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QPR's epic 1990 FA Cup run - History
Tuesday, 25th Sep 2018 09:08 by Clive Whittingham

QPR played nine FA Cup ties in 1989/90 before finally going out in the sixth round to Liverpool. The remarkable run included a double replay with tonight's opponents Blackpool.

Memorable Match

Blackpool 2 QPR 2, Sunday February 18, 1990, FA Cup Fifth Round

Don Howe’s QPR side reached the sixth round of the FA Cup in 1989/90, but it took them a remarkable nine games to do it with every tie going to at least one replay.

Rounds three and four followed the same pattern of a 0-0 draw away followed by a 2-0 win back at Loftus Road. Third Division Cardiff went first, beaten at the second attempt with goals from Ray Wilkins and Roy Wegerle. Rangers then ground their way through a goalless draw against Arsenal at Highbury before beating the Gunners in one of the great nights at Loftus Road – Kenny Sansom breaking the deadlock with an absolute screamer against his former club.

That set up a fifth round tie with another Third Division side, Blackpool. They’d come in at the first round stage and already beaten Bolton, Chester, Burnley and Torquay to make it this far and thousands of Rangers fans made the trip to the north west to see if their side could be the ones to beat them and move through to the quarter final.

This was a great QPR side. In David Seaman, Paul Parker, Andy Sinton, Wilkins and Sansom it had five past, current or future England internationals among its number along with Northern Ireland stalwarts Colin Clarke and Alan McDonald and the club’s first £1m player Roy Wegerle. A young Les Ferdinand began to emerge towards the end of the campaign.

But they had all on with Blackpool who belied fixture pile up and a mounting injury crisis to take an early lead when David Eyres cross tempted Seaman from his line and a young Paul Groves headed his first of the season into the empty net. It looked like they might hold that lead at least through until half time but in the last minute of the first half Andy Sinton dribbled his own cleared corner back into the danger zone, cut the ball back from the byline and Clarke turned in the equaliser at the near post.

Rangers took the lead for the first time in the game when Clarke ran through in the right channel and chipped the advancing goalkeeper for his second of the game and sixth of the season – though the home side were adamant Andy Garner had been fouled by Alan McDonald at the other end of the field when the move began.

Blackpool would get their replay though. David Eyres, a summer signing from Rhyl, equalised on the hour having been set up by Garner and just about got the ball out of his feet well enough to beat Seaman with a deflected effort.

Rangers were booed off at Loftus Road in that first replay, which finished 0-0, before finally finishing the tie at the third attempt, winning 3-0 with goals from Sinton, Sansom and Barker in a game also played at Loftus Road thanks to the toss of a coin. That set up a quarter final with Liverpool which also went to a replay, Barker and Wilkins scoring in a 2-2 at Loftus Road before the R’s finally succumbed 1-0 at Anfield.

Message Board memories…

“Had a great weekend in Blackpool, couldn’t get into any of the big clubs as they made them ticket only and ended up in a small one on the outskirts of town and had a great evening. Also it was the biggest fuck up ever on the ticketing, they went on sale on a Sunday morning to season ticket holders and members but allowed people to buy a membership on that Sunday and get tickets, the queue went right up South Africa Road, had one mate who didn’t get one as he couldn’t get to HQ that day and he didn’t give us his card so we couldn’t get him one. They did indeed toss a coin for the second replay. I was sweating on that a bit as I went to every game that season home and away and was running out of holiday at work for the midweek away games, had to throw a sickie for the Liverpool replay in the 1/4 final which was shown live on TV and was spotted by workmates several times.” – Loftboy

“They tossed the coin on the pitch after the first replay finished. The ref tossed the coin and those of us who stayed behind saw Razor point down at the pitch to tell us that we were back at HQ for the next one. Blackpool's players came all the way down to the Loft at the end of the second replay as well. Got a huge ovation. I was 20, my Rangers were going to Wembley, and all was right with the world.” – Brian McCarthy

“Turned up for the second replay at just about kick off time. As we were at that end and didn’t want to walk round to the Loft my dad and I went into the Blackpool end. Soon got rumbled by the fans and spent the match watching the goals and as a youngling, eating the fan's sweets and drinking cans of pop they brought me. They were top fellas, and didn’t have to be so nice to a rival fan but they were great. I’ve liked them ever since and feel sorry for them over their owner chairman problems.” RangersDave

“This was quite a memorable cup tie. I was at both the home games. The first home replay was an awful game ending 0-0. We were none too happy at QPRs performance and let them know at the end of the game. The Blackpool players were down at the away end thanking their fans and as they made their way back to the tunnel were given a great ovation by the QPR fans that were still in the ground. The feeling was that they, as the lower division side and heavy underdogs, had put in the type of effort we wanted to see from our own team. When Blackpool came out for the second replay they made a point of applauding the Loft end and other QPR sections as a thank for the reception we gave them after the previous game. This one went much more as you might have expected with QPR winning comfortably.” – SydneyRs

“Had we got anybody other than bloody Liverpool in that sixth round draw (I'm still old school and refer to it as the sixth round as it always was, not the quarter final) I'm sure we'd have got to the final that year. For interest, the other six teams; Man U, Sheff U, Oldham, Villa, Palace, Cambridge.” -CamberleyR

“Yeah typical Rangers getting Liverpool, but we gave them a proper fright and could have won
People go on about the teams of 92,93,94 but that Rangers team of 1990 is my favourite of all time as well as that season – Seamen, Sinton , Butch , Parker, Macca, Barker was in the form of his life and should have got a call up for England , Falco doing the donkey work , Wegerle being our first million pound signing , the brief but exciting Paul Wright. Add in gentlemen Don Howe as manager as well as the greatest kit ever in Influence. We also stuffed arsenal in the league and cup, thrashed Chelsea 4-2 , Spurs 3-1 , Liverpool 3-2 , Forest 2-0. That team deserved a trophy , we were so good.” – PaulParker

“What a team we had then. Two current England internationals, two ex England internationals and two future England internationals. Then there were two Norn Iron internationals. A drunken weekend in Morecambe, dancing round the pile of handbags on the dance floor in the local dive....erm nightclub.” -Smegma

QPR: Seman; Bardsley, McDonald, Maddix, Parker, Sansom; Barker, Wilkins, Sinton; Wegerle, Clarke

Recent Meetings:

QPR 1 Blackpool 1, Saturday March 29, 2018, Championship

Promotion chasing QPR were held 1-1 at Loftus Road by relegation haunted Blackpool when these sides last met in March 2018. This was the ball aching bit of that season when the automatic promotion hopes had gone, but the play-off spot was secured, and Rangers rather bumbled through a couple of months of football with Will Keane and Mobido Maiga barely doing passable impressions of footballers covering for the injured Charlie Austin. An early scrambled David Goodwillie goal put the visitors in front early on and set up 80 minutes of frustration as Rangers, and Ravel Morrison in particular, peppered Matt Gilks’ goal from all angles before finally equalising in some style through Junior Hoilett. Maiga, typically, missed a late sitter to win it.

QPR: Green 5; Hughes 5 (Simpson 39, 7), Dunne 6, Onuoha 6 (Hoilett 45, 6), Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 5; Henry 6, Carroll 6; Morrison 7, Keane 5, Zamora 6 (Maiga 65, 5)

Subs not used: Suk-Young, Murphy, Petrasso, O’Neil

Goals: Hoilett 78 (unassisted)

Blackpool: Gilks 7; McMahon 6, Cathcart 6, Mackenzie 7, Robinson 6; Foley 5, Basham 5 (Bishop 55, 6), Perkins 6, Halliday 6 (Martinez 82, -); Goodwillie 6 Vellios 6 (Barkhuizen 67, 6)

Subs not used: Haroun, McGahey, Grandin, Earnshaw

Goals: Goodwillie 9 (assisted Halliday)

Bookings: Basham 34 (foul)

Blackpool 0 QPR 2, Saturday December 14, 2013, Championship

QPR won by two clear goals in end of days conditions at Bloomfield Road back in December that season. It was probably Harry Redknapp’s finest hour this season as a lacklustre first half performance was turned around completely by second half substitutions – notably the introduction of Niko Kranjcar for Gary O’Neil. The Croatian calmed QPR down and made light of the driving rain and heavy pitch to inspire an excellent second half performance. Matt Phillips scored from long range against his former club to open the scoring – goalkeeper Matt Gilks was probably disappointed to concede so weakly – and then he crossed for Charlie Austin to thump home a second with his head. Not the first or last time that season half time changes had been required to get QPR into the shape they probably should have been in to start with had we bothered to do any scouting of the opposition beforehand.

Blackpool: Gilks 7; Basham 6, Broadfoot 6, Cathcart 6, Robinson 6; Osbourne 6 (Barkhuizen 72, 6), Ferguson 6, Gosling 6; Ince 6, Delfouneso 5 (Grant 80, -), Davies 6 (Chopra 68, 5)

Subs not used: Warner, Dobbie, Blackett, Harris

QPR: Green 7; Simpson 6, Dunne 7, Hill 6 (Onuoha 45, 7), Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 6, Barton 6; Phillips 7, Jenas 6 (Henry 84, -), O’Neil 5 (Kranjcar 54, 7); Austin 7

Subs not used: Traore, Chevanton, Hoilett Murphy

Goals: Phillips 61 (unassisted), Austin 73 (assisted Phillips)

Blackpool 2 QPR 2, Saturday January 16, 2010, Championship

QPR were in disarray when they visited Bloomfield Road in 2010, under the caretaker/permanent charge of manager Mick Harford following Paul Hart’s resignation after just a month with the club. Harford was Rangers’ third manager of the season already and League One was starting to look a distinct possibility for the R’s who had won just two of the previous 12 games. When Charlie Adam scored after nine minutes from a Barry Bannan assist a familiar story seemed ready to play out but when referee Trevor Kettle uncharacteristically awarded Rangers a generous penalty after half time for a dubious handball by Alex Baptiste, Adel Taarabt was on hand to cheekily chip the London side leve. Gary Taylor Fletcher struck what seemed certain to be the winner through a crowded penalty box 13 minutes from time but Matt Connolly proved an unlikely hero with an exquisite piece of thigh control and a 20 yard volleyed finish to win the R’s a point.

Blackpool: Rachubka 5, Eardley 6, Evatt 7, Baptiste 5, Crainey 6,Southern 6, Vaughan 7 (Euell 90, -), Adam 7, Ormerod 8,Taylor-Fletcher 7 (Nardiello 89, -), Bannan 8 (Burgess 60, 6)

Subs Not Used: Gilks, Martin, Edwards, Butler

Booked: Adam (foul)

Goals: Adam 9 (assisted Bannan), Taylor-Fletcher 77 (assisted Adam)

QPR: Ikeme 6, Hall 4 (Ramage 79, 6), Gorkss 7, Stewart 6, Connolly 7, Routledge 6, Leigertwood 5, Faurlin 6 (German 81, 7), Buzsaky 5 (Ephraim 46, 8), Taarabt 7, Agyemang 5

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Balanta, Simpson, Borrowdale

Booked: Routledge (foul)

Goals: Taarabt 55 (penalty), Connolly 84 (assisted German)

QPR 1 Blackpool 1, Saturday August 8, 2009, Championship

At Loftus Road on the opening day of the 2009/10 season QPR were both lucky to escape with a draw, and unlucky not to win the game. They were lucky to get the point they did from a 1-1 because they equalised late and the goal when it did come, through the most unlikeliest source, was a mishit cross from Peter Ramage that deceived the goalkeeper. However QPR had been the dominant force for much of the match and Ben Burgess’ first half opener after defensive hesitancy was against the overall run of play of the game.

QPR: Cerny 6, Ramage 7, Hall 6, Gorkss 6, Borrowdale 7, Routledge 6, Rowlands 7 (Agyemang 60, 7), Mahon 6, Balanta 7 (Buzsaky 56, 6), Helguson 5 (Vine 56, 5), Taarabt 6

Subs Not Used: Putnins, Stewart, Connolly, Ephraim

Booked: Helguson (foul), Routledge (foul), Buzsaky (foul), Hall (obstructing goalkeeper)

Goals: Ramage 86 (assisted Vine)

Blackpool: Rachubka 8, Crainey 6, Evatt 6, Baptiste 6, Edwards 6,Vaughan 6 (Clarke 73, 6), Adam 6, Southern 6, Euell 7, Burgess 7,Taylor-Fletcher 7 (Ormerod 68, 6)

Subs Not Used: Gilks, Eardley, Martin, Nardiello, Demontagnac

Booked: Adam (foul)

Goals: Burgess 37 (assisted Taylor-Fletcher)

Blackpool 0 QPR 3, Tuesday January 27, 2009, Championship

Rangers’ previous trip to Bloomfield Road saw them defy their poor away form under Paulo Sousa, and wild weather conditions, to record a comfortable 3-0 win. Wayne Routledge’s strong wing play set up Heidar Helguson for a first half headed opener and the Icelandic international, more than used to playing in the driving sleet that battered the players and uncovered QPR fans throughout the night, made it two after half time when he slid in a penalty after a foul on Lee Cook. Hogan Ephraim added a deserved third five minutes from time in what was one of QPR’s best away performances of the season.

Blackpool: Rachubka 7, Barker 6, Evatt 5, Edwards 5, Harte 3 (Crainey 64, 4), O'Donovan 5 (Nemeth 59, 5), Fox 5, Vaughan 6, Martin 4 (Owens 46, 6), Campbell 6, Taylor-Fletcher 6

Subs Not Used: Gilks, Baptiste

QPR: Camp 7, Connolly 6 (Hall 88, -), Stewart 7, Gorkss 8, Delaney 6, Routledge 8, Cook 7, Leigertwood 7, Mahon 7, Miller 6 (Ephraim 54, 7), Helguson 7 (Blackstock 75, 7)

Subs Not Used: Bulmer, Di Carmine

Booked: Cook (foul), Routledge (kicking the ball away)

Goals: Helguson 17 (assisted Routledge), 58 (penalty) Ephraim 90 (assisted Cook)

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> Blackpool wins – 3 >>> Draws – 10 >>> QPR wins – 14

2013/14 QPR 1 Blackpool 1 (Hoilett)

2013/14 Blackpool 0 QPR 2 (Austin, Phillips)

2009/10 QPR 1 Blackpool 1 (Ramage)

2008/09 Blackpool 0 QPR 3 (Helguson 2, Ephraim)

2008/09 QPR 1 Blackpool 1 (Blackstock)

2007/08 QPR 3 Blackpool 2 (Buzsaky, Vine, Rowlands)

2007/08 Blackpool 1 QPR 0

2003/04 Blackpool 0 QPR 1 (Rowlands)

2003/04 QPR 5 Blackpool 0 (Ainsworth 2, Langley, Gallen, Palmer)

2002/03 Blackpool 1 QPR 3 (Langley 3)

2002/03 QPR 2 Blackpool 1 (Langley, Clarke og)

2001/02 QPR 2 Blackpool 0 (Langley, Gallen)

2001/02 Blackpool 2 QPR 2 (Griffiths 2)

1989/90 QPR 3 Blackpool 0* (Sinton, Sansom, Barker)

1989/90 QPR 0 Blackpool 0*

1989/90 Blackpool 2 QPR 2* (Clarke 2)

1981/82 QPR 5 Blackpool 1* (C Allen 4, Stainrod)

1981/82 Blackpool 0 QPR 0*

1972/73 QPR 4 Blackpool 0 (Bowles, Francis, Thomas, Haton og)

1972/73 Blackpool 2 QPR 0

1971/72 QPR 0 Blackpool 1

1971/72 Blackpool 1 QPR 1 (Marsh)

1969/70 Blackpool 1 QPR 1 (Leach)

1969/70 QPR 6 Blackpool 1 (Marsh 3, Bridges 2, Venables)

1967/68 QPR 2 Blackpool 0 (I Morgan, Clarke)

1967/68 Blackpool 0 QPR 1 (L Allen)

* - FA Cup

Connections

Trevor Sinclair >>> Blackpool 1989-1993 >>> QPR 1993-1998

I was actually fortunate enough to see Trevor Sinclair before he arrived at QPR to replace Andy Sinton in the summer of 1993. A year prior to that he'd been a second half substitute for Division Four side Blackpool at Wembley as they beat my home town Scunthorpe United in the play-off final on penalties. Sinclair was eye catching – a black lad in an almost entirely white team, bouncing and tricking his way up and down the wing with his mop of a dreadlocks trailing behind him – and had attracted the attention of plenty of higher division clubs by the time Gerry Francis moved in with Richard Thompson's moth-eaten cheque book.

Sinclair was very different to Sinton. He'd go around the houses and trick full backs to get past them, whereas Sinton was far more direct and reliant on pace. A fabulous goal in a Sunday clash with West Ham in 1995 when Sinclair picked the ball up on halfway and drove straight towards goal before lashing in from the edge of the box showed he did have some of Sinton's strengths in his locker, but goals at Leeds the following season and two at Spurs the previous year were far more typical of him.

At the time he represented exactly what QPR needed to do in the transfer market. They'd bought Sinton from nearby Brentford for a few hundred thousand and sold him onto big spending Sheffield Wednesday for £2.5m, then replaced him with Sinclair for £600,000. Sadly the model went awry soon after he'd arrived when Darren Peacock, initially a well scouted bargain basement purchase from Hereford, was sold on to Newcastle at a big profit but only replaced by Karl Ready, a wholly inadequate waste of space from our youth team who miraculously, and infuriatingly, went on to clock up a decade of, most dreadful, service at Loftus Road.

Sinclair quickly forced his way into the England Under 21 reckoning, making his debut against Denmark at Griffin Park in 1994, and became a real hit at Loftus Road . Sadly, at that time, becoming a hit in W12 meant QPR fans would have to read rather a lot about your impending move to Arsenal/Spurs/Man Utd/Blackburn in the gutter press and Sinclair certainly wasn't short of admirers by the time Rangers dropped out of the top flight in 1996. That relegation was the direct result of the sale, and failure to replace, talismanic striker Les Ferdinand the summer before and in fact Sinclair found himself pressed into action as a central striker that season as Kevin Gallen and Danny Dichio's inexperienced partnership, supplemented unsuccessfully and only very occasionally by Mark Hateley, failed to fire. Sinclair won the club's Player of the Year award as the club dropped down a level but stayed with the R's in Division One.

That paved the way for him to score arguably the club's greatest ever goal in an FA Cup Third Round tie with Barnsley.

QPR have beaten Barnsley at Loftus Road since dinosaurs roamed the earth and did so twice in 1996/97 despite the Tykes ascension to the Premier League at the end of that season. They were struggling somewhat in the cup game – reduced to ten men by one of Andy Impey's trademark Floyd Mayweather impressions and a goal down early on thanks to a vintage piece of Tony Roberts goalkeeping – but Sinclair settled nerves and wowed the nation with a 20 yard, airborne bicycle kick into the roof of the net down at the School End. It won the BBC's Goal of the Season that year, the third time a QPR player had taken the award.

His relationship with the W12 faithful was testy by this stage though. He was booed prior to a league game with Man City the following season after apparently requesting a transfer – boos turned to cheers when he instinctively lobbed in the opening goal from fully 40 yards. His time at Loftus Road was coming to an end, and Harry Redknapp was waiting to pounce. The deal that took Sinclair from Loftus Road to Upton Park went down in the QPR annuls as just about the worst piece of business the club has ever done. The Hammers were able to secure QPR's best player, previously linked with a £6m Premiership move and later called up by England for four appearances at the 2002 World Cup, for little over £1m with the truly dreadful trio of Iain Dowie, Keith Rowland and Tim Breaker to sour the deal. It was the sort of deal you'd do on Championship Manager having taken over a club with the clear intention of destroying it for sport.

Sinclair didn't make the same mistake he had at QPR when West Ham were relegated in 2003 – he jumped ship immediately and made a £3m move to Manchester City, the club he'd supported as a boy. He'd become more versatile during his time in East London and played both left and right wing for City, scoring the club's first ever goal at Eastlands in a UEFA Cup game against Welsh side TNS. He was released to join Cardiff City alongside fellow veterans Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2007 but injuries restricted his impact. He appeared for the final four minutes of the club's 2008 FA Cup final defeat against Portsmouth but never appeared against QPR after leaving.

He had retired into television work and made an erudite pundit for the BBC and others prior to an arrest for drunk driving and abuse of police officers last year which has sadly seen him disappear from our screens.

Others >>> Bright Osayi-Samuel, QPR 2017-present, Blackpool 2015-2017 >>> Matt Phillips, QPR 2013-2016, Blackpool 2010-2013 >>> DJ Campbell, QPR 2011-2013, Blackpool 2010-2011 >>> Ian Holloway, Blackpool (manager) 2009-2012, QPR (manager) 2001-2006, 1991-1996 >>> Kaspars Gorkss, QPR 2008-2011, Blackpool 2006-2008 >>> Paul Hart, QPR (manager) 2009-2010, Blackpool 1973-1978 >>> Danny Nardiello, Blackpool 2008-2010, QPR 2007-2008 >>> Zesh Rehman, Blackpool (loan) 2008, QPR 2006-2009 >>> Marcus Bean, Blackpool 2006-2008, QPR 2001-2006 >>> Phil Barnes, QPR (loan) 2006, Blackpool 1997-2004 >>> Ian Evatt Blackpool 2006-2013, QPR 2005-2007 >>> Danny Shittu QPR 2011-2012, 2001-2006, Blackpool (loan) 2001 >>> Clarke Carlisle, QPR 2000-2004, Blackpool 1997-2000 >>> Marvin Bryan, 1995-2000, QPR 1992-1995 >>> David Bardsley, Blackpool 1998-2000, 1981-1983, QPR 1989-1998 >>> John Burridge, QPR 1980-1982, Blackpool 1971-1975 >>> Mickey Walsh, QPR 1978-1981, Blackpool 1973-1978

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Toast_R added 09:51 - Sep 25
Great write up, thanks
That Liverpool game still wrangles with me, it was my 11 birthday that day and was watching it on TV with my mu, dad and brother after the Sunday lunch. Reckon Seaman should have done better with Barnes's free kick. Looks like Roy Evans whacked his head on the dug out when Rush scored.
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