Memory Lane - Everton v QPR

A potted history of tonight's Everton v Queens Park Rangers fixture.

Evertonia explained how QPR had been formed out of an amalgamation of two clubs, St Judes and Christchurch Rangers, and due to the fact that so many of their players were from the area of Queens Park situated in North West London, they took the name Queens Park Rangers. The article also mentioned that QPR have probably had more home grounds around 20 or so venues than probably any other League club and that in 1909 they had to play all their Southern League fixtures in midweek because the club failed with its application to gain admission to the Football League and therefore they had to be shoehorned back into the non-league fixture list. In 1919, QPR settled at Loftus Road, but in two periods since then they have played at the White City Stadium – between 1931 and 1933 – and again in the 1962-63 campaign.

Evertons first encounter with QPR at Goodison Park took place in March 1952 for a Division Two fixture. The sides had already shared eight goals in the game at Loftus Road earlier in the campaign and Everton were hopeful of beating the Londoners on home turf, as the Evening Express predicted in their pre-match article.

It will be the fourth clash between the Blues and Rangers and so far Everton have not struck their colours, for they won both cup-ties (in London) and drew there on October 13, eight goals being shared.

Still seeking that extra effectiveness in attack, the Blues introduce for the first time in a home League game 20-year-old Irishman George Cummins to inside left, and for the first time will have a Fielding Parker combination on the right wing.

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Cummings has only to reproduce his Central league form (he has been one of the stars of that side) to establish himself right away, while Fielding proved last season that the open spaces on the wing enhance his value. It was as much Fieldings grand wing work as anything which gave the Blues that thrilling victory run midway through last season.

Wally has all the attributes, although we still want from him these goals he used to score so frequently. Hickson and Eglington should thrive on the Cummins brand of service; in fact the whole attack bristles with possibilities.

Tommy Jones, now recovered from injury plays his first game of 1952 taking over from Lindley at centre half. This is a grand chance for the Blues to take another vital step nearer promotion for the Rangers are bottom of the League, their only away wins being at Luton and Swansea. Everton have won three, drawn and lost one of 1952 games and I anticipate they will keep their 100 per cent League record at Goodison since the turn of the year.

The pre-match observations and prediction were mostly correct as The Liverpool Daily Post match report reveals:

Everton are still in the promotion race. Their position was consolidated by a comfortable victory over the bottom club, but it was well they had scored twice before the tragic mishap to the Queens Park Rangers outside left. McKay; otherwise excuses might have reared their heads to take away some of the credit.

The Londoners, capable to some extent in midfield, were rarely a menace to ONeill, who had one of the easiest afternoons of his career. Fewer than half a dozen shots were his portion whereas his viz-a-vis had a fair amount to do and was three times saved by co-defenders when he was beaten.

Evertons new forward formation looked capable, none more so than Cummins, who pulled out some nice football ware. There is obviously soccer wisdom in his head and feet. He had good control, a sound notion as to where the ball could be placed to the best advantage and he would have scored had he not been fouled in the penalty area.

Three goals were sufficient to ensure Everton success, but it could easily have been half a dozen. After McKays departure Everton were right on top and only good fortune saved Rangers from a thrashing. Strangely Everton could muster only one goal with their opponents severely handicapped, yet were able to notch two when they were at full strength. Gullian made some fine saves, none better than a one-handed effort from Hickson, but he was at fault when Fielding sent in a centre from close to the touch line for he came a shade too far out and was unable to get back in time to prevent the ball passing over his head and into the net via the upright.

Clinton had of course, scored from the spot when Cummins was brought down and late in the game Parker header a third. The injury to McKay, cast a gloom over the proceedings for a time, when the game went uncommonly quiet. The feared break turned out to be a torn ligament in the ankle. It happened at the half-hour when McKay and Clinton went into a tackle.
Fielding was not so happy at outside right yet, his centring of the ball was excellent. Hickson was perpetual motion, chasing everything but got annoyed at the handling off methods of centre half-back Spence. I thought Lello one of the best players on the field. He was grand in every respect attack and defence and behind him as the calm, confident and capable Lindsay.

There is a new spirit afoot at Goodison Park, and the youngsters are coming on apace. ONeill with little to do was confident Clinton strong, Jones stubborn and Farrell, working at top speed all the time. Hicksons football is improving with each game. He made some astute passes to keep the line moving. I have seen Eglington more dominating but the line undoubtedly showed possibilities and is well worth an extended trial.
Final; Everton 3, QPR 0. Official attendance 36,172.

Everton; ONeill, goal; Clinton and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Fielding, Parker, Hickson, Cummins, and Eglington, forwards

Queens Park Rangers;- Gullian, goal; Powell, and Ingham, backs; Heath, Spence and Farrow half-backs; Waugh, Gilbert, Addinall, Smith and McKay, forwards

Referee; Mr. J.S. Williams (Nottingham)

Everton's promotion ambitions fell short in the remainder of the season as they finished in seventh place in the Second Division, whilst QPRs poor form continued and they were relegated to Division Three having finished bottom.

In 196667, QPR won the Division Three championship and became the first Third Division club to win the League Cup on Saturday, 4 March 1967, beating West Bromwich Albion 32, the first time that the League Cup final had been played at Wembley. QPR are quite possibly the only club to have won a major trophy at Wembley prior to partaking in a top-flight fixture at Goodison Park although Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901 prior to playing a top-flight fixture at Goodison Park.

QPR went on to gain promotion to the First Division the following season and Tommy Dochertys team Docherty had only been appointed QPR manager a few weeks earlier - duly arrived at Goodison Park for a First Division fixture on 16 November 1968.

In a match-day magazine article some years later, Jimmy Husband explained how he had been out of the team for five games, due to a knee injury he had received at Derby County in a League Cup-tie and how desperate he had been to regain his place in the first-team and contribute to the team against QPR at Goodison.

Johnny Morrissey had given Everton the lead on the half-hour mark with a diving header a rare occurrence according to Jimmy Husband - and Everton took that lead into the second period. Shortly before the hour mark Colin Harvey struck a tremendous goal with his left foot. The article described Colins goal Alan Ball swung the ball from one side of the pitch to the other to find Colin who slipped past three defenders before crashing a left foot shot into the roof of the net. On the hour mark Joe Royle was brought down by the goalkeeper and he duly despatched his penalty kick into the net to give the Toffees a three goal advantage.

Jimmy Husband completed the goalscoring four minutes later and he recalled I took a pass from Colin Harvey, and shot under the goalkeeper's body for what was a very welcome goal for me. He added we didn't know it at the time of the QPR game but we were heading for third place in the table and an FA Cup semi-final against Man City at Villa Park which we lost 1-0. The following season of course we were to finish as champions. It was important that I got back into the side and contributed something, which I did with my goal any player will tell you it's great to come back from injury and score a goal.

Everton: West; Wright, Brown; Darracott, Labone, Harvey; Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey. Unused substitute Whittle
QPR; Kelly; Watson, Clement; Sibley, Keen, Hazell; Bridges, Hunt, Allen, Marsh, Morgan Unused substitute Wilks
Attendance: 43,552

Tommy Docherty was replaced as QPR manager by Les Allen at the end of November 1968 but the new manager was unable to preserve QPRs involvement in the First Division as they were relegated at the end of the (68/69) campaign, having won only four matches. In 1971 Gordon Jago took over as QPR manager and he managed to get his club promoted in the 1973/73 season.

Gordon Jagos shrewd transfer dealings had seen the club promoted 11 points clear of nearest rivals Aston Villa, proving that talented players were available at reasonable prices outside of the top division. By re-investing the money that he had received for Rodney Marsh when he sold him to Manchester City, Mr Jago bought Dave Thomas from Burnley for 160K, Stan Bowles from Carlisle United for 112K and Don Givens from Luton Town for 40K and they each repaid his foresight by scoring 46 goals between them. Givens was the most prolific with 23 league goals, Bowles got 17 and Dave Thomas added 6 to the tally as well as being a regular contributor of assists to his strike partners.

Jago led his team out at Goodison on 15 September 1973 for a Division One fixture, with his team a point ahead of the Toffees in the table, however, Everton continued their unbeaten run against the Hoops as a typically brave stooping header from Mike Lyons following a superb cross from John Connolly was enough to earn the Toffees all three points.

Everton: Lawson; Darracott, Mclaughlin; Bernard (Husband), Kenyon, Hurst; Newton, Lyons, Royle, Harper, Connolly
QPR: Parkes; Hazell, Gillard; Venables, Mancini, Evans; Thomas, Francis, Leach; Bowles, Givens
Attendance: 30,795

QPR fared far better in the First Division than they had done previously and finished in a respectable eighth position a point behind Everton.

The following season, QPR made a less than impressive start as they had won only once in their first nine matches ironically at the home of the League Champions Leeds United. QPRs poor start included a draw (2-2) with Everton at Loftus Road in which Jim Pearson had rescued a point for the Blues with a last-gasp equaliser. Gordon Jago was ousted following that game and replaced by Dave Sexton.

By the time Jagos QPR arrived at Goodison Park in March 1975, Everton were the First Division pacesetters having won five of their previous seven league fixtures and had only lost to Manchester City at Maine Road up to that point in 1975, however, Fulham had surprisingly won at Goodison in the FA Cup a few weeks earlier. QPR had steadied the ship and sat in a comfortable mid table position.

Evertonians nerves were frayed when Don Givens scored QPRs first ever goal at Goodison Park shortly after half-time, as it was imperative that the Toffees gained maximum points on home soil if they were to fulfil their dream of winning the league.

Fortunately for the Blues fans Mike Lyons scored just two minutes later to cancel out QPRs lead and in the dying moments of the match Bob Latchford struck his sixteenth goal of the campaign to give Everton the victory they craved.

Everton: Davies; Bernard, Seargent; Clements, Kenyon, Hurst; Buckley (Pearson), Dobson, Lyons, Latchford, Jones
QPR: Parkes; Clement, Gillard; Masson, McClintock, Webb; Busby, Beck, Bowles, Givens
Att: 39,567

Nearest challengers Burnley who had played a game more than Everton, had dropped a point at Turf Moor against Liverpool, but Derby County had beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to remain four points adrift of Everton, with both teams having ten games to play. Unfortunately Everton could not maintain their League form as catastrophic defeats by Middlesbrough, Carlisle and Luton Town allied to only two victories saw Everton drop ten points in their final ten fixtures all of which meant that Derby County went on to become English Champions, three points ahead of Everton who finished in a very disappointing fourth place.

By the time QPR returned to Goodison Park in March of the following year, there had been a complete reversal of roles as QPR were the First Division pacesetters and Everton sat in mid table. Everton had taken a hiding at Loftus Road earlier in the campaign, shipping five goals without reply and Evertonians were apprehensive to say the least going into the game. Mike Lyons and Martin Dobson both hit tremendous shots in separate incidents but Phil Parkes showed his athleticism and made impressive saves to keep the Blues at bay, those saves proved vital as on the half-hour mark Stan Bowles nipped in at the far post to tap the ball into the Everton net to open the scoring.

Mick Bernard missed a good opportunity for Everton early in the second-half, and Phil Parkes then smothered a Dobson effort. With ten minutes remaining Dave Thomas drew a foul from Mick Bernard on the edge of the Everton penalty area, but before the free-kick was taken, Gerry Francis was replaced by Mick Leach. When Don Masson eventually took the free-kick, Mick Leach ghosted in at the far post to double QPRs advantage. The Hoops held on to win the match and recorded their first ever victory at Goodison Park to complete the League double against the Toffees. Unfortunately for QPR they fell a single point short of becoming Champions and had to be satisfied with runners-up spot in their best ever First Division campaign.

Everton: Lawson; Bernard, Jones; Lyons, McNaught, Buckley; Hamilton, Dobson, Telfer, Connolly (Goodlass), Jones
QPR: Parkes; Clement, Gillard; Hollins, McClintock, Webb; Thomas, Francis (Leach), Masson, Bowles, Givens
Att: 25,006

The next few encounters between QPR and Everton resulted in victories for the visiting teams at the respective venues, meanwhile Frank Sibley had taken charge of QPR as Dave Sexton had moved on to manage Manchester United.

In March 1978 that sequence of away victories came to an end in a dramatic game at Goodison Park. Trevor Ross (36) put Everton in the lead and Martin Dobson struck six minutes later to give Everton a two goal lead, however Don Shanks cut the deficit in half, two minutes before half-time. John Hollins equalised for the visitors shortly after the hour mark. In the closing stages of the match, Andy King (89) scored what looked likely to be the winning goal until Don Shanks salvaged a point for the visitors with his last minute equaliser.

Everton: Wood; Jones (Telfer), Pejic; Lyons, Kenyon, Ross; King, Dobson, Pearson, McKenzie, Thomas
QPR: Parkes; Clement, Gillard; Hollins, Howe, Cunningham; Shanks, Busby (Wallace), McGee; Bowles, Given
Att: 33,861

Steve Burtenshaw who had been in temporary charge of Everton, when QPR visited Goodison in January 1977, returned to Goodison as manager of the Hoops in March 1979, having taken over as boss from Frank Sibley at the start of the season. QPR were battling relegation, whilst Everton were sat in the top three places, hoping to secure a European berth.

Bob Latchford struck his first goal of 1979 after twenty-five minutes to give the Toffees the lead and George Telfer gave Everton a health half-time lead. Paul Goddard struck for the visitors, but it proved to be only a consolation goal for QPR as Everton hung on to claim the points. The win moved Everton into second place in the table but they were still four points behind the leaders Liverpool and had played two games more. Evertons form fell away in the remainder of the campaign and they finished in fourth place, seventeen points behind the Champions (Liverpool), but did qualify for the Uefa cup. QPR couldnt achieve a significant run of form during the last dozen or so games and returned to the Second Division to end their six season run in the top-flight.

Everton: Wood; Robinson, Heard; Lyons, Wright, Ross; King, Dobson (Higgins), Latchford, Telfer, Thomas
QPR: Richardson; Clement, Gillard; Hollins, Howe, Roeder; Shanks, Francis, Eastoe (Hamilton); Bowles, Goddard
Att: 24,809

Tommy Docherty took over from Steve Burtenshaw following the clubs relegation, but in October 1980, Terry Venables was appointed QPR manager, whilst the Club made a controversial decision by installing an artificial playing surface. Second Division QPR managed to reach the FA Cup final in 1982, but lost the replay to Tottenham (1-0), following a draw at Wembley. QPR returned to the First Division in 1983 having won the second division title.

Everton entertained Terry Venables QPR team at Goodison Park and the Evertonians were in exuberant mood as their team were due to play at Wembley in the 1984 FA Cup final a week later. Rangers were sat in third place in the table, following a very good campaign, but Everton were determined to win their last home fixture of the season.

A confident Everton and a buoyant crowd ensured that QPRs hopes of obtaining second place in the table were dashed although they had offered stiff resistance. Just before half-time Adrian Heath opened the scoring to give the Toffees the lead at the interval. But Gary Micklewhite (58) equalised for Rangers before two goals late in the second period by Graeme Sharp ensured that Everton gained maximum points and gained revenge for their defeat at Loftus Road (0-2) earlier in the season. Everton won by the same two goal margin at Wembley the following week to begin a glorious period for the club, whilst QPR slipped down to fifth place in the table but did manage to secure a place in the following seasons Uefa Cup competition.

Everton: Southall; Stevens, Harper; Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid; Steven, Heath, Sharp, Gray, Richardson
QPR: Hucker; Neill; Dawes; Fereday, Wicks, Fenwick; Micklewhite, Fillery, Allen; Stewart, Gregory (Charles)
Att: 20,679

Perhaps the most cherished memory of QPRs visits to Goodison Park for many Evertonians are from the day that Everton clinched the title at Goodison Park following a victory over QPR on 06 May1985. A crowd of just over 50,000 had turned up at Goodison with the hope that the Toffees would clinch their first Title since 1970. QPR who now had Frank Sibley as caretaker manager following Terry Venables decision to move to Barcelona, were fighting a relegation battle and thus were in no mood to meekly surrender in front of the huge partisan crowd.

Derek Mountfield (24) eased the home teams nerves when he lashed in his 12th goal of the season. Graeme Sharp in a matchday magazine feature some years later said In fact they (QPR) put up quite a fight in the second-half and Gary Bannister fired a header against the post. Then with about eight minutes left I scored the goal that virtually made the game and the title safe.

Graeme said that game had been one of the highlights of his career and claims that that Everton side was possibly one of the best the club has ever had. Graeme and his team-mates helped Everton to win the European Cup Winners Cup nine days after the QPR match and lost to Manchester United the following Saturday in the FA Cup final at Wembley and Graeme says If the FA Cup had come a week later I think we could have won that as well. Yet for Graeme whilst pleased that they had won two major hono

urs in that never to be forgotten season, the greatest disappointment was that he and the club were prevented from entering the European Cup the following season and he says That was a big blow because we had a sneaking suspicion we might have won it.

Although QPR lost their final few fixtures of the season, they managed to retain their top-flight status as they finished fourth from bottom a point clear of relegated Norwich City.

Everton: Southall, Stevens, Van Den Hauwe, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Sharp, Gray, Bracewell, Sheedy. Substitute: Richardson
QPR: Hucker, Chivers; Dawes, Waddock, Wicks, Fenwick; Robinson, Fillery Bannister, James, Gregory (McDonald)
Att: 50,514

For Evertons first home league game of 1986, Jim Smiths QPR shocked their title-chasing hosts when Gary Bannister (12)and John Byrne (25) put them into a two goal lead after only twenty-five minutes of the match had elapsed. A converted penalty from Graeme Sharp gave the reigning champions hope of rescuing the game, on the stroke of half-time.

In the second period two goals in as many minutes courtesy of Gary Lineker (55) and Paul Wilkinson (56) put the Blues in front for the first time in the match and Graeme Sharp(67) scored his second goal of the game to put the Toffees four goals to two in front.

Gary Bannister also scored his second goal of the game three minutes from time but Everton held on to gain three valuable points in their quest to retain the title. Unfortunately 1986 wasnt kind to either Everton or QPR as Everton finished as runners-up in both the League and FA Cup and Rangers were beaten at Wembley by Oxford United in the League Cup Final.

Everton: Southall, Stevens, Van Den Hauwe, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Sharp, Gray, Bracewell, Sheedy. Substitute: Richardson
QPR: Hucker, Chivers; Dawes, Waddock, Wicks, Fenwick; Robinson, Fillery Bannister, James, Gregory (McDonald)
Att: 50,514

The next meeting at Goodison Park in September 1986, resulted in the first goalless draw between the two teams at the venue. In the game played in February 1988, Everton recorded a two-nil victory as an own goal by Paul Parker (38) and a rare Neil Pointon (70) goal earned the hosts the points. A Pat Nevin goal was enough to beat QPR in the Simod Cup semi-final match at Goodison.

Both sides were situated in the middle of the table when they met at Goodison Park on April Fools Day 1989, but it was Everton who had the better of it as Wayne Clarke (25) opened the scoring and ten minutes later Kevin Sheedy successfully converted his penalty to double Evertons advantage. Early in the second period Marc Falco scored from the spot to cut the deficit, but further goals from Tony Cottee (61) and Trevor Steven (77) ensured all the points stayed at Goodison Park as Everton sent former Toffees favourite Peter Reid and QPR manager Trevor Francis home empty-handed.

Everton: Southall; McDonald, Pointon; Ratcliffe, Watson, Bracewell; Steven, Nevin, Clarke, Cottee, Sheedy
QPR: Seaman; Fereday, Dennis; Parker, McDonald, Spackman; Sinton, Falco, Clarke, Reid, Allen (Stein)
Att: 23,028

The following season Don Howe took his side to Goodison Park on April 7 1990, Neville Southall was the Everton hero as he saved Simon Barkers last minute penalty and Everton won the game by the only game of the game, scored by Tony Cottee from the spot some twenty minutes from time. The victory lifted the Blues up to third place in the league, but unable to maintain their form they slipped to a final position of sixth.

That sixth place finish by the Blues signalled the beginnings of decline as Colin Harvey hadnt been able to match Howard Kendalls achievements and Evertons poor form at the start of the (90/91) campaign meant that he relinquished his position as the Everton Manager. Whilst Everton waited to find a full-time replacement Jimmy Gabriel took caretaker charge of the first team and it was he who chose the team to face QPR at Goodison Park on 3 November 1990.

Everton opened the scoring when Mike Newell netted in the first-half. Pat Nevin doubled the Blues advantage before Neil McDonald sealed the win with a goal a minute from time. An important three points for the Toffees and for the next game Howard Kendall would be in charge to try and arrest Evertons slide and restore his club to their former glories.

Everton: Southall; Atteveld, Keown; Ratcliffe, Watson, McDonald; Nevin, McCall, Newell, Ebbrell, Beagrie
QPR: Stejskal; Bardsley, Sansom; Parker, McDonald; Maddix (Wilson), Wilkins, Barker, Falco, Wegerle, Sinton
Att: 22,352

The final Football League Division One encounter at Goodison Park against QPR in April 1992 ended in a goalless draw. The first Premier League meeting between the two teams took place on 12 April 1993 and despite the hosts scoring three times through Tony Cottee (30), Stuart Barlow (87) and Preki (89), QPR took all three points as Les Ferdinand grabbed a hat-trick whilst Andy Impey and David Bardsley also got on the scoresheet to leave the Goodison faithful shell-shocked.

Bradley Allen followed up Les Ferdinands hat-trick the following season as he too grabbed three goals without reply to help QPR take another three points from Merseyside on 20 November 1993. Allen had scored in the 26th, 50th and 83rd minutes.

Howard Kendall said of the QPR performance that It was probably the worst display since I came back to the club three years ago and I could fully understand why the supporters poured out their feelings. Too many players didnt perform on the day, and we were punished by a very good passing team. Evertons hopes of attaining a European berth were beginning to look out of reach as they were now planted firmly in mid-table, seven points adrift of the top seven teams, but they were a healthy eight points clear of Southampton who occupied the final relegation position. Howard Kendall resigned from the Goodison hot-seat after his next home victory against Southampton 1-0 on 4 December 1993.

For the next Goodison Park encounter with the Hoops in September 1994, Mike Walker was in charge of the Toffees. Les Ferdinand once again struck twice for the visitors but goals from Daniel Amokachi and Paul Rideout earned the hosts a share of the spoils.

Joe Royles Everton, the FA Cup holders took on QPR at Goodison the following season (95-96) and Nicholas Spencer, gave his report to the Electronic Telegraph:

AFTER the excitement of Anfield on Saturday, Everton secured their third successive win in the most routine of games, first-half goals from Graham Stuart and Paul Rideout accounting for Rangers. Ray Wilkins's frail side battled gamely in the second half but their inability to trouble the home defence ensured the game died a lingering death. With just two points from their last six games, the Londoners are in urgent need of a lift.

Rangers, short on years, inches and confidence began with two debutants, Trevor Challis and Matthew Brazier, bracing themselves to deal with Andrei Kanchelskis. In the event, both Everton's first-half goals were direct creations with no blame attached.

With the player-manager on the bench, eight of Rangers' starting line-up were children of the 1970s and after a sprightly start - Trevor Sinclair's volley forced Neville Southall to parry at his near post - it began to show.

In the 17th minute Anders Limpar tested Jurgen Sommer's nerves with a 30-yard shot that the goalkeeper spilled. A minute later, Anders Limpar's diagonal pass from half-way gave Stuart the invitation to slip in behind Yates to score with a delicate side-foot volley.

Sommer saved with his legs from Parkinson, Kanchelskis blasting the rebound over, before the goalkeeper was left exposed from his own clearance for Everton's second.

Parkinson returned the kick and Rideout held off Maddix to unleash a shot which, though strong, seemed to take Sommer by surprise, rearing into the net off both his hands.

Rangers' best hope of a swift response fell Brazier's way in the 44th minute, but Southall's wiles denied the 19-year-old the goal his right-foot shot promised.

Rangers introduced Daniele Dichio, who has scored seven of their 15 goals, but six minutes from time he fired over from 20 yards.

The Daily Mail report included the following:

Graham Stuart found the magic touch again to put Everton in front with a goal that had to be admired for both set-up and finish at Goodison Park.

The 24-year-old first took centre stage with a brilliant solo effort for Chelsea against Sheffield Wednesday in August 1992 that was later voted BBC TV's goal of the season. His latest stunner came after 18 minutes with a volley after a 40-yard pass from Anders Limpar. The Swedish winger, who recently said he wanted to move because his family could not settle on Merseyside, is playing like a man inspired.

On Saturday it was his long pass that laid on the chance for Andrei Kanchelskis for his second strike in the win over Liverpool at Anfield. His effort this time gave Everton the start they needed as they chased a third consecutive Premiership victory.

Everton had not beaten Rangers at home for five years but the visitors posed few problems this time. Everton extended their lead in the 36th minute when Paul Rideout forced his way past Danny Maddix and hit a shot that Jurgen Sommer could only tip into his net.

Rangers had started brightly and Neville Southall made a fine save from Trevor Sinclair after two minutes and a marvellous one from Brazier two minutes before half time. In between it was nearly all Everton.

Everton: Southall, Jackson, Watson, Short, Unsworth, Kanchelskis, Ebbrell, Parkinson, Limpar, Stuart, Rideout. Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Horne, Amokachi. Booked: Jackson, Ebbrell, Limpar.
QPR: Sommer, Challis (McDonald 82), Ready, Yates, Maddix, Zelic, Impey, Brazier, Barker, Gallen, Sinclair (Dichio 53). Subs Not Used: Wilkins. Booked: Ready, Zelic, Barker
Att: 30,009 Ref: P Danson (Leicester).

QPR as their performance at Goodison indicated were not good enough for the top flight and they were relegated at the end of the campaign (95/96), Everton agonisingly missed out on a European berth as Arsenal pipped them to the remaining qualifying place on the final day of the season.

Queens Park Rangers suffered a series of off the field scandals and changed managers more often than an agile impressionist changes their characters, none of whom could reproduce the results to get QPR back into the top division. In 2001 QPR entered administration. Following a brief period back in the third tier of English Football, QPR regained their place in the Championship and in April 2011 the club won the Championship following a two-nil victory over Watford.

However, as had been the case for some considerable time, nothing at Loftus Road was as straightforward as it seemed. The purchase of Alejandro Faulin had alerted the FA and many thought the governing body would deduct points from the West London club, but the FA fined the club over three-quarters of a million pounds and the Rangers supporters could celebrate their return to the Premier League.

QPRs reward for winning the Championship was to play at Goodison Park in Evertons first match of the season as the Toffees trip to Tottenham had been postponed on the opening day of the 2011-12 campaign.

Evertonians would be hoping that a home victory would be in the offing and most were excited to see the debut of Ross Barkley the young player who so many on Merseyside were talking about. Chris Whyatt for BBC sport gave his views on the match:

Despite the financial pressures on them, long-serving Toffees boss David Moyes insists he can keep hold of his most established players. But 17-year-old Ross Barkley started, and shone, in midfield while playmaker Mikel Arteta and Maroune FellaIni sat on the bench.

Playing their first match of the season after the scheduled opener at Tottenham was postponed because of the recent riots, Everton began with enterprising purpose. Jermaine Beckford, spearheading the attack on his own, could not connect with a scissors kick while Cahill - bravely diving low - was inches away from putting his head on a wicked Baines delivery.

Following inventive jinking work from Barkley, Baines then curled an almost perfect free-kick over the wall, but his effort crashed down off the bar. As Shaun Derry battled hard for the visitors, QPR - who had been hit by a virus in the camp - snatched the lead.

Jagielka gave the ball away uncharacteristically, allowing Akos Buzsaky to feeding a pass to Smith in the box, and the 31-year-old took a touch and spun to curl the ball instinctively beyond Tim Howard into the bottom corner.

Unmarked, Cahill missed Everton's best chance - a virtual open net - after Beckford had swung over a threatening cross to the back post. Rangers were caught dozing seconds after the break but Jack Rodwell lifted a weak shot into Kenny's hands when the clear chance demanding a powerful, low strike.

Arteta replaced him soon after, just before striker Patrick Agyemang was stretchered off with a leg injury, and Everton predictably pressed with increasing desperation.

But, typifying the work ethic, Derry made a superb sliding block on Osman after he shaped to shoot following a surging run. Fellaini came on and immediately set up Cahill but he dithered too long and his shot, from too wide an angle, was easily batted away.

Everton manager David Moyes: "Ross [Barkley] should be proud of the way he played today, the way he took responsibility on the ball. He was terrific. He was the one who looked likeliest to craft a chance today.

"Probably not with the way we played, but I don't think we deserved to lose it either. When we created we didn't take the chances we had. You always felt a sense of anxiety that we were chasing the game. We just didn't have the quality on the right areas to make the difference. You need the players to help you finish your good moves off.

"I don't think I can do anything in the transfer window. I'm definitely short of forwards and wide players. But we were last year as well.

QPR manager Neil Warnock: "It's an amazing result. Yesterday we lost three players with a virus. One of them, DJ Campbell, collapsed. But everybody played as a team.

"I felt we deserved it in the end. We've just got to get on with it after last week. It's a fabulous league, I love it. We've got to enjoy it.

I've never been busier. We're going to try to bring four or five players in who can help us. I'm really looking forward to it, to really competing. I'd be very surprised if I don't get the players in."

Everton: 24 Howard 03 Baines 05 Heitinga (Saha 74) 06 Jagielka 15 Distin 18 Neville 17 Cahill 20 Barkley 21 Osman yellow card 26 Rodwell (Arteta 54) 16 Beckford (Fellaini 63) Subs: 01 Mucha, 02 Hibbert, 10 Arteta, 25 Fellaini, 08 Saha, 27 Vellios, 28 Anichebe
QPR: 01 Kenny 02 Orr 05 Hall yellow card 06 Gabbidon 16 Connolly 04 Derry 07 Taarabt 11 Faurlin 14 Buzsaky 19 Agyemang (Bothroyd 55) 21 Smith (Ephraim 66)
Subs: 26 Murphy, 13 Gorkss, 15 Perone, 23 Moen, 25 Ephraim, 36 Andrade, 10 Bothroyd
Ref: Friend Att: 35,008

Mark Hughes was appointed QPR manager in January 2012 but he only just steered the club away from relegation despite a reverse at Manchester City (3-2) on the final day of the campaign.

On 23 November 2012, Mark Hughes was sacked, having amassed only 4 points in 12 games and with the club languishing at the bottom of the Premier League despite significant financial investment in new players during the 11 months of Hughes' tenure. A day later, Harry Redknapp was confirmed as the new manager.

Last Time: as reported on the BBC website: By Alistair Magowan BBC Sport

Everton scored either side of half-time to maintain their European challenge and push Queens Park Rangers closer to relegation from the Premier League.

The visitors were in the ascendancy when Loic Remy's shot was saved by Tim Howard after Junior Hoilett's early curler fizzed just wide.

But five minutes before the break, Darron Gibson's shot was cruelly deflected off Clint Hill on its way in.

And, after Everton improved, Victor Anichebe flicked in following a corner.

For periods in the first half it looked as though QPR might continue their three-game unbeaten run against the Toffees since their return to the top flight in May 2011.

But the manner in which they went behind understandably stripped them of confidence and their position looks ever more parlous with only five games remaining.

Harry Redknapp's side remain seven points from safety, but they have now played two more games than their closest relegation rivals Wigan and one more than Sunderland, who face Newcastle on Sunday.

With Rangers having won only four league games all season, Redknapp targeted as many victories again from their final six games, but the prospect of survival must now look even more remote.

Queens Park Rangers have conceded 13 goals from corner situations this season, at least five more than any other team.

Following Arsenal's win over Norwich, David Moyes's Everton stay sixth in the table and face a crucial game against the Gunners on Tuesday. They are still in the hunt for a Champions League spot, as they sit just three points below fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

Everton recorded their fourth consecutive home win but it was QPR who twice came close to permeating the home defence before Gibson's fortunate opener.

When Park Ji-sung laid the ball off to Hoilett, the Canadian's curling shot was a whisker wide before Remy's fierce drive was palmed away by Howard.

The hosts were frustrated by what they thought was some rough-house QPR defending, and with Steven Pienaar back in the side their only real threat came when the South African combined with Leighton Baines down Everton's left.

Despite Sylvain Distin's off-target effort, QPR withstood Everton's laboured forays and were unlucky to concede the opening goal.

Baines crossed low for Kevin Mirallas and, when the Belgian's effort came back to Gibson, his shot cannoned in off the luckless Hill for the Irishman's second Everton goal.

Coming six days after his side conceded a crucial injury-time equaliser against Wigan, Redknapp looked absolutely sick on the sidelines and with some justification.

Problems then mounted for his side as Everton emerged after the break as a completely different proposition.

They were far quicker to the ball and passed with extra vitality as they conjured a number of chances, putting QPR under pressure from a succession of corners.

Mirallas tricked his way past Nedum Onuoha and crossed low to Anichebe but the Nigerian smacked his shot against the post from eight yards.

He made up for that miss, though, when he flicked in Distin's header from another accurate Baines corner.

It was no more than Everton deserved and they could have made the scoreline more comfortable when Mirallas twice had shots saved by Julio Cesar.

Onuoha had a solitary effort for QPR as the game petered out miserably for them. With few chances to make amends now, their season could go the same way.

Everton boss David Moyes on Darron Gibson's goal: "He should do more but he has a thigh problem and we were nearly having to take him off. We think he will need an operation at end of the season so he has been reticent to shoot and take things on but it got a big deflection which helped us as well.

"It's a really important three points, I was worried about today's game. QPR have a lot to play for but they are nearly getting to a situation where there's not much to play for.

"I think if we beat Arsenal in midweek we can talk about the Champions League but if we lose we are more talking about trying, if possible, to finish in that Europa League place."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp: "It was another blow, last week was a massive blow at home to Wigan. Everton is always a difficult place to come but at half-time I thought we were unfortunate to be 1-0 down. The goal was a massive deflection and we came in at half-time feeling sorry for ourselves.

"You have to keep going, you can't suddenly feel sorry for ourselves but we started sloppy and became undisciplined, we didn't do our jobs properly, we gave free-kicks away, we kicked the ball away, we got bookings. It didn't do us any favours.

"I can't stand there and go no [we can't survive], if it's a no I may as well go on holiday now."We have to believe, we have to beat Stoke, we have to go to Reading and win, we have to win the other two home games against Newcastle and Arsenal. I know it's tough and it's going to be very difficult but while you've got a chance you have to keep going."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)
Everton: 24 Howard 03 Baines 06 Jagielka 15 Distin 23 Coleman 04 Gibson Booked 21 Osman (Jelavic - 81) 22 Pienaar Booked 25 Fellaini Booked 11 Mirallas (Naismith - 87) 28 Anichebe (Heitinga - 90)
Subs: 01 Mucha 05 Heitinga 08 Oviedo 16 Hitzlsperger 20 Barkley 07 Jelavic 14 Naismith

Queens Park Rangers: 33 Julio Cesar 05 Samba 06 Hill 15 Onuoha 19 Bosingwa Booked 07 Park Ji-sung (Taarabt - 62' ) 14 Granero Booked (Diakite - 74' ) 16 Jenas 23 Hoilett 29 Townsend Booked 18 Remy
Subs: 01 Green 20 Fabio 21 Ben-Haim 02 Diakite 10 Taarabt 12 Mackie 37 Bothroyd

Ref: Mason Att: 34,876

Everton versus QPR (Top Flight games only)

22 13 4 5 41 26

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Reader Comments (9)

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James Joseph
1 Posted 15/12/2014 at 08:22:04
Thank you for another great article Patrick.

That QPR team of 1975-76 that beat us 2-0 at Goodison was a really terrific team that should have won the league that season, only for our lovable neighbours to steal the title away from them 10 days after QPR had played there last game.

Rangers dropped crucial points when they lost their third last game 3-2 at Norwich, whose goals included one that appeared to be offside, but won their last two to keep their hopes alive. However, because Toshack and the thuggish Joey Jones had to play for Wales against Yugoslavia, Liverpool were allowed to postpone their final game, away at Wolves, for 10 days. This meant, of course, that they knew exactly what they needed to do in order to pip Rangers to the title - a low scoring draw would be enough. However, with just 14 minutes to go Wolves were hanging on to a 1-0 lead but then Keegan equalised and two more late goals saw the title go to Anfield, a crucial success as they'd won nothing the season before but this gave Paisley his first trophy and we all know what happened after that.

The Rangers team included Phil parkes in goal, an England international who would have won more caps in another era; full backs Dave Clement (once linked with Everton) and ian Gillard also won England honours; central defence was vastly experienced with Frank McLintock and Dave Webb, while John Hollins added the same quality to a midfield where the outstanding player was England captain Gerry Francis. Along side him was the wily Don Masson, a Scottish international, and on the wing was Dave Thomas, who was soon to become well known to Evertonians. In attack they had Stan Bowles, who also played for England but had little chance of more appearances under Don Revie, a player similar in style to Duncan McKenzie but, in my opinion, more effective, and underrated Irish international Don Givens, quick and with a deadly left foot. The squad was completed by utility men like Mick Leach and John Beck.

Sadly for Rangers their time at the top was short lived as the older players declined and manager Dave Sexton was tempted away to Man Utd.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 15/12/2014 at 12:24:47
Keep saying thanks, Patrick, but you deserve it, not only for the contents but for the work you put in.

I remember the 1952 game when George Cummins made his debut. You'll notice there were five Irish internationals in the team, nothing unusual then but what a difference to today's teams.

Cummings was part of the deal that brought Billy Bingham to Everton from Luton Town.

Mike Childs
3 Posted 15/12/2014 at 13:25:26
Thanks Patrick, I may not always finish them but they are great to read love the words of the reporters. I really appreciate the effort.
Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 15/12/2014 at 15:55:39
Thanks for the kind words guys - glad that you are enjoying them. James - I went to that game at Molineux and there were many Blues at the ground - it was a sweltering hot day and it was also the nearest thing to a tragedy that I have ever been involved in as the staff refused to open the turnstiles as the crowd built up well before kick-off, inevitably in a bid to ease the growing pressure a couple of gates were knocked in and hundreds if not thousands were pushed through to the open terraces without paying. Not a great memory as regards the game, but as a young and naive lad I thought Wolves were going to prevent the inevitable.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 15/12/2014 at 16:34:31
I was at that game Patrick like you, hoping they would lose. There wasn't a policeman in sight, gate got smashed in, toilet windows were completely smashed in, Thousands got in that way, it could have indeed been another tragic night.

Me and my mate, a red persuaded a bizzie to let get onto the pitch to get to the other end, half way round we jumped into the stands and watched the game from there.

Glad to to get out of the ground, a bit like the second replay against Aston Villa at Hills borough, another frightening night.

James Joseph
6 Posted 16/12/2014 at 11:07:44
Yes Patrick and Dave, I remember hearing about the huge crowd at Molineux. I'll forgive you your youthful indiscretion about going to watch the Dark Side play, even if cheering on the opposition. Personally, I never even watch them on television unless I hear that they are losing, although all too often that backfires as they contrive to eke out another spawny win, the most harrowing occasion being the European win when I was away on holiday, happily ignoring the game, only to be lured into the local pub by the sight of crestfallen red-shirted oafs lamenting the 0-3 score line. Needless to say, I'd exited unnoticed long before the penalty shootout and it's inevitable result.

For that game at Molyneux I have a distinct memory of listening on the radio, bizarrely sitting on the stairs as that's where I was when Wolves scored, but turning off when Keegan equalised - even at that age I knew what was coming next.

Ray Atherton
7 Posted 17/12/2014 at 17:55:10
Dave (5)

Regarding Billy Bingham's deal to sign for the Blues: I thought we exchanged John Bramwell and Alec Ashworth to Luton town.

I agree with Dave about Patrick s column.

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 17/12/2014 at 20:19:28
Ray(7), you have got me thinking there, you are most probably right, old age catching up with me.

Who did George Cummins leave Everton for?.

I know he settled back in Liverpool playing for one of the local amateur clubs Canada or maybe Waterloo Dock.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 17/12/2014 at 20:45:34
I'll answer my own question, George Cummins left Everton for Luton Town in 1953 and Billy Bingham didn't join Everton until 1960.

Moral of the story, to myself, always check the facts before you jump in with both feet.

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