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Old Enemy Ref's Palace Clash

The moment Rangers feared has come to fruition as Rob Styles takes charge of Rangers away at London rivals Crystal Palace.

Rob began his path to refereeing infamy in 1987 in Portsmouth progressing through the Wessex and Isthmian leagues to join the National list of referees in 1996. Just four years later and he was fast-tracked to the Premier League where he continues to ply his trade eight years on.

Styles achieves FIFA accreditation in 2002, which sadly enough deemed him one of the best referee`s in the country, a very sad indictment on the officiating system in this country.

44 year old Styles of Waterloovile, Hampshire has provided pundits with a plethora of talking points and over the years and dishes out more cards than Hallmark during a festive period.

Here Vital QPR attempts to outline all the games in which Styles has 'officiated` Rangers dating back to November 1997 as the R`s took on Huddersfield Town at Loftus Road.

A double from Nigel Quashie sealed the game for Rangers who saw Matthew Brazier go into the book, the large frame of Andy Morrison half the arrears a minute before the end but Rangers came out victorious.

A year later Styles dished out seven yellow cards as Rangers beat Barnsley 2-1 at home. Richard Langley and Kevin Gallen put the R`s two goals to the good before Martin Bullock bagged a consolation as Langley, Murray and Ready all went into the book.

It wasn`t to be the last time that Karl Ready incurred the wrath of the strict official as he was given his marching orders in a defeat to Bradford City later that season. The 3-1 result was compounded by last minute sendings off to Ready and Ashley Westwood for the Bantams.

Then what followed can only be described as a catastrophe and a disaster, as a catalogue of errors making him infamous amongst the Rangers faithful. A thoroughly inept performance from the official as he gave a stunningly one-sided performance that was glaringly obvious to even the most ardent Fulham fan.

Styles gave Rangers forward Rob Steiner his marching orders before half time for diving, a second bookable offence. This was after he gave the Whites a frankly laughable free kick from which Canadian forward Paul Peschisolido scored, thus beginning a long-running feud.

This continued as the Football League inexplicably appointed him once again for Rangers away to Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup. He did his party trick once again, sending off Chris Plummer for a second bookable offence after he was adjudged to have pulled back Andy Hunt in the area. QPR manager Gerry Francis subsequently wrote to the FA requesting Styles not take charge of a Rangers fixture again.

While the penalty was missed, young Charlie MacDonald burst onto the scene to put Rangers out of the cup at the fourth round stage.

A relatively tepid affair by Mr Styles standard ensued when Rangers were defeated at home by Sheffield Wednesday in the new Millennium. For some strange reason he handed the R`s a penalty, which Gavin Peacock duly slotted before he could change his mind. Terry Cooke and Alan Quinn handed the Owls the win in the season Rangers were relegated.

Rob was given a season off ruining Rangers games but came roaring back to form in August 2002, when he made a mockery of Rangers defeat against Wycombe Wanderers. A poor officiating display doesn`t begin to describe the occasion as he sent off FOUR players, two from each side.

Marc Bircham was sent off on 39 minutes, setting the tone as Marcus Bean and Andy Rammell were sent off in the second period. Rob completed a nice round number sending off Danny Senda for the Chairboy`s who had now gone against Rangers two seasons in succession. The 4-1 scoreline flattered the Chairboy`s a tad, as Furlong`s leveller seemed a far cry after the fourth goal flew in.

Once again Styles took a year off taking his frustrations out on QPR, but he was then handed a recipe for disaster. Stoke City, on a Tuesday night, on television. However Rob behaved himself for the cameras as Lee Cook`s solitary strike was enough to win the game, with Chris Kamara waxing lyrical on Sky TV.

In the following campaign Styles oversaw an inept Rangers display that for once didn`t make him the talking point. Marcus Bean`s tackle ended QPR fan Charlie Oatway`s career, and Tim Breaker was sent off for saying something to the official. Guy Butters nodded past Jake Cole on a rare start for the R`s on Boxing Day 2005.

And that brings to an end a catalogue of calamities, as Rangers have enjoyed three Styles-free years, but unfortunately he returns, and here`s to hoping it`s not an unmitigated disaster.

This season Mr Styles has officiated 12 games dishing out 38 yellows and three reds giving him an average card rating of 3.42. in the process he has given two extremely poor penalty decisions, one for which he apologised as Bolton lost at Old Trafford, and one for which he didn`t as Habib Beye was given his marching orders in the twelfth minute.

Mr Styles & Queens Park Rangers

QPR 2-1 Huddersfield Town - 22nd November 1997.
Goals: Nigel Quashie 25, 79; Andy Morrison 89.
Booked: Matthew Brazier; Darren Edmondson.

QPR 2-1 Barnsley - 4th November 1998.
Goals: Richard Langley 11, Kevin Gallen 40; Martin Bullock 47.
Booked: Richard Langley, Paul Murray, Karl Ready; Matt Appleby, Arian De Zeeuw, Bruce Dyer, Eric Tinkler.

QPR 1-3 Bradford City - 24th April 1999.
Goals: Kevin Gallen 79; Peter Beagrie 32, Ashley Westwood 62, Gordon Watson 90.
Booked: Iain Dowie, George Kulcsar, Danny Maddix; John Dreyer, Stuart McCall.
Sent Off: Karl Ready; Ashley Westwood.

Fulham 1-0 QPR - 18th September 1999.
Goals: Paul Peschisolido 17
Booked: Tony Scully, Rob Steiner.
Sent Off: Rob Steiner.

Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR - 8th January 2000.
Goals: Charlie MacDonald 68.
Booked: Paul Bruce, Iain Dowie, Richard Langley, Chris Plummer, Rob Steiner
Sent Off: Chris Plummer.

QPR 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday - 25th October 2000.
Goals: Gavin Peacock 38pen; Terry Cooke 48, Alan Quinn 77.
Booked: Marlon Broomes, Richard Langley.

Wycombe Wanderers 4-1 QPR - 26th August 2002.
Goals: Craig Faulconbridge 35, Andy Rammell 47, Sean Devine 61, Michael Simpson 84; Paul Furlong 44.
Booked: Roger Johnson; Paul Furlong
Sent Off: Danny Senda; Andy Rammell; Marcus Bean, Marc Bircham.

QPR 1-0 Stoke City - 14th January 2005.
Goals: Lee Cook 18.
Booked: Lee Cook, Paul Furlong, Georges Santos; John Eustace.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 QPR - 26th December 2005.
Goals: Guy Butters 7.
Booked: Dean Hammond, Colin Kazim-Richards, Paul Reid; Marcus Bean, Martin Rowlands.

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Writer: Boxer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 26 2008

Time: 9:33PM

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