24th February 1906: QPR (0) – Norwich City (0)

Team: Kingsley, White, Newlands, Yenson, Hitch, Ryder, Thompson, Sugden, Bevan, Fletcher, Roberts

Attendance: 12,000

On 17th February 1906, Rangers had drawn the derby match at Brentford 2-2 and the following week took on Norwich City at the Agricultural Showground in Park Royal. The Sporting Life reported on the game two days later:

‘There was a decidedly Rangers-cum-Luton element about the Norwich City team which visited Park Royal on Saturday, under the guardianship of Mr John Bowman, the former secretary of the Royalists, and the crowd accorded a hearty reception to their old favourite.

The Rangers showed their regard for the ability of the visitors by playing their best team, and there was a natural desire on the part of the locals to avenge that 4 to nil defeat at Norwich earlier in the season.

The ground was in a heavy condition, with plenty of mud and water, and the players found it difficult to keep their feet.

The visitors started off in great style, and Kingsley had to be on his best behaviour in the home goal. The Rangers soon retaliated, and Williams had to deal with one or two awkward shots, Bevan getting very close on one occasion.

The vigorous play caused the retirement of Thompson, the Rangers’ right-winger, owing to injury, but he returned after a few minutes rest.

The Norwich wing men showed a great turn of speed, and Kingsley found himself in difficulties with one long shot by Brown.

Indeed, the East Anglians might have scored had Ronaldson been able to preserve his equilibrium when in front of the goal, but this was no easy matter on a treacherous turf.

Bevan also came to grief in a collision with one of the visiting backs, but he, too, was able to resume.

The chief feature of the game was the strong defence on both sides, White and Hitch for the Rangers, and McEwen and Archer for the Canaries, giving a sound display.

Neither side availed itself of the opportunities, which presented themselves, and in this respect the visitors were the principal defaulters, so that at the interval nothing had been scored.

The defence again triumphed over the attack in the second half, and in consequence there was a lot of uninteresting play.

However, the Rangers revived, and endeavoured to secure the lead, which compelled Norwich to act chiefly on the defensive, but the pressure only served to show up their strength in this department.

Once it looked as if a goal was inevitable, for Williams, the visiting custodian, caught a hot shot from Sugden, and was then allured out of the goal, but Thompson failed to put to good use the opening, which presented itself.

Norwich had more of a look-in subsequently, but the attacks on either side were unsuccessful, and at the finish the teams were still on an equality, no goals having been recorded.’

Rangers travelled to Plymouth for their next Southern League fixture and the match finished 1-1.

Matt Kingsley had won an England cap whilst at Newcastle but was sacked by West Ham in 1904 after starting a riot! Rangers signed him in 1905 and he went on to make 20 Southern League appearances.

Steve Russell

(My thanks to Colin Woodley for his assistance)