Did someone at the FA widen the goals in an experiment to encourage attacking play?

How else to explain eight goals then as a now a rarity in the Premier League?

The date is a bit of a giveaway.

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Five games from the end of the season with neither mid-table side playing for much more than pride, there was always scope for strikes, and in Les Ferdinand, QPR had arguably the best hit man in their 132-year history.

Now back at the club as ‘head of football operations’ whatever that means? Boss Harry Redknapp doesn’t know, Sir Les was head of football operations in this one as well when he notched a 13-minute hat-trick either side of half time, and killed any chance of an Everton comeback.

Tough: David Bardsley left in action

This was an ageing, but classy Rangers outfit.

Tony Roberts was a then unknown in goal, but the rest were dyed in the wool solid citizens who knew their jobs inside out, and made sure until the sale of Les three years later that Rs were consistently top half material.

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Andy Impey found the net after just five minutes before Tony Cottee, better remembered for his time at West Ham, levelled on half an hour.

Taking it easy: Tony Roberts watches on in training

Andy Sinton then laid the ball, not quite into Ferdinand’s path, but the big man adjusted and smacked the ball home into the net at an empty Park End stand in the throes of being converted from terrace to seats.

Straight after the break, Neville Southall dropped the ball conveniently from Impey’s cross, but there was still work to do as Ferdinand deftly picked the ball out from under his feet like a pearl from a shell to add to Evertonian woes.

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The third was the man running onto to a ball and slotting into a corner like Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Full-back David Bardsley got his name added to the scorers list on 79 minutes, and generous Rangers sat back to allow the Gwladys Street End a little respite with late hits from Stuart Barlow, and Preki Radosavljevic. Remember him? No, nor me.

Goal: Andy Impey (seen here against Arsenal) was on target against the Toffees

One little fact, as you will see by clicking on the film. Ferdinand’s was the second of three consecutive hat-tricks against the Merseyside Blues in a row.

Give yourself a little tester, and see if you can name the other two before watching.

In fact, Everton v QPR games tend to have goals written all over them. Only three of 50 previous meetings dating back to the first in 1915 have been goalless.

The last was a 4-0 thumping in the FA Cup a year ago when Harry threw Rs cup ambitions to the wolves and guess who made his last appearance for Hoops in goal?

QPR: Tony Roberts, Alan McDonald, David Bardsley, Darren Peacock, Clive Wilson, Ian Holloway, Ray Wilkins, Andy Impey, Andy Sinton (Barker 82), Bradley Allen, Les Ferdinand, subs not used: Jan Stejskal, Karl Ready