| QPR 0 Cardiff City 4
29th November 2002
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Cardiff City fans at QPR
Things don't get much better than this!
I couldn't get a City ticket, so I had to go along with some QPR fans and sit in the 'wrong' end. Any hopes of remaining anonymous were immediately dashed when I took my seat in Block A - slap bang next to the Cardiff crew, some of whom spotted me and immediately burst into teasing, personalised chants - you bastards!
Fortunately, the QPR fans around me didn't object to being next to an 'outed' City fan, but the same couldn't be said for an outstandingly spaced out CCFC couple behind me, escorted out for, well, being weird (judging by their appearance, I'd guess that they'd immersed themselves in several tubs of acid before entering the ground).
But it felt a little drug-like being in the 'wrong' end as everything goes into reverse - people boo when you want to cheer and everyone's emotions run the exact opposite way to yours. I sorely wanted to be amongst the Cardiff crew - and what a Cardiff turnout it was!
Strong in voice and high on passion, the lads managed to inject a massive atmosphere into QPR's fine Loftus Road stadium.
Anyhow - about the game... the first half was a hard fought affair with QPR pushing ahead on points, forcing City keeper Neil Alexander into making some fine saves. At this point 0-0 was looking like a likely result and we would have been happy with that.
Come the second half and it was a different affair. From an Andy Legg corner, a Keystone Cops-type goalmouth scramble ensued with Earnshaw on hand to finally hoof the ball over the line. 1-0!
1-0 to Cardiff City!
And this where things got a bit tricky for me. My natural instinct is to leap about and go berserk when City score.
I figured that it might be a little inappropriate in the QPR end, so I tried to suppress my triumphant battle cry while offering a knowing nod to the City fans. I probably looked like a constipated drunk with a twitch.
The mighty Earnshaw extended the lead six minutes later with a superb individual effort, which seemed to knock the stuffing out of QPR.
From then on it was plain sailing, with Earnshaw making it a hat-trick after a neat chip over QPR keeper Simon Royce, before Andy Campbell completed the rout with a stoppage time fourth. Beautiful!
City fans celebrate at the final whistle as Cardiff beat QPR 4-0
The massive Cardiff crowd made sure Loftus Road not only knew the current score ("oh ah, it's a massacre"), but was regularly reminded about their humiliating last home defeat to Vauxhall Motors ("you lost to a garage").
This truly was a massive result for Cardiff and despatching their promotion rivals so efficiently bodes well for the rest of the season. Now, if only Wigan could start losing a few!
Post match, we struggled to find a single pub in the whole of Shepherd's Bush that would let us in. Every pub was either completely closed or trying to 'hide' with blacked out windows and the lights on low. What on earth did they think the Cardiff fans were going to do?!
After a fruitless wander up and down the Goldhawk Road, we headed back to Brixton for celebratory drinks (for me) and a 'cheer up it's not that bad' drinks (for my QPR chums).
A fine night!
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