QUEENS Park Rangers travelled to Ninian Park in a commanding position in the Littlewoods Cup.
Queens Park Rangers travelled to Ninian Park in a commanding position in the Littlewoods Cup.
Teams: Cardiff City v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Tuesday October 12, 1988.
Competition: Littlewoods Cup Second Round (Second Leg)
Venue: Ninian Park, Cardiff
Loftus Road was once again in the midst of transition with any losing visitors’ excuse, the plastic pitch, being pulled up, and once again replaced by grass.
There was some sad news as Chairman David Bullstrode suddenly passed away, and he was replaced by the youngest Chairman in the league, Richard Thompson at the age of 24.
Rangers had one foot in the third round of the League Cup following their commanding 3-0 victory in the corresponding fixture against Cardiff City at Loftus Road.
Goals from Trevor Francis, Wayne Fereday and Martin Allen secured the win over the Bluebirds, then a Third Division outfit.
Since defeating the Welsh outfit at Loftus Road, Rangers lost back to back games away to Millwall (2-3) and at home to Nottingham Forest (1-2), as they embarked on their trip down to South Wales.
Cardiff had played three home fixtures in a row since defeat at Loftus Road, drawing at home to Bristol Rovers (2-2) before losing out against Reading (1-2). They also played in the European Cup Winners Cup, thrashing Derry City 4-0 in the First Round.
Rangers made three changes from the side that were defeated by Nottingham Forest, but nevertheless named a strong line-up for the Cup tie.
There was a defensive reshuffle with Mark Dennis dropping out and Danny Maddix, Alan McDonald and Paul Parker all part of a stern unit at the back.
Martin Allen and Dean Coney also made way with the trio of Simon Barker, Mark Falco and Mark Stein stepping into the fold alongside veteran Trevor Francis.
A shock was on the cards in the early stages, when the Third Division strugglers took the lead in only the seventh minute as former Welsh international Alan Curtis bent a 30-yard free-kick beyond the despairing dive of Nicky Johns.
It sparked hope for the 2,692 crowd that the Bluebirds could pull off a massive upset and redress the three goal balance.
Any hopes were extinguished when Mark Stein nodded home from close range just three minutes later to level matters on the night and give Rangers an unassailable lead on aggregate.
Trevor Francis was mercurial for Rangers in leading the front-line, oozing class and creativity as he helped but the hosts to the sword in the second period.
It was Paul Parker’s cross which created the opportunity for Mark Falco to give Rangers the lead on the night, before Danny Maddix’s goal on the hour made it 3-1 on the evening.
There was still time for Falco to claim his brace after prodding home the ball from close Rangers to sew up a convincing Cup win, as the rain poured over Ninian Park.
QPR progressed to the Quarter Final of the competition beating Charlton Athletic and Wimbledon before losing out to the educated fee of Lee Chapman at Nottingham Forest.
The striker bagged four goals in a 5-2 win for the Reds with Mark Stein and David Kerslake bagging consolations for the R’s.
In the league QPR saw manager Jim Magilton resign to take up the post at Newcastle United, who finished bottom of the First Division.
Despite a rocky period under caretaker boss Peter Shreeves then player/manager Trevor Francis, the striker led Rangers to 9th place with eight wins in 12 contributing to a positive finish.
Cardiff City were knocked out of the Cup Winners Cup by AGF Aarhus over two games and Frank Burrows’ men rounded off the season in 16th place in the Third Division.
He was replaced the following season by returning boss Len Ashurst who had left the Bluebirds to manage Sunderland in 1984.
Final Score: Cardiff City 1(0)-4(7) Queens Park Rangers
Cardiff City: Wood, Perry, Abrahams, Morgan, Stevenson, Boyle, Curtis, Bartlett, Gilligam, Wheeler, Fry.
Queens Park Rangers: Johns, Barker, Maguire, Parker, McDonald, Maddix, Falco, Francis (Coney), Fereday, Stein, Brock (Kerslake).
To read the full catalogue Click Here >>>
Have your say on The Forum
Follow us on Twitter
Become our friend on Facebook – Add Vital Queens Park Rangers