TWO of the Second Division’s higher-placed sides battled it out at Loftus Road in a bid to keep their flickering promotion ambitions alive.
Two of the Second Division’s higher-placed sides battled it out at Loftus Road in a bid to keep their flickering promotion ambitions alive.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Cardiff City
Date: Saturday January 17, 1970
Competition: Football League Second Division
Venue: Loftus Road, London.
Cardiff and Queens Park Rangers found themselves fourth and fifth respectively as they faced off at Loftus Road – looking to chase down run-away leaders Huddersfield Town.
The hosts were looking to dispel a disastrous 1968-69 campaign where they were humbled in the top flight following a meteoric rise to that position.
Former centre-forward Les Allen had taken the helm at Loftus Road and results had improved following his appointment – after what was the end of an era under Alec Stock.
Stock had overseen an unprecedented league and cup double before promotion to the top flight, but since then his team had broken up and Rangers were back in the second tier.
Cardiff meanwhile were still battling away for promotion to the First Division after numerous years of attempts. A positive finish last time out saw Jimmy Scoular’s men primed for a late push.
Scoular was the man that had masterminded the Bluebirds’ revival from strugglers to promotion contenders and the emergence of John Toshack was a big contribution to their resurgence.
It was plain to see that City were on fire as they came to Loftus Road with seven wins in succession, most recently a treble of home wins bolstering their league position.
Preston (2-1), Watford (3-1), Leicester (2-1), Millwall (2-1), Charlton (1-0), Bristol City (1-0) and Sheffield United (3-0) all trailed in the Bluebirds’ wake as they made their way to W12.
Rangers were seeking revenge for a 4-2 drubbing at Ninian Park and despite a blip over the Christmas period they came into this weekend’s clash with only one defeat in four.
This run included victories over Portsmouth (2-0) and Birmingham City (2-1) with Barry Bridges continuing his fine goalscoring run of recent months.
Allen made one change from the goalless draw with Swindon Town and it was Mike Kelly that made way for Alan Spratley between the sticks.
On a cloudy day in West London it became quickly apparent that Rangers meant business with the direct running of Frank Clarke and the trickery of Rodney Marsh at the fore of their display.
After 35 minutes Rangers carved a stunning goal out of simplicity with Bridges working the ball down the by-line for Clarke.
He showed great vision to find Ian Gillard, a young full-back with a growing reputation in the game, who in turn slammed home with great precision.
A stunning individual goal from Rodney Marsh lit up Loftus Road as he skipped over three challenges before sending the ball beyond Fred Davies.
John Toshack did net a consolation for high-flying City who dropped back in their race for the title as a result of this disappointing defeat in the English capital.
City finished seventh, some way off the promoted duo of Huddersfield Town and Blackpool but nevertheless primed themselves well to go again next season.
QPR finished two places and four points below the Bluebirds in ninth but once again despite promising much a run of eight games without defeat saw the season peter out..
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Cardiff City
Queens Park Rangers: Spratley, Clement, Gillard, Sibley, Watson, Hazell, Bridges, Venables, Clarke, Marsh, Ferguson.
Cardiff City: Davies, Carver, Bell, Sutton, Murray, Woodruff, Phillips (Bird 55), Clark, Harris, Toshack, King
Do you have any memories of this game? – Let us know!
See also: Cardiff City 1-4 QPR – 12-10-1988
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