THE Division Two season was barely two games old when the Rams travelled to Loftus Road in search of their first win of the campaign.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Derby County
Date: Saturday 4th September, 1982.
Competition: Football League Division Two.
Venue: Loftus Road, London.
Rangers came into the game off the back of their first win of the season at home to Cambridge United, following a defeat against Newcastle United. The R`s were fancied by many for promotion and henceforth went into the game against Derby as favourites.
Derby County`s opening day defeat at home to Carlisle was a disappointing start to the campaign and they came to W12 in search of their first win.
Rangers took to the field with a depleted squad missing the likes of Wicks, Currie, Flanaghan along with Glenn Roeder and Clive Allen, but wasted no time in taking the advantage at Loftus Road.
Jaka Banovic`s excellent save to thwart Gary Micklewhite, found Tony Sealy down the right, he crossed for John Gregory to take a third minute lead for the R`s.
Derby managed to get back on level terms in W12 courtesy of Frank Gamble – the midfielder slotted for the Rams, as despite the R`s being a goal up they stuttered and flattered to deceive in a slow start.
Terry Venables` half time team talk was inspired, as Rangers came out firing for the second period. A Terry Fenwick penalty helped the R`s restore their one-goal advantage, whilst not playing the free-flowing football that fans were accustomed to.
From that turning point, the fans were treated to a classy spectacle as the pressure was visibly worn down, and the players turned on the style. Simon Stainrod drew the plaudits as with 20 minutes to go he put the game beyond doubt, planting the ball beyond Banovic.
The impressive Ian Stewart was certainly making a name for himself as part of the Rangers set-up. The Northern Ireland international was making it increasingly difficult for the injured players to be reintroduced with a truly excellent display against the Rams.
It was his cross that found the head of Simon Stainrod to make it four for Rangers in a dominant second half display, as the R`s displayed their vast strength in depth, fully justifying the tag of promotion favourites in the early stages of the campaign.
Rangers in fact went on to win the league, ten points clear of second placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Derby County finished 13th.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 4-1 Derby County
QPR: Hucker, Neill, Dawes, Waddock, Hazell, Fenwick, Micklewhite, Stewart (Wilkins 70), Sealy, Stainrod, Gregory.
Derby County: Banovic, Barton, Attley, Powell (Hill 45), Foster, McAlle, Brolly, Skivington, Gamble, Swindlehurst, Reid.
To read the full catalogue from Rangers games in history, click here.
We want to know YOUR thoughts!
To have your say you can comment in the space provided below, or chat about it on the forum.
Ref Taylor-Made For Derby Game.
Reserved Delight At Cup Progression.
Aston Villa 0-1 QPR – Match Report.