Friendly Scottish Opposition: No.3 – St Mirren v QPR on 31st July 1989

Team: Seaman, Channing, Sansom, Parker, McDonald, Spackman, Gray, Reid, Clarke, Wright, Sinton

Subs: Johns, Maddix, Barker, Kerslake, Allen

Attendance: 1,600

The R’s previous encounter with St Mirren was on 13th August 1983. Rangers lost that game 3-2, with goals from Clive Allen and Simon Stainrod.

QPR’s next visit to Love Street was six years later on 31st July 1989.  Mike McLean filed the following match report a few days later for the Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette:

‘Goals from Walker and McDowall in the second-half of St Mirren’s first home game of the season, left the fans reasonably satisfied if not totally convinced about the Love Street revolution.

They were convinced of one thing though Saints have a “winner” in left-back Tom Black. He’s fast, tackles strongly and distributes the ball well.

He capped a fine display with a mammoth 60-yard pass, which pressured visiting sweeper Paul Parker, and Kenny McDowall’s persistence earned him second equaliser. Yes, Saints had to come back twice to get a result.

Trailing by a Nigel Spackman goal at half-time, they equalised through Walker, who headed a Weir free goal across for McGarvey to head it back to him, fooling the defence.

Rangers’ second goal had “farce” written all over it. Three players appeared offside when the ball was played into the Saints’ area, but Clarke calmly drew Les Fridge and squared to Wright.

The former Aberdeen player missed his kick two yards in front of an open goal, but managed to stab the ball home off a post at the second attempt. It was only justice that Saints levelled again.

Hit by injuries, Fitzpatrick was forced to bring McDowall and McGarvey on from the start, and both looked lively. McDowall worked very hard and earned his goal.

Roddy Manley, Saints’ other big money close season signing had his left wrist in plaster after damaging two fingers against the IOM Select last week. That might have explained his early hesitancy, which allowed Colin Clarke to out-jump him easily and supply the pass for the first goal.

After that however, the former Falkirk man showed a far more positive attitude and was looking good when he was injured in a tackle and limped off after an hour.’

Two days later the R’s travelled to Falkirk and then completed their Scottish tour at Dundee on 5th August.

Steve Russell

(My thanks to Gordon Macey for his assistance)

One thought on “Friendly Scottish Opposition: No.3 – St Mirren v QPR on 31st July 1989

  1. I’d missed the games in Scotland in 1983 and 1984 and was therefore delighted when the 3 game short tour of Scotland was arranged for pre season in 1989. My wife and I packed the car up and headed for Scotland with our then 11 month old daughter Ellen. The car was rammed full of baby gear – changing mats, carry cots etc with just one small bag for my wife Kate and me! Love Street was a classic old Scottish stadium and it was good to see Vic Stephenson, Alan Barnes and a handful of other Rangers fans at the game. The next match at Falkirk on Wednesday 2nd August meant a lot to me. Although my Scottish grandfather was a Glasgow Rangers fan, he lived most of his life in Bo’ness, less than 5 miles from Brockville the then Falkirk stadium. That was where he and my Uncle John saw most of their football in the 1940s and 50s. The site of Brockville is now a Morrison’s supermarket and it saw it’s last match prior to demolition in May 2003, but in 1989 it was still an old school, very atmospheric football stadium. I recall Rangers winning with Les Ferdinand scoring at least one of the goals. We had to head for home and miss the Dundee game but the few days trip to Scotland was a lot of fun.

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