Reading (0) – QPR (1) – ‘And but for Crawford in the Home Goal, Reading might have been Completely Flattened’

Team: Hill, Marsden, Blackman, Grant, Read, O’Brien, Bradshaw, Gregory, Smith (J), Clayton, Edgley

Attendance: 12,000

On 17th September 1921, QPR beat Norwich City 2-0 at Loftus Road and the following Saturday the Rangers travelled to Elm Park. A match report later appeared in the Kensington Post:

‘The Rangers proved themselves to be a fine team on their visit to Reading. Their form was of a high standard and justifies the selection of Clayton, the young ex-Tufnell Park player, in the side, his understanding with Edgley being an improvement for the benefit of the team.

And the Rangers deserved to win by the goal scored, and had they not secured both points would have been considered unlucky. They were superior to Reading fore and aft.

They played with a better understanding, were quicker on the ball, and generally drove home the fact that they are a team of footballers.

Reading were strong in goal and at full-back, but there were serious weaknesses in the other departments.

The only goal was scored fifteen minutes after the start, and it appeared that, but for the mistakes of other defenders, Crawford would have saved his charge. As it was, he could not help himself.

Smith, the Rangers’ centre forward, showed excellent judgement all through the game, and he had the satisfaction of seeing his wings respond to every call he made on them.

Bradshaw and Gregory, on the right-wing, played delightfully, and Edgley and Clayton were almost as prominent.

Grant, Read and O’Brien, the halves, were sturdy and clever, and Marsden and Blackman, at back, played with a confidence good to see. Nothing flurried them, and they kicked perfectly.

Hill in goal, did everything asked of him. He made three saves from Jones, Carr and Jennings. Crawford in the Reading goal,was splendid.’

A short report also appeared two days later in the London Daily News:

‘Reading were dead out of form at Elm Park, and the Queen’s Park Rangers quite deservedly notched a victory over them by a goal to nothing.

The only chalk of the match fell to the lot of the visitors after about 15 minutes’ play. Gregory getting in to score when the home defenders were all at sea. Hanney and Walker got in the way of Crawford, the goalkeeper, who but for them would undoubtedly have cleared his lines.

The general run of play showed the Rangers to be quite a balanced side. They played with a perfect understanding – the whole team exhibiting fine combination and playing like one man.

Hardly a pass went astray and most of their shots were well directed, and but for Crawford in the home goal, Reading might have been completely flattened.

Smith played a brainy and crisp game at centre-forward for the visitors, and he has the satisfaction of finding his wings responding admirably. They took up his passes very finely indeed.

Edgley and Clayton completed a clever line of forwards.’

Reading’s visit to Loftus Road the following Saturday ended in a 1-1 draw.

Steve Russell


(Shown above are George Grant and Jack Smith. Thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the two match reports)