby. They’d also sent fellow First Division side Oldham out of the FA Cup at the Third Round stage while Rangers were grappling with Huddersfield to set up a cracking fourth round tie at Loftus Road.

It looked like it might by third time lucky for the northerners as a typically dire piece of goalkeeping from Tony Roberts gifted them a thirteenth minute lead. There appeared to be little danger when captain Neil Redfearn clipped a delicate free kick over the defensive wall but despite the shot carrying little pace and Roberts seeing it all the way the hapless goalkeeper allowed it to squirm through his hands, between his legs and over the goal line.

Rangers’ defence had been fairly dreadful for the entire season so its lethal attack was used to bailing the team out of trouble and just as they’d done at Vale Park the previous week they set about constructing a comeback. A goal kick flicked on around the halfway line appeared to be posing the visitors few problems until Spencer produced an airborne back flick which bamboozled the Barnsley defenders and sent Gavin Peacock steaming into space. Belatedly surrounded by three men on the edge of the box Peacock took a shot on himself and curled a fine equaliser past goalkeeper Dave Watson and into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Rangers took the lead for the first time in the game six minutes later at the midway point of the first half. Prolonged pressure around the edge of the box with Peacock and Paul Murray dictating play eventually led to Alan McDonald chipping a ball up to the back post where Barnsley were appealing for a foul against Danny Dichio. With his marker on the floor and the referee happy to allow play to go on Dichio squared the dropping cross through the goal mouth with a first time side foot pass that Spencer smashed in from close range.

Half time, leading 2-1 and in decent form, things were looking good for Houston ’s team. But the game turned nasty five minutes into the second half when winger Andy Impey planted the sweetest right hook you’ll ever see on a football field flush into the face of full back Adie Moses and was given a straight red card. Impey, absolutely fuming about something that had been done or said to him, had to be led from the field by his team mates as the club doctor retrieved Moses’ tongue from the back of his throat. He didn’t half smack him.

So that left Rangers with almost the entire second half to play against one of the league’s better teams a man light. The stage was set for Trevor Sinclair.

With a quarter of an hour left to play Rangers seemed happy to maintain possession of the ball wide on the right wing with full back Danny Maddix combining well with Spencer and Dichio in a triangle move presumably designed to do little more than run the clock down and frustrate Barnsley. Eventually, as the visitors closed in to bring the move to a close, Spence put his boot through the ball and sent a hopeful cross up towards the edge of the area. Sinclair, who always did have an eye for the spectacular, launched himself into the sky with his back to goal and executed a textbook bicycle kick which rocketed past Watson and flashed into the roof of the net from fully 20 yards. One of the greatest goals ever scored in the history of football. Even the Barnsley fans in the School End couldn’t help but stand and applaud.

Mind you, the game wasn’t over. Roberts, who seemed to have a Barnsley win on his coupon that day, contrived to let a 20 yard daisy cutter from John Hendrie squirm through him and into the net with four minutes still to play setting up a nail biting finish.

Rangers hung on though, and took a 10,000 strong following to Premier League side Wimbledon for the fifth round tie where, despite taking a first half lead through Mark Hateley, they were eventually beaten 2-1. Barnsley went on to win promotion to the Premier League and QPR finished ninth in the First Division. Match of the Day voted Sinclair’s goal their best of the season, ahead of David Beckham’s famous halfway line chip.

QPR: T Roberts, D Maddix, A McDonald, K Ready, R Brevett, P Murray, G Peacock, A Impey, T Sinclair, J Spencer, D Dichio

Subs not used: Sommer, Brazier

Goals: Peacock 20, Spencer 26, Sinclair 74

Sent Off: Impey 50

Bookings: Maddix, Murray, Impey

Barnsley: D Watson, N Eaden, M Appleby (A Liddell, 76), J Bosancic (S Jones, 64), A Moses, A De Zeeuw, N Redfearn , C Marcelle (M Bullock, 64), D Sheridan, J Hendrie, P Wilkinson

Goals: Redfearn 13, Hendrie 86

Bookings: Wilkinson, De Zeeuw, Hendrie

Attendance: 14,317

Recent Meetings

Barnsley 3 Queens Park Rangers 0, Tuesday October 27, 2020, Championship

QPR turned a bright start into a heavy defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell in October. The game swung just before the half hour when possession was conceded on halfway, Yoann Barbet made a hash of a through ball, and Rob Dickie reached out to grab Woodrow for an obvious penalty and red card. Woodrow converted that and against ten men Barnsley rather ran riot with his bi-annual goal against Rangers and Barbet capped a hapless night with a ridiculous own goal. Without Seny Dieng it would have been five or six.

Barnsley: Walton N/A; Sollbauer 6, Helik 6, Andersen 6; Brittain 7, Styles 8, Mowatt 8, Odour 5 (James 46, 7); Woodrow 7 (Schmidt 68, 7), Frieser 8 (Simoes 75, 6), Chaplin 7

Subs not used: Kane, Halme, Miller, Collins

Goals: Woodrow 27 (penalty, won Woodrow), Chaplin 37 (assisted Frieser), Barbet 64 (own goal, assisted Frieser)

QPR: Dieng 7; Kakay 4, Dickie 3, Barbet 2, Hämäläinen 4; Ball 5, Carroll 4; Adomah 6 (Kane 54, 5), Bonne 5 (Willock 63, 6), Chair 6 (Masterson 31, 5); Dykes 6

Subs not used: Cameron, Bettache, Kelman, Kelly

Red Cards: Dickie 27 (denying obvious goalscoring opportunity)

Queens Park Rangers 0 Barnsley 1, Saturday June 20, 2020, Championship

Optimism that QPR, unbeaten in six prior to the onset of Covid-19, could push for the play-offs during the summer’s behind closed doors fixtures was swiftly punctured in the first gam back against Barnsley. The visiting side were much the better of the teams, scoring through Simoes after seven minutes and going close on numerous other occasions in what would be their first win at Loftus Road in 26 attempts going back to 1950. Jordan Hugill late sitter was as close as Rangers came to a point.

QPR: Kelly 5; Rangel 5 (Kane 80, -), Masterson 5, Barbet 5, Manning 4; Amos 4 (Shodipo 46, 5), Ball 5 (Wallace 61, 5); Osayi-Samuel 5, Chair 5, Eze 6; Hugill 4

Subs not used: Lumley, Oteh, Bettache, Clarke

Barnsley: Walton 6; B Williams 6, Anderson 6, Sollbauer, Ludewig 6 (Thomas 84, -); Ritzmaier 6, Mowatt 8; Brown 8, Simoes 7 (Chaplin 46, 6), Palmer 7 (Dougall 57, -); Woodrow 7 (Styles 74, 6)

Subs not used: Radlinger, J Williams, Schmidt, Oduor, Halme

Goals: Simoes 7 (assisted Williams)

Bookings: Chaplin 90+2 (foul)

Barnsley 5 Queens Park Rangers 3, Saturday December 15, 2019, Championship

The first two clean sheets of the season and successive 2-0 victories against Preston and Birmingham had threatened to move QPR into play off contention prior to the first meeting with Barnsley last season but a defensive horror show at Oakwell put paid to all of that. Bad defending by Lee Wallace and goalkeeping by Joe Lumley let Conor Chaplin in for a first after just seven minutes and although Luke Amos equalised after Jordan Hugill hit the post Chaplin was able to volley in a second for the hosts after being left unmarked at the back post from a corner – quelle surprise. He swept in a hat trick before the hour amidst more calamitous defending and although Amos pulled another back and QPR then missed three gilt edge chances to equalise the Tykes were able to pull away thanks to a Woodrow penalty and fifth from Diaby. Ilias Chair added bare respectability with an injury time consolation.

Barnsley: Sahin-Radlinger 5; Williams 6, Diaby 7, Anderson 6, Odour 6 (McGeehan 83, -); Dougall 7, Bahre 5 (Thomas 31, 7), Mowatt 7; Woodrow 8, Brown 8, Chaplin 9

Subs not used: Sibbick, Thiam, Mottley-Henry, Marsh, Collins

Goals: Chaplin 7 (assisted Brown), 18 (assisted Mowatt), 52 (assisted Woodrow), Woodrow 60 (penalty won Woodrow), Diaby 82 (assisted Brown)

Bookings: Thomas 68 (foul), Brown 81 (retaliation), Dougall 84 (handball), Mowatt 85 (dissent)

QPR: Lumley 4; Kane 4, Hall 5, Leistner 4, Wallace 3 (Wells 56, 6); Eze 4, Cameron 4 (Chair 67, 6), Amos 5, Manning 4; Osayi-Samuel 5, Hugill 6

Subs not used: Smith, Pugh, Mlakar, Ball, Barnes

Goals: Amos 12 (assisted Hugill), 54 (assisted Manning), Chair 90+4 (assisted Osayi-Samuel)

Bookings: Chair 81 (foul), Wells 85 (retaliation), Hall 89 (foul)

Queens Park Rangers 1 Barnsley 0, Saturday February 2, 2018, Championship

QPR got their annual home win against Barnsley when these sides last met, at Loftus Road, in February 2018. A typically tired effort from two poor teams post Christmas was settled early in the second half when Josh Scowen smashed in his first goal for the R’s, against the club he’d left in the summer, from long range. The celebrations were oddly muted, as most of the crowd was still appealing for the latest blatant foul on Matt Smith in the penalty area a moment before.

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 7; Wszolek 6, Robinson 6; Scowen 7, Freeman 6, Cousins 6 (Manning 67, -); Washington 5 (Bidwell 90, -), Smith 5 (Osayi-Samuel 79, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Eze, Oteh

Goals: Scowen 48 (unassisted), Robinson 90+4 (foul)

Red Card: Manning 71 (killing a man to death)

Bookings: Cousins 5 (foul)

Barnsley: Townsend 6; Yiadom 6, Mills 6, Lindsay 6, Pinillos 6 (Mahoney 80, 6); Gardner 6, Williams 6, Hammill 6 (Hedges 68, 5); Moncur 7; Bradshaw 6, Moore 6 (McBurnie 68, 5)

Subs not used: Davies, Mallan, Pearson, Thiam

Bookings: Gardner 31 (foul)

Barnsley 1 Queens Park Rangers 1, Tuesday September 26, 2017, Championship

A game littered with long range shots at Oakwell in September that season finished with one each finding the net either side of half time. QPR couldn’t do a lot about Harvey Barnes’ first time curler in the twentieth minute but banged away at the door looking for an equaliser all second half before Luke Freeman scored from similar distance late on. Pawel Wszolek lifting the ball over the bar from a presentable position was probably the worst of the missed opportunities.

Barnsley: Davies; McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Freyers; Williams, Hammill, Moncur (McGeehan 71), Potts (Hedges 80); Barnes (Bradshaw 45), Ugbo

Subs not used: MacDonald, Townsend, Pearson, Thiam

Goals: Barnes 20 (unassisted)

Bookings: Williams 49 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 7, Caulker 6 (Smith 74, 5), Robinson 7, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6, Scowen 7, Freeman 7; Wszolek 4, Mackie 5 (Lua Lua 74, 5), Osayi-Samuel 4 (Washington 46, 5)

Subs not used: Lynch, Manning, Lumley, Wheeler

Goals: Freeman 86 (unassisted)

Bookings: Caulker 23 (foul), Luongo 39 (foul)

Queens Park Rangers 2 Barnsley 1, Tuesday March 3, 2017, Championship

QPR shaded an entertaining between these two sides at Loftus Road in March. Idrissa Sylla scored the opening goal of a flowing encounter quite by accident, sending the ball skidding into the net from 12 yards out while attempting to trap it. Yeni Ngbakoto forced a good save from visiting keeper Davies and James Perch hit the underside of the bar with a flying header but Josh Scowen went close for Barnsley and only a fine goal line clearance from Jake Bidwell kept out Adam Armstrong. The game looked up when MacDonald put Wszolek’s great cross through his own net but a mistake by Grant Hall let in sub Tom Bradshaw to set up a nervous finish.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6 (Furlong 48, 7), Onuoha 6, Hall 5, Bidwell 7; Luongo 7, Manning 7, Freeman 8; Wszolek 8 (Washington 70, 6), Sylla 7, Ngbakoto 6 (Morrison 87, -)

Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Doughty, Smith

Goals: Sylla 7, MacDonald og 66 (assisted Wszolek)

Bookings: Perch 14 (foul), Bidwell 83 (foul), Manning 86 (foul)

Barnsley: Davies 6; Yiadom 6, Roberts 6, MacDonald 6, Elder 5; Scowen 7, James 7, Mowatt 6 (Bradshaw 45, 7), Kent 6 (Hammill 77, 6); Watkins 6 (Hedges 73, 6), Armstrong 6

Subs not used: Moncur, Townsend, Jackson, Jones

Bookings: Hammill 85 (foul)

Barnsley 3 Queens Park Rangers 2, Wednesday August 17, 2016, Championship

Early season optimism sparked by two wins in the first two games was punctured at Oakwell as QPR blew a 2-1 lead to lose in the final 13 minutes against a bright, attacking, young Barnsley side. The hosts took an early lead through Marley Watkins but, although Rangers had hardly posed a goal threat at all for the first half of the game, penalties from Tjaronn Chery and Seb Polter gave them the lead with a quarter of an hour left to play. One spectacular Conor Hourihane free kick and a last minute Josh Scowen goal later and the game was up.

Barnsley: Davies NA; Bree 6; Roberts 6, Mawson 7, White 7; Kent 8; Scowen 7; Hourihane 8; Hammil 5; Watkins 6 (D’Almeida 82, -); Bradshaw 5 (Payne 63, 6)
Subs not used: Macdonald, Moncur, Lee, Townsend, Yiadom

Goals: Watkins 4 (assisted Hourihane/Roberts), Hourihane 77 (free kick won Hourihane, conceded Luongo), Scowen 89 (assisted Payne, mistake Hall)

Bookings: Roberts 46 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 4; Onuoha 7, Caulker 6, Hall 4, Bidwell 6; N’Gbakoto 6 (El Khayati 83, -), Henry 4, Luongo 5, Cousins 5 (Washington 91, -); Chery 7 ; Polter 7
Subs not used: Ingram, Perch, Petrasso, Shodipo, Kakay

Goals: Chery 47 (penalty, won Polter), Polter 75 (penalty, won N’Gbakoto)

Red Cards: Hall 90+5 (two bookings)

Bookings: Onuoha 90+3 (foul), Hall 61 (foul), 90+5 (foul)

Barnsley 2 Queens Park Rangers 3, Saturday May 3, 2014, Championship

Barnsley were already relegated and QPR already secure in the play-off zone when these sides met at Oakwell in May 2014. But any win on this ground isn't to be sniffed at for though QPR's home record against Barnsley is imperious, wins at Oakwell have been few and far between. This one looked like it was going to be simple enough when Charlie Austin banged on in and then home defender M'voto turned a Kevin Doyle cross into his own goal but Chris O'Grady halved the deficit after half time. A mazy run and emphatic finish had many wondering why Yun Suk Young hadn't seen more game time instead of the lazy Benoit Assou Ekotto, but Rangers were made to sweat for their win by another O'Grady goal, this time lashed home from long range, in injury time.

Barnsley: Steele 6; Kennedy 6, Ramage 6, Cranie 6, M'voto 5 (Bree 72, 6); O'Brien 6, Dawson 6 (Hassell 80, -), Jennings 6, Cywka 6 (Noble-Lazarus 72, 5), Rose 5, O’Grady 7

Subs not used: Dibble, Oates, Boakye-Yiadom, Cowgill

Goals: O’Grady 54 (assisted Jennings), 90 (unassisted)

QPR: Green 6; Hughes 6, Donaldson 6, Onuoha 7, Suk-Young 7; Henry 7, O’Neil 5; Benayoun 6 (Petrasso 76, 6), Doyle 6, Traore 6 (Kranjcar 57, 6); Austin 6 (Keane 57, 5)

Subs not used: Carroll, Hoilett, Murphy, Gibbons

Goals: Austin 42 (assisted Traore), Mvoto og 43 (assisted Doyle), Suk-Young 68 (unassisted)

QPR 2 Barnsley 0, Saturday October 5, 2013, Championship

QPR cruised to a routine win against relegation haunted Barnsley at Loftus Road at the start of October that season. It was only thanks to the heroics of visiting keeper Jack Butland that the R’s weren’t in front at half time – he saved well with his feet from Charlie Austin and then sprang up to block the rebound from Ale Faurlin. But the England youth international was beaten by Austin just after the hour after Junior Hoilett had dribbled in from the left flank and forced the issue with a low cross. The game was sealed by Austin from the penalty spot after he had dribbled around Stephen Foster and forced a foul.

QPR: Green 6; Simpson 7, Dunne 7, Hill 7, Assou Ekotto 6; Carroll 7, Barton 7, Kranjcar 6 (Chevanton 88, -), O’Neil 7 (Henry 81, -), Faurlin 6 (Hoilett 62, 8); Austin 8

Subs not used: Traore, Ehmer, Jenas, Murphy

Goals: Austin 66 (assisted Hoilett), 85 (penalty – won Austin)

Barnsley: Butland 7; Cranie 6, Ramage 6 (Hassel 67, 6), Wiseman 6, Kennedy 6; Mellis 6 (Cywka 71, 6), Perkins 5, Fox 6, McCourt 7; Scotland 4 (Pedersen 54, 5), O’Grady 5

Subs not used: Noble-Lazarus, Dawson, Etuhu, O’Brien

Bookings: Mellis 59 (foul), Perkins 63 (foul)

QPR 4 Barnsley 0, Saturday August 7, 2010, Championship

Neil Warnock's QPR side started their march to the Championship title with a convincing 4-0 win against Barnsley on the opening day of the 2010/11 season – although the scoreline didn't quite tell the full story. Debutant goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, perhaps a little rusty after a year out with a drugs ban and nervous having only just arrived from Sheffield United, dropped a routine cross in his six yard box on the stroke of half time which should really have seen Barnsley go in at the break level. Then after half time Fitz Hall inexplicably punched a ball clear inside his own area but referee James Linnington failed to award a penalty kick. To exacerbate the visitors' frustration two of QPR's four goals came from the spot – Adel Taarabt was obviously fouled during a typically mesmeric run in the first half and Heidar Helguson converted, then in the second the Moroccan took responsibility and made it 3-0 although had Linnington played on through a foul on Helguson the ball had ended up in the net anyway. Between those two goals Jamie Mackie had scored his first for the club when goalkeeper Luke Steele fumbled the ball at the worst possible moment, and Hall swept in a fourth from a low Hogan Ephraim cross with nine minutes remaining.

QPR Kenny 5, Orr 7, Hall 6, Gorkss 7, Hill 7, Ephraim 7,Derry 7 (Leigertwood 79, 6), Faurlin 7, Taarabt 8 (Parker 77, 6),Helguson 7 (German 83, 5), Mackie 7

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Clarke, Connolly, Borrowdale

Booked: Orr (tripping)

Goals: Helguson 41 (penalty, assisted Taarabt), Mackie 53 (assisted Ephraim), Taarabt 63 (penalty, assisted Helguson), Hall 81 (assisted Ephraim)

Barnsley Steele 5, Hassell 2, Shackell 5, Foster 4, McEveley 2,Hammill 6 (Neumann 76, 5), Doyle 5, Lovre 5 (Butterfield 86, -),Devaney 5 (Hume 46, 6), Colace 7, Gray 6

Subs Not Used: Preece, Dickinsone, Boulding, Potter

Booked: Foster (foul, penalty concession), McEveley (professional foul)

Barnsley 0 QPR 1, Tuesday April 12, 2011, Championship

Things were very different by the time the two teams met again in April. QPR eventually built a 19 match unbeaten run at the start of the season and had led the division pretty much since day one, but a 4-1 defeat at lowly Scunthorpe on the Saturday before a trip to Oakwell hinted at a few jitters starting to set in. When Adel Taarabt scored a fine first from long range in the very first minute of the game all seemed well with the world, but the match turned into a backs to the wall effort from that point on with Kaspars Gorkss particularly impressive in the face of 89 minutes of Barnsley attacking and a truly horrific display from match referee Tony Bates. Barnsley hit the post twice, including once through Jacob Butterfield from long range in injury time at the end of the game, and had two very decent penalty appeals for handball waved away.

Barnsley: Steele 6, Trippier 7, McShane 5, Shackell 7, Hill 6 (McEveley 77, 5), Mellis 6 (Clark 77, 6), Doyle 6, Butterfield 7, Haynes 6, Harewood 5, Gray 6 (Noble-Lazarus 82, -)

Subs Not Used: Preece, Foster, Arismendi, O'Brien

Booked: Butterfield (foul)

QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 7, Gorkss 8, Connolly 7, Hill 7, Derry 6, Faurlin 6, Routledge 6, Taarabt 6 (Ephraim 69, 6), Smith 6, Helguson 7

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Buzsaky, Agyemang, Hulse, Miller, Shittu

Booked: Taarabt (foul/reaction)

Goals: Taarabt 1 (assisted Routledge)

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 28 >>> Draws 11 >>> Barnsley wins 18

2020/21 Barnsley 3 QPR 0

2019/20 QPR 0 Barnsley 1

2019/20 Barnsley 5 QPR 3 (Amos 2, Chair)

2017/18 QPR 1 Barnsley 0 (Scowen)

2017/18 Barnsley 1 QPR 1 (Freeman)

2016/17 QPR 2 Barnsley 1 (Sylla, MacDonald og)

2016/17 Barnsley 3 QPR 2 (Chery, Polter)

2013/14 Barnsley 2 QPR 3 (Austin, Mvoto og, Suk Young)

2013/14 QPR 2 Barnsley 0 (Austin 2)

2010/11 Barnsley 0 QPR 1 (Taarabt)

2010/11 QPR 4 Barnsley 0 (Helguson, Mackie, Taarabt, Hall)

2009/10 Barnsley 0 QPR 1 (Leigertwood)

2009/10 QPR 5 Barnsley 2 (Buzsaky 2, Leigertwood, Watson, Simpson)

2008/09 Barnsley 2 QPR 1 (Delaney)

2008/09 QPR 2 Barnsley 1 (Hall 2)

2007/08 Barnsley 0 QPR 0

2007/08 QPR 2 Barnsley 0 (Vine, Agyemang)

2006/07 Barnsley 2 QPR 0

2006/07 QPR 1 Barnsley 0 (Rowlands)

2003/04 Barnsley 3 QPR 3 (Furlong 2, Kay og)

2003/04 QPR 4 Barnsley 0 (Gallen, Rowlands, Ainsworth, Thorpe)

2002/03 QPR 1 Barnsley 0 (Pacquette)

2002/03 Barnsley 1 QPR 0

2000/01 QPR 2 Barnsley 0 (Kiwomya, Crouch)

2000/01 Barnsley 4 QPR 2 (Kiwomya 2)

1999/00 Barnsley 1 QPR 1 (Rose)

1999/00 QPR 2 Barnsley 2 (Darlington, Steiner)

1998/99 Barnsley 1 QPR 0

1998/99 QPR 2 Barnsley 1 (Langley,Gallen)

1996/97 QPR 3 Barnsley 2* (Peacock, Spencer, Sinclair)

1996/97 QPR 3 Barnsley 1 (Spencer 3)

1996/97 Barnsley 1 QPR 3 (Barker, Perry, Dichio)

1982/83 QPR 3 Barnsley 0 (Gregory, Sealy, Flanagan)

1982/83 Barnsley 0 QPR 1 (Allen)

1981/82 Barnsley 3 QPR 0

1981/82 QPR 1 Barnsley 0 (Flanagan)

1964/65 QPR 3 Barnsley 2 (Bedford 3)

1964/65 Barnsley 0 QPR 0

1963/64 QPR 2 Barnsley 2 (Bedford 2)

1963/64 Barnsley 3 QPR 1 (Bedford)

1962/63 Barnsley 0 QPR 0

1962/63 QPR 2 Barnsley 1 (Large 2)

1961/62 QPR 3 Barnsley 0 (Bedford, Keen, Evans)

1961/62 Barnsley 2 QPR 4 (Bedford, Angell, Towers, Evans)

1960/61 QPR 4 Barnsley 2 (Bedford, Andrews, Evans, Keen)

1960/61 Barnsley 3 QPR 3 (Whitfield 2, Bedford)

1959/60 QPR 1 Barnsley 0 (Andrews)

1959/60 Barnsley 2 QPR 1 (Bedford)

1951/52 QPR 1 Barnsley 1 (Smith)

1951/52 Barnsley 3 QPR 1 (Hatton)

1950/51 QPR 2 Barnsley 1 (Waugh, Smith)

1950/51 Barnsley 7 QPR 0

1949/50 QPR 0 Barnsley 5

1949/50 Barnsley 3 QPR 1 (Addinall)

1948/49 Barnsley 4 QPR 0

1948/49 QPR 2 Barnsley 2 (Addinall 2)

1909/10 Barnsley 1 QPR 0*

* - FA Cup

Connections

Mike Sheron >>> QPR 1997-1999 >>> Barnsley 1999-2003

After relegation in 1996, QPR’s attempt to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt had fallen flat. Under the new ownership of multi-millionaire Chris Wright they’d held onto their star attraction Trevor Sinclair despite dipping out of the top flight, and supplemented him with big money purchases John Spencer and Gavin Peacock from Chelsea who both hit the ground running in W12. But the controversial early season departure of player manager Ray Wilkins, dithering on squad improvements when money was available by his replacement Stewart Houston, and the uneasy dynamic created by Houston bringing his former Arsenal boss Bruce Rioch across with him in a role reversal as assistant meant a talented Rangers team could only finish eighth in the First Division. A gross underachievement for the talent available.

The pressure was on Houston and Rioch to secure promotion in their first full season in charge, and by and large they turned to their former Highbury stable to do it. Matthew Rose and Lee Harper both moved from North London while Steve Morrow joined towards the end of the previous season, controversially replacing 20-year club veteran Alan McDonald who was denied a chance to finish his career as a one club man and instead, disgracefully, was allowed to join Swindon Town on a free transfer. The big target of the summer, however, was Stoke City striker Mike Sheron, a player Houston felt would guarantee promotion if added to a forward line that had lost Danny Dichio at the end of his contract but still included the prolific Spencer and a returning Kevin Gallen who’d missed almost all of the previous campaign with a knee ligament explosion sustained while scoring a late August winner at Portsmouth live on Sky.

It was, in hindsight, an early example of QPR chasing a bright, shiny flavour of the month against all logic. Sheron was a decent player. He’d had four years in the top flight with Man City after graduating from trainee status, making 98 starts and 24 sub appearances in Sky Blue. Fellow top flight outfit Norwich City paid £1m for him in 1994 and another 38 appearances came for the Carrow Road outfit before a half million pound switch to Stoke in the First Division in 1995. He was, however, never a particularly prolific scorer of goals. His 122 outings for City brought 29, one every four and a bit games, or 11.5 goals in a standard 46-game league season. He got seven in his single season at Norwich, one every five and a bit games, just over nine if averaged out across 46 matches.

It was only at Stoke, and more specifically only the 1996/97 season at Stoke, and more specifically still only the first half of the 1996/97 season at Stoke, that he hit a particular purple patch. He scored 23 goals in 46 appearances that season, way above any previous average he’d managed and his total by the time he left the Potteries was 39 goals in 72 starts and five sub appearances. A big chunk of all of that, however, came in the first few months of that First Division season. He scored six in his first five games, ten in his first ten, and by Boxing Day when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Barnsley he was already on 18 for the season. In the second half of the campaign, immediately prior to joining QPR, he bagged five in 20 games, which was the sort of form he’d displayed throughout his entire career prior.

Nevertheless, he was Houston’s man, and Stoke were able to extract a club record fee of £2.35m for his services from the newly monied Rangers. By way of comparison, across London that same summer, Charlton Athletic paid just £700,000 to Grimsby Town for another First Division striker Clive Mendonca. He’d been prolific for years, scoring 31 goals in 84 starts for Rotherham before bagging 66 in 181 starts and six sub apps in Grimsby colours. From 1992 to 1997 Mendonca had shown himself a player capable of consistently maintaining an average better than a goal every three appearances in the second tier. Charlton would go on to win promotion to the Premier League in the 1997/98 season, Mendonca scored 28 times in 46 appearances including a hat trick in the play-off final victory against Sunderland.

QPR, meanwhile, began to crash and burn. It started well for Houston in 1997/98, with four straight wins through September culminating in a midweek home victory against Portsmouth which put the R’s second in the table. But they won one of the next nine and two of the next 14 and Houston was dismissed. The early pace setters that year were West Brom, but their manager Ray Harford was not tied down to a long term contract and, like Houston before him, couldn’t believe that a team with Gallen, Spencer and Sheron to pick from up front couldn’t win promotion from the First Division. He’d promised Nick Blackburn and the QPR board as much after the Baggies’ 2-0 defeat at Loftus Road in September and talked himself into the hotseat in West London once the vacancy arose. A Valentines Day return to the Hawthorns for a 1-1 draw later that season won’t be quickly forgotten by any Rangers fan who ran the gauntlet that day.

It was becoming clear that QPR were working themselves into trouble. The early splurge, and a succession of enormous contracts handed out to promising academy graduates like Mario Lusardi and Michael Currie, hamstrung the club financially. Things unravelled so fast that when Mark Kennedy arrived on loan from Liverpool later that year and transformed the team, the club couldn’t afford to pay the £1m to keep him permanently at the end of the month-long loan spell. Harford scratched around for signings like Tony Scully, George Kulscar and Ian Barraclough, and the team went into a deep nose dive. It stayed up on draws. From a 2-0 loss at Port Vale on September 27, QPR won only four more games all season out of 40 league and cup games. With Vinnie Jones and Neil Ruddock drafted in late, they secured survival with six consecutive draws through March and April culminating in the dramatic Jamie Pollock 2-2 which sent City down instead. A 5-0 win against Middlesbrough, 11 games out from the end of the season, proved to be the final win that term.

Sheron scored against Boro and City. He also bagged two late goals to drag Rangers back from 2-0 down to draw a televised Good Friday clash at high flying Sunderland. He was seen as a failure, an expensive flop who struggled to cope with the pressure of the price tag and what was expected of him, but in actual fact his final total of 11 goals in 41 games (playing in a dreadful team) was exactly what we should have expected from him looking across his career stats. He’d been that sort of Dexter Blackstock-type dozen-goals-a-season man for the first seven years of his career, had one purple patch at Stoke, and was now back to scoring 11 times a season again.

In another year of struggle for Rangers in 1998/99 he started sluggishly, came reasonably good around November with seven goals in 14 games, and was then sold for a reported fee of £1.5m and a considerable financial loss to Barnsley in January where he scored twice in 17 appearances through to the end of the season. In 1998/99, from 44 league and cup appearances for two second tier clubs, Mike Sheron scored, you’ve guessed it, 11 times.

And so that average continued. He stayed with Barnsley for four years, making 172 appearances and scoring 40 goals (a goal every 4.3 games, 10.6 goals in a 46 game season). He spent the 2003/04 season in the Second Division at Blackpool, making a debut at Loftus Road in sweltering conditions on the opening day when the Tangerines (ill-advisedly wearing all-black in 100 degrees) were beaten 5-0 by Ian Holloway’s promotion-bound R’s. Despite not scoring at all in his first 18 games for Steve McMahon’s side, Mike Sheron finished that season with 50 appearances to his name. And 11 goals.

The 2004/05 campaign was spent a division lower with Macclesfield where 40 outings yielded… six goals. God you’ve no idea how much I wanted that to be 11 as well. The point stands though. Sheron isn’t fondly remembered at Loftus Road, was seen as an expensive mistake, lamented as our last role of the big-money dice before the financial walls closed in on the club, and is viewed as somebody who under performed and let us down somehow. The simple, mathematical fact is QPR bought a 10-12 goal a season striker in Mike Sheron and that’s exactly what he turned out to be for them, and three other clubs after us. We’d been blinded by a hot streak at Stoke into thinking he was something else, a mistake we’d be destined to repeat more than a decade later with Peterborough;s Conor Washington.

Sheron finished his playing career with brief stints at Shrewsbury and Warrington Town, and is now coaching in the youth set up at Blackburn Rovers.

Others >>> Josh Scowen, QPR 2017-2020, Barnsley 2015-2017 >>> Cole Kpekawa, Barnsley 2016-2017, QPR 2014-2016 >>> Peter Ramage, Barnsley (loan) 2014-2015, (loan) 2013, QPR 2008-2012 >>> Martin Cranie, Barnsley 2012-2015, QPR (loan) 2007 >>> Neil Warnock, QPR (manager) 2010-2012, Barnsley 1976-1978 >>> Akos Buszaky, Barnsley (loan) 2012, QPR 2008-2012 >>> Matt Hill, Barnsley 2010-2011, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Tommy Williams, QPR (loan) 2009, (loan) 2002-2003, Barnsley 2004-2005 >>> Jamie Cureton, Barnsley (loan) 2008-2009, QPR 2004-2005 >>> Chris Barker, QPR 2007-2008, Barnsley 1999-2002 >>> Leon Knight, Barnsley 2006-2007, QPR (loan) 2001 >>> Daniel Nardiello, Barnsley 2005-2007, (loan) 2008, QPR 2007-2008 >>> John Curtis, Barnsley (loan) 1999-2000, QPR 2007 >>> Kevin Gallen, QPR 2001-2007, 1994-2000, Barnsley 2001 >>> Nigel Spackman, Barnsley (manager) 2001, QPR 1989 >>> Ian Evans, Barnsley 1979-1983, QPR 1970-1974 >>> Peter Springett, Barnsley 1975-1980, QPR 1962-1967

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