RANGERS were performing admirably in their first season back at the top level as Venables’ men looked to make their mark on the top flight.
Rangers were performing admirably in their first season back at the top level as Venables’ men looked to make their mark on the top flight.
Teams: Ipswich Town v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday October 15, 1983
Competition: Canon League Division One
Venue: Portman Road, Ipswich
Back in the top flight and raring to go, Terry Venables men were out to prove that they weren’t in the First Division just to make up the numbers.
Finishing ten points clear of Wolverhampton Wanderers epitomised their dominance of the Second Division as Venables’ men embarked on their latest journey.
A first shirt sponsorship deal for the club came in the shape of brewery firm Guinness as the club made an indifferent start to the campaign.
In their recent fixtures Rangers saw their form pick up following an opening day defeat against Manchester United. Three wins on the spin proved the R’s resurgence in the league prior to the weekend’s clash.
Wins over Sunderland (3-0), Wolves (4-0) and Arsenal (2-0) without reply saw QPR bolster their league position and boost their confidence ahead of the Ipswich game.
By comparison only two defeats for the Tractor Boys saw them in a useful league position ahead of the game, with victories over Everton (3-0), Stoke City (5-0) and Coventry City (2-1).
Central to their fortune was midfielder John Wark, who had himself found a fine streak of form from the middle of the park. He hit the opener against Everton, before notching twice at home to Stoke and a hatrick against Blackburn in the League Cup.
Terry Venables rather understandably made no changes to the line-up that won at home over Arsenal with John Gregory looking to continue a decent run of two goals in successive games.
The fixtures sandwiched a League Cup triumph over Crewe Alexandra as the R’s ran riot to walk out 8-1 winners at Loftus Road.
Ipswich boss Bobby Ferguson also named an unchanged line-up from the victory over Coventry City with Wark starting, along with England international Paul Mariner and Eric Gates in his tenth year at Portman Road.
Rangers secured the points courtesy of a goal from striker Simon Stainrod – his sixth league strike of the season, totalling to nine for the season thus far even at this early stage.
Midfielder John Gregory secured the points for Rangers at Portman Road, his third in three games, as Rangers finished off the Tractor Boys in style.
As the months grew on Rangers were looking a more formidable side than merely avoiding relegation. They quickly proved they were capable of challenging at the right end of the table.
A run of six wins on the spin in the latter part of the campaign boosted Rangers league position as they finished an impressive sixth in their first season back.
Ipswich themselves finished a respectable 12th in the top flight – this however was a far cry from their 1982 runners up spot as they sought new fortunes under Ferguson.
Final Score: Ipswich Town 0-2 Queens Park Rangers
Ipswich Town: Cooper, Burley, Gernon, Putney (D’Avray), Osman, Butcher, Wark, McCall, Mariner, Gates, O’Callaghan.
Queens Park Rangers: Hucker, Neill (Fereday), Dawes, Waddock, McDonald, Fenwick, Micklewhite, Stewart, Allen, Stainrod, Gregory.
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