RANGERS were coasting towards a mid-table finish as they travelled to top half Coventry City.
Rangers were coasting towards a mid-table finish as they travelled to top half Coventry City.
Teams: Coventry City v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday April 22, 1989
Competition: Football League Division One
Venue: Highfield Road, Coventry
Loftus Road was once again in the midst of transition with any losing visitors’ excuse, the plastic pitch, being pulled up, and once again replaced by grass.
There was some sad news as Chairman David Bullstrode suddenly passed away, and he was replaced by the youngest Chairman in the league, Richard Thompson at the age of 24.
The transition didn’t stop at the turf or the boardroom with Jim Smith making way for Trevor Francis, with Thompson making his first managerial appointment.
The appointment didn’t have the desired effect immediately, with the R’s going seven without a victory and one win in 11 clashes under Francis.
Three solid goalless draws and a win over Newcastle United (2-1) heralded a new beginning with a defeat against Everton (1-4) Rangers’ first in ten games heading into the fixture with Coventry City.
Coventry were fairing well in the top flight, that was until the day that rocked the club – the defeat away at Sutton United in the FA Cup.
They had only lost one in their last five home games, with Champions Liverpool winning at Highfield Road in a bid to settle one of the tightest title races in recent memory.
The Sky Blues came into the game with a defeat away at Derby (1-0), a victory over Norwich City (2-1) and a draw against Luton Town – epitomising the inconsistency that kept them from challenging higher.
Rangers made three changes from the side that drew at home to Middlesbrough, with Mark Dennis, Mark Falco and Alan McDonald dropping out with Andy Gray, David Kerslake and Danny Maddix stepping in.
Coventry showed well in the early stages with David Seaman saving from Steve Sedgley and thwarting the early dominance of the hosts.
One player that was playing particularly well was striker Colin Clarke – the record capture put Coventry to the sword with a stunning display at Highfield Road.
His double put Rangers two goals to the good, before he set up full back Justin Channing for the third to round off a thoroughly convincing victory.
‘We played very well indeed and I was delighted,’ said Trevor Francis.
‘Tactically we were much superior and that was the most pleasing aspect.’
Rangers rallied towards the end of the campaign with this fixture the start of four wins on the spin – in the end finishing a deserved ninth in the First Division.
Coventry themselves bounced back by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford before rounding off the campaign with a couple of draws to finish seventh – two points above Rangers.
Final Score: Coventry City 0-3 Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers: Seaman, Channing, Fereday, Parker, Maddix, Spackman, Gray, Kerslake, Clarke, Reid, Sinton.
Coventry City: Ogrizovic, Borrows, Dobson, Sedgley, Rodger, Peake, Phillips, Speedie, Regis, Bannister, Smith.
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