STRUGGLING QPR hosted Birmingham City in W12, with a view to ascending the Division Two table.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Birmingham City
Date: Saturday 17th October, 1970
Competition: Football League Division Two
Venue: Loftus Road, London.
Rangers came into the game off the back of some unusual results, with a low losing 6-2 away to Middlesbrough before losing a duo of away fixtures against Swindon Town and local rivals Fulham. Measure that against the thumping home win over Orient who sat a place above the Blues.
Birmingham City, who had beaten the R`s at St. Andrews earlier in the campaign, came into the game in better form after a lacklustre start to the campaign, they lost at home to Sheffield United in the build up to the important fixture at Loftus Road.
On a sunny afternoon at Loftus Road, Les Allen`s men oozed class as they began to take the Blues to pieces in the early stages. Led by exuberant forward Rodney Marsh the R`s impressed in front of the London Weekend TV cameras.
A Marsh hat-rick lit up the game as a spectacle as he was being hailed as one of the hottest players in the English game, not only did he bag three goals himself, he laid on a goal for Terry Venables, Rodney stated: “We practice that move on the training ground every week.”
There was also a goal for young debutante Andy McCulloch who was beginning to assert himself in the line-up. A double from Blues forward Bob Latchford took a back seat on the day, as Rodney Marsh stole the show.
Marsh`s final goal epitomised the class of the forward, here described in the Sunday Express by former Tottenham Hotspur wing-half Danny Blanchflower:
“Rodney Marsh made it five with the best goal I`ve seen this season. He got the ball just inside Birmingham`s 18 yard box, surrounded by Birmingham shirts.
“He did a sort of Irish jog with the ball, hypnotising the three or four defenders before spinning from the hips and crashing a powerful shot on the turn, low into the corner of the net”
Birmingham City had the last laugh as they finished two places above Rangers in the league that season, finishing ninth. Rangers managed to haul themselves to safety to finish a respectable 11th.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 5-3 Birmingham City
QPR: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Hunt, Watson, Hazell, Morgan, Venables, McCulloch, Marsh, Ferguson.
Birmingham City: Kelly, Thomson, Martin, Beard, Hynd, Robinson (Vowden 66), Campbell, Hockey, Latchford, Vincent, Summerill.
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