QUEENS Park Rangers were still searching for their first win of the season as they faced unbeaten Leicester City.
Queens Park Rangers were still searching for their first win of the season as they faced unbeaten Leicester City.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City
Date: Saturday September 3, 1977
Competition: Football League First Division
Venue: Loftus Road, London
Rangers were having to adapt to live without Dave Sexton to Manchester United. Arguably one of the R’s most successful managers departed with former player Frank Sibley replacing him in the hotseat.
Key players during the golden years including Don Masson and Dave Thomas departed the club as they entered a brave new era under former player Sibley.
The R’s had got off to a sluggish start to the season with back to back defeats against midlands duo Aston Villa (1-2) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (0-1) before Dave Needham scored his first goal for the club in a creditable draw against Norwich City (1-1).
By comparison the Foxes were unbeaten in their three games, starting off with a draw away at Manchester City (0-0) then another against Bristol City at home (0-0) sandwiching a narrow home win over West Ham United (1-0).
Sibley made two changes from the side that picked up their first point of the season at Carrow Road. Ian Gillard and Mick Leach dropped out and their stead came Gerry Francis and Don Shanks.
Frank McLintock lead his Leicester City side to Loftus Road for the first time since leaving the R’s to take the post at Filbert Street.
He had the strike power of Frank Worthington and Eddie Kelly to bolster his line-up in a bid to maintain a positive start to the Division One campaign.
Rangers started much the brighter on a sun drenched day at Loftus Road and a cleverly taken free-kick from Don Masson saw Don Givens hit his effort back off the cross bar – he was able to stab the ball past Mark Wallington in the ensuing melee after only two minutes.
The hosts doubled the lead in the second period with a stunning solo effort from the returning Gerry Francis. He surged through the midfield before curling a right footed shot into the bottom right hand corner beyond the despairing dive of Wallington.
The match was sewn up when a near post corner was glanced home by Dave Needham in a thoroughly convincing first win for the R’s.
Leicester did have a chance to bag a consolation from the spot after Stan Bowles was adjudged to have handled by referee Mr Shapter, but Phil Parkes expertly stopped Worthington’s spot kick.
Unfortunately that was the R’s only win in their first 12 games as they slipped perilously towards the First Division drop zone, eventually finishing 19th.
With that Frank Sibley’s brief tenure came to an end with former Brighton midfielder Steve Burtenshaw taking the helm in W12.
By comparison McLintock departed Leicester in April as they lay in the relegation zone with Ian MacFarlane charged with keeping the Foxes up.
He couldn’t halt the slide as Leicester finished bottom of the First Division with 22 points, with Newcastle United and West Ham United also biting the bullet.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Leicester City
Queens Park Rangers: Parkes, Clement, Shanks, Hollins, Needham, Webb, Eastoe, Francis, Masson, Bowles, Givens.
Goals: Givens, Francis, Needham
Leicester City: Wallington, Whitworth, Rofe, Kelly, Blockley, Simms, Alderson (May 75), Kember, Worthington, Sammels, Weller.
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