FOLLOWING the disappointment of ‘Black September` Rangers picked themselves up to travel to Portman Road, one of the division`s toughest grounds.
Teams: Ipswich Town v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday 16th October 1999.
Competition: Nationwide League Division One
Venue: Portman Road, Ipswich.
Rangers came into the game of the back of the aforementioned “Black September” whereby the R`s only played two games due a bout of serious illness within the squad.
George Kulcsar was admitted to hospital suffering from a non-fatal strain of viral meningitis, causing the training ground to be shut off for an extended period.
Back to back defeats in September were quashed by a decent home point against Blackburn Rovers before beating Tranmere Rovers 2-1. Rangers hadn`t been victorious on the road since November 1998 – nearly a full year.
Ipswich came into the game off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat away at Grimsby Town, but in their five home games previous they had only been defeated once, Birmingham City the benefactors on that occasion.
The tractor boys beat table toppers Manchester City, amongst four other excellent wins including the 6-1 trouncing of Barnsley.
The outlook for proceedings was bleak when Matthew Holland handed Ipswich a third minute lead, but Rangers stirred by an invigorated Chris Kiwomya came back into the encounter, and how!
The R`s had two goals disallowed before the former Ipswich forward slotting a sublime through ball for Gavin Peacock, whose expertly timed chip beat Richard Wright to hand Rangers the equaliser.
Rangers were given a helping hand by referee Paul Danson, when he gave Jim Magilton his marching orders. Peacock was shielding the ball on the floor when Magilton came in all guns blazing, and proceeded to kick lumps out of R`s midfielder. Unsurprisingly Mr Danson brandished the red.
Manuel Thetis` weak backpass was capitalised on by Stuart Wardley just after the hour mark, and he netted to hand Rangers a deserved lead. Kiwomya was in the thick of the action once more as his shot rebounded off Richard Wright for Rob Steiner to net from close range.
Rangers were attacking at will, pushing forward in numbers and the R`s rounded off the scoring with Kiwomya once again integral in the build up. His scything ball through for Rob Steiner saw the Swede round the keeper to slot home, as the Rangers rout was rounded off in style.
Ipswich had the last laugh as George Burley`s cantered to the Premier League by beating Bolton Wanderers and then Barnsley to win the playoffs in style.
QPR by contrast managed to finish an eventful season in tenth, a full ten points off a playoffs place.
Final Score: Ipswich Town 1-4 Queens Park Rangers
QPR: Harper, Baraclough, Ready, Maddix (Murray), Breacker, Langley, Darlington, Wardley, Peacock (Gallen), Kiwomya, (Rowland), Steiner.
Ipswich: Wright, Croft (Stockwell), Thetis, McGreal, Venus, Wright, Holland, Magilton, Clapham, Johnson (Naylor), Scowcroft.
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