From February 1931: Fulham (0) – QPR (2) – ‘Tempers became frayed just after the Interval at Craven Cottage’

Team: Cunningham, Wiles (G), Harris, Sales, Smith (N), Ferguson, Coward, Burns, Goddard, Rounce, Howe

Attendance: 18,955

Rangers travelled to Craven Cottage on 7th February 1931 following a 2-0 home win over Coventry City the previous Saturday. “Trojan’s” match report appeared two days later:

‘What a pity it is that “Derby” games are generally tainted with bad feeling. Tempers became frayed just after the interval at Craven Cottage and completely ruined a game that at one time promised to be a very interesting encounter.

The first-half, in fact, was quite an enjoyable period, but shortly after the interval a foul occurred. Another followed, and yet another, until the proceedings became almost farcical.

A Rangers half and a Fulham forward each committed a very bad foul that the referee did not fail to notice, and while the official in charge did not send anyone off, I noticed that he jotted notes down in his book, and I feel sure that more will be heard of this game.

From the moment the hurly-burly stuff commenced, good football was rarely seen. But before that we saw quite entertaining footwork from the Rangers, who scored a neat goal through Goddard, following a centre from Howe in the tenth minute, and continued to play with a cleverness in attack that offered a marked contrast to the slow, cumbersome, feeble efforts of the home line.

After the interval, Fulham held a territorial advantage and were unlucky not to score. Once only a timely kick off the goal-line by Smith saved the situation, while on other occasions the agility of Cunningham foiled Fulham.

When Coward netted again for the Rangers in the last minute it was all against the run of the play.

But because Rangers played with method and always made the best use of the ball, I think they deserved their success. As I have already stated, they held a big superiority in attack, where all five men played together admirably, with Goddard and Rounce especially prominent as marksmen.

Price, too, was a weakness. He dribbled and dribbled until he lost the ball. Sheer waste of time and energy. Finch was lively on the left, but the rest of the line had a poor afternoon.

There was not much polish about the Rangers halves, but for strong spoiling Smith was good enough, while at back Wiles and Harris defended stoutly.

But the best defender was Gibbon, the Fulham back, who covered up weaknesses by his colleagues in a masterful way.’

Rangers lost their next three games, Swindon Town and Torquay United at home, which was followed by a 0-6 defeat at Northampton.

Steve Russell

(Featured above are: Back row, left to right, Arthur Sales, T. Mayson (the trainer), William Pierce and Joel Cunningham. Front row: Albert Legge, Jack Burns and the legendary George Goddard. Thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the match report)

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