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   Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 13:57 GMT
Driven to drink

Punk rockers among you will remember the Adam and the Ants song Cartrouble.

It could have been used as the soundtrack to QPR's FA Cup misery on Tuesday night.

For those of you who may have missed the scoreline (if only), the former finalists were jettisoned in the first round by Vauxhall Motors - at Loftus Road.

That's Vauxhall Motors - at Loftus Road.

As a long-suffering Rangers fan working on an unforgiving sports desk, it was very tempting to stay under the duvet on Wednesday morning and invent a mystery illness.

Vauxhall's Andy Ralph celebrates
Vauxhall's Andy Ralph realises his driving ambition

Car sickness would have covered it.

But QPR fans are nothing if not resilient, so I thought I'd slink into work and hope no-one noticed me.

Wrong move, amigo.

Within nanoseconds, the air was thick with gleeful taunts confirming it hadn't all been a terrible dream.

"That was a bit of a Cavalier performance", cried one wag. "They must be on the Cresta va wave", chortled another, while "Viva Vauxhall" seemed a particular favourite.

Proper

But there could be no comeback, no hiding place this time.

Quite simply, it was the biggest humiliation in the history of Queens Park Rangers - and there have been a few over the years.

Yeovil, Swansea, Carlisle, Leyton Orient - your boys gave us a hell of a beating. But at least they sounded like proper football teams.

Who are we going to lose to next year - Mick's Autos? Billericay Vicars? The Chipping Norton Round Table Association?!

Credit to Vauxhall, though (through gritted teeth). Their team of mechanics and tyre-fitters kept on driving throughout.

There was no sign of any rustiness on the wings and all the lads had really big engines - although they must have been exhausted by the end.

Jokes aside (and I'm hardly in the position to do stand-up at the moment), the Motormen thoroughly deserved their win and should revel in the moment.

Holloway Prison sign
Off you go, Ian

You can guarantee a few bottles of Champagne Supernova slipped down during the journey back up the M53 - and the Vauxhall plant would have been a happy place to be on Wednesday.

As long as you weren't expecting your car to be seviced.

As for Rangers, manager Ian Holloway should be sent to Holloway after this disaster - the team are still without a win in any cup since he took charge.

Still, at least now we can concentrate on the league - staying in it, that is.


Wednesday's game

Rearranged match

First round replays

Second round draw

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27 Nov 02 | QPR
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