QPR (0) – Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic (3) – ‘Rangers Stage an Unhappy “House Warming” at the White City’

Division Three (South)

Team: Pickett, Pollard, Harris, Sales, Armstrong, Whatmore, Wyper, Lewis, Goddard, Rounce, Cribb

Attendance: 18,938

QPR had opened their 1931/32 campaign with a defeat at Griffin Park, which was followed by a 1-1 away draw against Bristol Rovers.

On 5th September 1931, Rangers were at the White City Stadium to take on Bournemouth & Boscombe. The R’s had previously played there on two occasions, namely; against Southampton and Stoke City in April 1912.

The programme editorial was titled: ‘The Great Adventure’ and began with the following comment:

‘Today will see the commencement of a new phase in the history of Queen’s Park Rangers – one which we all hope will prove a stepping-stone to the higher sphere of football, which we have for so long hoped to see the Club attain.

A right warm welcome is given to all our visitors and particularly to our supporters, old and new, who have come to witness this opening match at our new home – The White City Stadium.

It is an open secret that our directors have previously made efforts to stage football at the White City – in fact the Rangers have actually played here – but difficulties arose which prevented the club from making the stadium its permanent home, until now.’

Frank Poxon wrote the following match report which appeared two days later:

‘Queen’s Park Rangers, whose “moves” are nearly as frequentas those of Mr Priestley’s “Good Companions,” opened their new ground at the huge White City Stadium with a match against Boscombe.

Taken all-round, it was rather a depressing “house warming”; the weather was wintry and the 20,000 crowd, looked almost “lost” owing to the magnitude of the enclosure. And, most important of all, the Rangers were soundly beaten by three goals to nil. 

But, if the Rangers take the long view, they will not be unduly disheartened. As the souvenir programme indicated, they will endeavour to live up to their palatial new home with its splendid range of covered accommodation.

There was a reference to the hope of promotion, but the Rangers must play much better than they did in this match if such a hope is to be justified. 

The start was good enough to satisfy the most critical, but long before the end all the sting and confidence had gone out of the Rangers’ play and the whole side seemed to lose heart. 

If they had scored a goal during their period of early pressure the whole trend of the game might have been altered. And, indeed, they would have got that early goal if their work in front of the net had been reasonably good.

That was just what it was not and the Boscombe defence gradually took complete command of the situation. 

The Rangers’ attack was ill-balanced, for the left-wing, Rounce and Cribb, was so much superior to the rest of the front-line. Throughout the match these two players worked with intelligence and to good purpose, but they were indifferently supported.

Wyper, on the right-flank, did some clever things, but he wasnot consistent enough to be really impressive. 

And Goddard certainly had an off-day. Once, in the first-half, he was specially to blame when he took the ball from Lewis, the amateur inside-right, when the last-named had much the better chance of scoring. 

It was an excess of zeal rather than a more selfish desire to score himself, but, even so, Goddard is experienced enough to know when to leave a colleague alone. 

I liked the way in which Boscombe set about their work. They opened shakily, but they settled down into a sound and workmanlike side, employing methods which were always direct and purposeful. 

What they lacked in polish they made up for in bustling energy and their forwards were always dangerous when near goal. 

Eyre, at centre-forward, got a goal in each half, Russell getting the other one in the second-half, and these two men were about the pick of the Boscombe attack. Eyre was frequently too good for the Rangers’ defence.’

Music was provided by the Willesden Town Silver Prize Band.

The previous Saturday, the reserves had drawn 2-2 against Brentford at Loftus Road.

It wasn’t until 7th November that the R’s got to record theirfirst home league win.

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the match report and to Linda Favell for kindly sending me the programme)