HIGH-flying QPR travelled to Sheffield more in hope than expectation despite their lofty league position.
Teams: Sheffield Wednesday v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday 14th November, 1981
Competition: Football League Division Two
Venue: Hillsborough, Sheffield.
Perhaps not the most obvious of options for great games against Sheffield Wednesday, but nevertheless very important as Rangers recorded their first ever win at Hillsborough at the tenth time of asking.
Rangers travelled to Sheffield undefeated in six games, off the back of a League Cup victory at home to Bristol City. Mike Flanagan and Simon Stainrod were banging in the goals for fun as QPR ascended into third in the second division, eight points behind leaders Luton Town.
Jack Charlton`s Sheffield Wednesday were reeling after some indifferent form in the league. Heavy defeats again Leyton Orient, Charlton Athletic and Wrexham were balanced out with an impressive 3-0 away win to leaders Luton Town.
Wednesday themselves were one place below the R`s on the same points, as this top of the table clash promised free flowing attacking football.
That is proved to be on a heavy pitch at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday fan Simon Stainrod put his boyhood club to the sword with an excellently taken hatrick.
The forward signed for Rangers from Oldham Athletic for £300,000, and took apart the side he supported in what is described as five minutes of mayhem before the half time break.
Two well taken efforts by Stainrod in a brief five minute period before the break asserted Rangers dominance on the game. Following half time the game was sewn up with Stainrod nodding home his and Rangers third.
Out of the blue Gary Bannister nodded home from a Williams cross, but it was merely a consolation as high-flying Rangers confounded the odds to take home all three points in Sheffield.
After the final whistle Stainrod spoke of his emotional day,
He said: “It`s the most unbelievable feeling to score a hatrick here.
“I was heart-broken when Wednesday didn`t want me as a boy. And I went to Sheffield United instead.
“The great thing is this win puts us right up there and I think we can win promotion now.”
Terry Venables` men couldn`t achieve the feat of promotion, with their cup exploits catching up with them as they finished fifth, two points off third placed Norwich City. The R`s did reach the FA Cup final that season, losing eventually in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur.
While Simon Stainrod did get his spell however fleeting at his boyhood side, scoring two goals in 15 appearances in 1985. Wednesday`s goalscorer that day went on to sign for QPR, Gary Bannister ended up scoring 56 goals in 136 appearances over a four year spell in W12.
Sheffield Wednesday ended up having the last laugh by finished a point and place above Queens Park Rangers, however they were pipped to the post by Norwich City.
Final Score: Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield Wednesday: Bolder, Mirocevic (Pearson 32), Sterland, Megson, Pickering, Matthewson, Taylor, Bannister, McCulloch, Curran, Williamson.
Queens Park Rangers: Burridge, Gregory, Fenwick, Waddock, Howe, Roeder, Micklewhite, Flanagan, Allen (Hazell 73), Stainrod, Gillard.
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