QPR (3) – Chelsea (2) – ‘Mangnall’s Last Minute Wonder Goal’

Team: Allen, Jefferson, Abel, March, Farmer, Powell, Bonass, McCarthy, Mangnall, Mallett, McEwan

Attendance: 8,010

The R’s took on Chelsea in a League South ‘B’ match at Loftus Road on 2nd December 1939.

Titled: ‘Rangers had the Blues on the Run’, the following match report appeared in the Marylebone Mercury & West London Star a week later:

‘A snap goal by Mallett in the first minute and a match winner by Mangnall in the last were the highlights of Queen’s Park Rangers 3-2 win over Chelsea at the Loftus Road ground on Saturday.

A crowd of 8,000 – the maximum gate limit – saw a ninety-minute thriller that made football history. This was the first occasion on which the two clubs had met in an important match though only a few miles separate their respective grounds.

As was only fitting, some grand football was seen. The Rangers were far from overawed by their opponents and, led by Mangnall, they attacked almost unceasingly and were deserving winners.
The game opened with a sensation. Within half-a-minute of the kick-off a lightning movement started by Farmer and McEwan, ended in Mallett, the Rangers inside-right netting with a swift drive into the corner of the goal with Woodley hopelessly beaten.

Inspired by this early success, the home side kept play in Chelsea’s half. Bonass, the Rangers lanky outside-left came near in adding a second when his corner kick, a dangerous dropping shot into the middle, was punched out by the ever vigilant Woodley.

In the next minute Allen, in the Rangers goal, was forced to come out to save during a hot Chelsea attack.

After ten minutes’ play the Rangers were awarded a penalty. McEwan fell headlong five yards from goal and the referee pointed to the spot following what appeared to be a pure accident.

Mallett took the kick but Woodley brought off a truly magnificent save and cleared well.

The Rangers goal had a narrow escape after 20 minutes, Allen made one of his frequent excursions out of goal and Spence found himself with an open goal – except for the formidable figure of Abel, who managed to clear Spence’s rather weak shot.

Just before the interval, McCarthy sent a hard, low drive past Woodley. It looked like a goal, but the referee ruled that there had been an infringement before the ball entered the net. Half-time: Queen’s Park Rangers 1, Chelsea 0.

Play was less brilliant and more scrappy at the start of the second-half, Queen’s Park Rangers having the better of the game territorially.

After fifteen minutes, the Rangers went further ahead through a remarkable Chelsea error and a smart piece of work by Mangnall and A. J. Smith tapped the ball back to Woodley without making sure he was unmarked.

Mangnall, a few yards away, saw his chance and intercepting the pass drove casually into the net past a bewildered Woodley.

This further reverse for Chelsea had a “cold sponge” effect on the visitors who fought back desperately. Their efforts were rewarded two minutes later when Payne decreased the Rangers’ lead with a fine drive into the corner of the net after receiving from Weaver.

Chelsea put on the pressure after this and their determination to score was demonstrated when the whole side came upfield for a corner.

Ten minutes later, Payne added a second with a pile driver, which Allen could not have seen.

With both teams straining for the winning goal, play became something more than robust and tempers a little frayed. It fell to Mangnall to notch the final goal of the game in the last few minutes.

Breaking away on the left the centre-forward let loose a terrific shot which hit the far corner of the net.’

It must be noted that in September 1914, QPR had beaten Chelsea 1-0 in the London Challenge Cup.

Steve Russell

(Dave Mangnall is pictured above. My thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the match report and to Gordon Macey for his assistance)