The South East Counties League Cup Final 1st Leg at West Ham in 1994

The following article appeared in issue 4 of ‘The Ranger’ in the summer of 1994:

‘Youth Development Officer Chris Gieler invited ‘The Ranger’ to join the youth team for their South East Counties League Cup Final First Leg at West Ham.

4pm: The Youth team players start to board the executive coach. They’ve already had a light training session, a five-a-side and a pre-match meal. The lads are resplendent in their Yves St Laurent suits.

4.15pm: The players are joined on the coach by director Tony Ingham, assistant manager Frank Sibley, Gerry Francis’ family and friends and assistant club chaplain David Langdon.

4.30pm: Gerry Francis arrives with Julie and baby Adam. The coach departs with the young players in jolly mood, boosted by a couple of Gerry’s jokes.

4.45pm: Turn on the A40 and spot a policeman rubbing his leg after falling off his patrol bike. Much amusement on the coach.

5.25pm: Kevin Gallen emerges from the back of the coach to change the music on the speaker. Marvin Bryan comes charging down to offer his opinion and they agree to play Nigel Quashie’s rave tape.

5.26pm: The change of music is not appreciated by the other members of the coach party ! Gerry Francis jokes with Chris Gieler that he needs to educate the lads in their musical tastes.

5.30pm: Lee Goodwin nips to the front to put on Jon Monteath’s rap compilation tape. More groans on the coach !

6.00pm: Pull up outside the main stand at West Ham United in Green Street. The players step off the coach first. Gerry and Frank wish each lad “all the best”.

6.30pm: Des Bulpin gives his team talk in the dressing room.

7.00pm: Kick off in driving sleet. Rangers line-up as follows:
Paul Goodwin, Lee Goodwin, Chris Plummer, Trevor Challis, Graeme Power, Marvin Bryan, Kristian Wood, Nigel Quashie, Matthew Brazier, Kevin Gallen, Paul Bruce.
Substitutes: Jon Monteath, John Cross.
One name in the West Ham side stands out on the double-sided team sheet…..Frank Lampard. He’s the son of the former West Ham star of the same name. QPR pros Danny Maddix, Tony Witter and Bradley Allen, plus reserve manager Roger Cross, arrive to lend their support.

7.18pm: After a flurry of chances at both ends, Rangers take the lead. Marvin Bryan the scorer with a looping header from Power’s cross. The cry of “Come on You R’s” rings out from the Rangers fans in the main stand.

7.45pm: Half-time West Ham 0, Rangers 1. Rangers could be further ahead. Bryan, Bruce, Gallen and Bruce again all forced great saves from the West Ham keeper after the goal, but the home side had a good spell of pressure just before half-time.

7.58pm: Second half starts.

8.12pm: West Ham striker Shipp beats the offside trap and slips the ball past Paul Goodwin for the equaliser.

8.15pm: Rangers replace Paul Bruce with substitute Jon Monteath, who goes into the forward line.

8.16pm: Kevin Gallen shapes up to take a free-kick just outside the box. Frank Sibley offers a ¬£1 bet to anyone in the directors’ box that Kevin will score. Unfortunately, the free-kick is charged down.

8.31pm: Chris Plummer emphatically heads home QPR’s second goal from a Challis cross.

8.33pm: West Ham equalise again through a Jamie Victory header. 2-2 with 10 minutes to go.

8.34pm: Marvin Bryan feeds Kevin Gallen, who turns before firing into the bottom right-hand corner. Assistant chaplain David Langdon leaps to his feet and punches the air, before saying sheepishly: “I forgot I was in the directors’ box”.

8.46pm: Full-time whistle. Great cheers from the travelling Rangers fans and handshakes all around on the pitch.

9.00pm: Manager Des Bulpin is interviewed for QPR Clubcall. He said: “I’m very pleased with the result. We lost a couple of players with injury so I had to field a couple of schoolboys. Everyone played well. We scored three good goals and it sets up the second leg nicely”.

9.25pm: The executive coach pulls off from the West Ham car park.

9.30pm: The coach grinds to a halt outside a fish and chip shop. Kit manager John Nolan and physio Peter Kennedy take orders.

9.45pm: Fish, chicken, pies and chips are being devoured in huge quantities.

9.50pm: Kevin Gallen won’t eat his chicken because it is not cooked properly !

10.15pm: There is a sweepstake on the size of the crowd for the second leg at Loftus Road. The lowest estimate is 800 by Chris Gieler. Some of the youth team players reckon 5,000 !

10.25pm: Chris Gieler cleans up the chip wrappings on the coach. “Make sure you make a note of this,” he tells our reporter.

10.55pm: Arrive back at the training ground in Acton. The players disperse, looking forward to the second leg next week

Footnote: Rangers beat West Ham 3-2 in the second leg at Loftus Road (attendance 3,795) to win the cup 6-4 on aggregate.’

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “The South East Counties League Cup Final 1st Leg at West Ham in 1994

  1. I remember this game as I was one of the many Rs who turned up in the pouring rain. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the second leg at home though due to being away.
    I had booked a 10 day trip to Berlin to see England play a friendly match.But due to media pressure the game was called off as the game was on Adolf Hitlers birthday and the press reckoned the game would attract a load of right wing nutters.Believe me you didn’t need to play a game on his birthday to attract right wingers either in this country or Germany. As my trip was already booked and the FA & DFB wouldn’t compensate us ,we decided to head off around the best the eastern bloc had to offer including Bosnia, even though the notice at Budapest railway station said something along the lines of ‘due to the ongoing conflicts in the region , we cannot guarantee the train will arrive at its destination’.
    I phoned Alan Barnes from Lake Balaton in Hungary to find out the 2nd leg score.

  2. Just seen this on facebook

    Adrian Bland-
    And I was the ref!

    Hard not to celebrate all the goals going in! There was some good footage on the end of season video.

  3. Amusing to think that “baby Adam” Francis is now in the youth team himself! I was not able to make this game but did see another Youth cup tie at West Ham a couple of years before with Lou Macari’s son playing for West Ham. I suspect the player’s diet these days is somewhat different, and their musical tastes. If Gerry had had his way the Groundhogs might have been the listening choice, and no doubt a spot of Simple Minds if the Magic Hat had had his! Good article Steve

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