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Rowlands winner prevents vintage QPR slip - History
Monday, 26th Nov 2018 16:43 by Clive Whittingham

Ahead of Tuesday's trip to Rotherham we look back to 2005 when the Millers were the division's whipping boys and QPR fans travelled in fear of their team's charitable tendencies.

Memorable Match

Rotherham 0 QPR 1, Saturday March 19, 2005, Championship

The beginning of the new millennium was something of a golden period for Rotherham United who won back-to-back promotions from Third Division to First between 1999 and 2001 under the management of Ronnie Moore.

The Millers would spend four years at this level, surviving their first on goal difference from Crewe before finishes of fifteenth and seventeenth. It was and achievement that saw Moore linked with a host of jobs resulting in a ridiculous situation after a home draw with Gillingham in October 2002 when he waved farewell to the crowd after the match believing he was about to be appointed the new manager of Ipswich only for it to transpire that an ‘official approach’ received from Town chairman David Sheepshanks on the Friday was actually a prank phone call.

By the time 2004/05 rolled around, however, circumstances were starting to catch up with the South Yorkshire club, still based in their tiny and dilapidated Millmoor Stadium. They were QPR’s first opponents that season, opening the campaign with a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road with Gareth Ainsworth scoring for the newly promoted R’s only for Paul Shaw to equalise before half time. That was one of three draws at the start of the Millers’ season but it would take them until November 29 at home to Leeds (1-0) to get their first win and by then 20 matches had already passed and they were well adrift at the bottom.

Moore left the club in January to be replaced on a caretaker basis by former Rotherham centre back Alan Knill but although they registered surprise away wins at Leicester and Millwall (1-0 and 2-1) over the Christmas period they then embarked on another arduous ten-match winless run to effectively have them relegated by the time QPR came back for the return fixture in mid-March.

QPR started poorly themselves after winning a memorable promotion from the third tier on the final day of the 2003/04 season against Sheff Wed at Hillsborough. There was another draw at Sunderland and defeats to Watford, Derby and Sunderland as Ian Holloway’s side struggled to adapt to the higher level. Rumours of new investor Gianni Paladini’s boardroom politicking and attempt to replace Holloway with Argentinean Ramon Diaz were doing the rounds, despite the ‘Hand of Bean’ winning goal at Gillingham in a Sky Friday night game removing some of the pressure.

With Danny Shittu returning from his long term knee injury and Holloway’s players rallying around their boss, a dramatic 3-2 home win against Plymouth was secured with goals from Paul Furlong (two) and Kevin Gallen when defeat would apparently have meant the boot for the boss. The R’s subsequently set off on a famous seven match winning run, beating Crewe (2-0), Brighton (3-2), Leicester (3-2), Coventry (4-1), Stoke (1-0) and West Ham (1-0) in some of the most memorable Rangers matches of the modern era. Burnley (3-0), promotion chasing Wigan (1-0) and old enemies Cardiff (1-0) were subsequently beaten at Loftus Road to make it ten wins from 15 games and at one stage the Hoops were as high as fourth in the league.

But, as we’ve become accustomed to over Ian Holloway’s two spells in charge as manager, long winning runs sit hand in hand with long periods of poor results. Seven defeats and a draw in eight games over Christmas restored a sense of normality and left us bobbing around midtable as we moved into 2005.

This would become a very odd period in the club’s history, as Paladini staged his infamous boardroom coup to oust chairman Bill Power and CEO Mark Devlin – QPR fans both – and take charge of the club himself with former football agent Antonio Caliendo and Brazilian World Cup winning captain Dunga. The very first hints of what was to come were starting to be seen as 2004/05 drew to a close, with Italian keeper Generosso Rossi fresh from a match fixing ban on the bench for the game at Rotherham and Dean Sturridge, signed through Paladini’s network of Midlands contacts with no medical, making a rare outing as a sub.

The weird and wonderful names only got more weird and wonderful as we moved through a 2005/06 of Mauro Milanese, Marc Nygaard, Ugo Ukah and Sammy Youssouff into the 2006/07 nadir of Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas, Nick Ward and Armel Tchakounte.

The form had been reasonable in the run up to the Rotherham game. A televised win at home to Stoke (1-0) and last gasp victory at Coventry (2-1) was followed by draws with Wolves, Reading and Derby and wins against Ipswich and Watford to keep Holloway’s side in the play-off hunt. But against the worst side in the league, the division’s whipping boys, with only one win in their previous 11 matches, it looked ripe for a “typical QPR” day out at Millmoor.

A nervous first half, with Gareth Ainsworth injured early and replaced by Jamie Cureton, saw chances few and far between. Rotherham were a threat from corners and Shaun Barker’s long throws and you it felt like you could just see what was coming next. A few of us, to our shame, were clutching ‘emotional insurance’ bets on the home team to win in the away end.

As was so often the case through that time, Martin Rowlands was the man who took it upon himself to carry the team through a difficult period. He slalomed through a static backline midway through the second half and made the most of a fumble from keeper Mike Pollitt to bundle in the only goal of the game from a tight angle. Pollitt had made an astonishing save to deny Paul Furlong a winner at the death of the home match on day one, and was in decent form again in the closing stages of this one to deny the veteran centre forward a chance to make it 2-0.

But his slip proved crucial and the R’s ran out 1-0 winners. The play-off push never materialised though as they followed this up with another six match winless run before winning for the final time in 2004/05 in the final home match of the season against Nottingham Forest – a result that sent Forest down along with Rotherham and Gillingham. Rangers finished eleventh.

Rotherham stuck around at Millmoor until 2008, even starting a redevelopment of the side stand towards the end of their 100 year stint there. But an argument with their former owner Ken Booth, on whose scrap yard the ground sits, saw them move out and play until 2012 at the Don Valley Athletics Stadium in Sheffield before moving to their smart community stadium nearby where they reside today. Millmoor is still there, and visible on one side of the train between Doncaster and Sheffield, with the development of the main stand remaining half finished. It’s recently been used for youth football matches apparently.

Rotherham: Pollitt; Hurst, Gilchrist, McIntosh, Scott; Barker (Hoskins 61), Mullin, McLaren, Keane; Campbell-Ryce (Griffit 75), Warne (Newsham 87)

Subs not used: Montgomery, Vernazza

QPR: Royce; Bignot, Davies, Shittu, Rose; Ainsworth (Cureton 12), Bircham (Santos 86), Rowlands, Cook (Sturridge 66); Gallen, Furlong

Subs not used: Rossi, Thorpe

Goals: Rowlands 53

Attendance: 5,387

Recent Meetings

QPR 5 Rotherham 1, Saturday March 18, 2017, Championship

Although Joe Newell scored probably the goal of the season at Loftus Road in 2016/17 to draw Rotherham level at 1-1, the relegation haunted Millers were quickly swept aside as Rangers built on Matt Smith’s early goal to run in their biggest score of the season. Luke Freeman had burst through to add a second before half time and a penalty won by Smith was converted by Yeni Ngbakoto straight after half time to finish the game. The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Massimo Luongo’s first goal for the club just prior to his 100th appearance for Rangers, and Nedum Onuoha smacked in a fifth in injury time.

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6, Onuoha 6, Lynch 5, Bidwell 6; Luongo 7 (Goss 74, 6), Hall 7, Freeman 7 (Morrison 63, 6); Sylla 6, Ngbakoto 7, Smith 7 (Washington 63, 6)

Subs not used: Mackie, Ingram, Wszolek, Manning

Goals: Smith 5 (assisted Sylla), Freeman 15 (unassisted) Ngbakoto 49 (penalty won Smith), Luongo 57 (assisted Ngbakoto), Onuoha 90+1 (assisted Ngbakoto)

Rotherham: Price 2; Vaulks 5, Ajayi 2, Belaid 2, Purrington 5; Taylor 5 (Forde 65, 5), Adeyemi 5, Frecklington 4, Newell 6; Ward 4 (Smallwood 85, -), Yates 5 (Morris 70, -)

Subs not used: Blackstock, Bray, Warren Bilboe

Goals: Newell 13 (unassisted)

Yellow Cards: Belaid 48 (foul)

Rotherham 1 QPR 0, Saturday December 10, 2016, Championship

Although the home fixture was QPR’s biggest win, and one of their best performances, of the season, that was in stark contrast to the away fixture in December which was probably the nadir of the campaign. In the middle of one of Ian Holloway’s runs of six consecutive defeats, the R’s slipped to a 1-0 loss and should have been beaten by more. Isaiah Brown scored the only goal of the game after 24 minutes but only flying form from Alex Smithies kept the score down.

Rotherham: Price 7; Fisher 6, Wood 6, Belaid 6, Mattock 6; Forde 6, Adeyemi 6 (Vaulks 85, -), Frecklington 8, Newell 7 (Kelly 90+3, -); Ward 8, Brown 8 (Taylor 86, -)

Subs not used: Ball, Blackstock, Yates, Bilboe

Goals: Brown 24 (assisted Ward)

Bookings: Adeyemi 50 (foul), Frecklington 83 (foul), Forde 87 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 4, Hall 5, Lynch 5, Bidwell 4; Sandro 4 (Gladwin 72, 5); Luongo 5, Cousins 5; Chery 5 (Wszolek 89, -); Ngbakoto 5 (Polter 59, 5), Washington 5

Subs not used: Ingram, Henry, El Khayati, Shodipo

Bookings: Ngbakoto 45+3 (repetitive fouling), Luongo 48 (foul), Polter 73 (foul)

Rotherham 0 QPR 3, Saturday January 16, 2016, Championship

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink secured his first win as QPR manager at the eighth time of asking when Rangers won 3-0 at Rotherham in January 2016. It wasn’t without difficulty, with the score deadlocked at 0-0 at half time and Rangers playing particularly poorly a victory looked a million miles away. But a quick blitz after half time featured goals from Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips inside two minutes and Seb Polter stuck one in from close range in injury time to round off a 3-0 win.

Rotherham: Camp 5; Facey 6, Broadfoot 5, Belaid 6, Mattock 6; G Ward 7, Green 6, Smallwood 5, Newell 6; D Ward 6 (Clarke-Harris 55, 5), Derbyshire 5 (Ledesma 80, -)

Subs Not Used: Wood, Collins, Richardson, Cairns, Thorpe

Bookings: Facey 76 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 7, Hall 7, Konchesky 5; Henry 6, Luongo 7; Hoilett 7 (Mackie 87, -), Fer 6, Phillips 5 (Chery 86, -); Polter 8

Subs not used: Lumley, Angella, Tozser, Sandro, Petrasso

Goals: Hoilett 52 (unassisted), Phillips 54 (assisted Luongo), Polter 90 (assisted Fer)

QPR 4 Rotherham 2, Saturday August 22, 2015, Championship

QPR were settling back into life in the Championship under Chris Ramsey when Rotherham were swept aside at Loftus Road in August 2015 on ‘Stan Bowles Day’. New signing Tjaronn Chery scored twice either side of half time, first picking his spot in the far corner after being perfectly teed up by Charlie Austin at the end of a flowing move, then sliding into an unguarded net after forceful approach play down the right by Mass Luongo. Poor goalkeeping allowed Charlie Austin to power in a third and although there were some nerves Harris and Thorpe brought it back to 3-2 with time still remaining, Austin settled the whole thing back down with a penalty in injury time.

QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Hall 6, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Faurlin 6 (Doughty 77, 6), Henry 5; Luongo 7 (Polter 82, -), Chery 8 (Kpekawa 90+2, -), Phillips 7; Austin 7

Subs not used: Hill, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hoilett, Smithies

Goals: Chery 42 (assisted Perch/Austin), 50 (assisted Luongo), Austin 63 (unassisted), 90 (penalty – won Polter)

Bookings: Austin 61 (foul)

Rotherham: Roos 4; Buxton 6, Halford 6, Collins 5, Newell 6; Frecklington 6, Smallwood 5 (Thorpe 45, 6), Ward 5 (Maguire 78, 5), Ledesma 5 (White 68, 5); Clarke Harris 6, Derbyshire 5

Subs not used: D Ward, Green, Rawson, Collin

Goals: Clarke Harris 72 (assisted Frecklington), Thorpe 87 (assisted Newell/Collins)

Bookings: Buxton 68 (foul), Maguire 78 (foul)

Scores and Scorers

Head to head >>> Rotherham wins 5 >>> Draws 4 >>> QPR wins 7

2016/17 QPR 5 Rotherham 1 (Smith, Freeman, Ngbakoto, Luongo, Onouha)

2016/17 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

2015/16 Rotherham 0 QPR 3 (Hoilett, Phillips, Polter)

2015/16 QPR 4 Rotherham 2 (Chery 2, Austin 2)

2004/05 Rotherham 0 QPR 1 (Rowlands)

2004/05 QPR 1 Rotherham 1 (Ainsworth)

1982/83 QPR 4 Rotherham 0 (Sealy, Flanagan, Gregory 2)

1982/83 Rotherham 2 QPR 1* (Gregory)

1982/83 QPR 0 Rotherham 0*

1982/83 Rotherham 0 QPR 0

1981/82 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

1981/82 QPR 1 Rotherham 1 (Flanagan)

1967/68 QPR 6 Rotherham 0 (I Morgan 2, Leach 2, R Morgan, Marsh)

1967/68 Rotherham 1 QPR 3 (Leach, Allen, Lazarus)

1951/52 Rotherham 1 QPR 0

1951/52 QPR 2 Rotherham 3 (Gilberg, Smith)

* - League Cup

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TheChef added 10:36 - Nov 27
I remember that 2005 win quite well - didn't recall though having Andrew Davies at centre back!!
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