UNDER-performing Queens Park Rangers hosted mid-table Millwall as the 70-71 season was petering to its conclusion
Under-performing Queens Park Rangers hosted mid-table Millwall as the 70-71 season was petering to its conclusion
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Millwall
Date: Saturday February 27, 1971
Competition: Football League Second Division
Venue: Loftus Road, London
A period of transition was in the air at Loftus Road with the likes of Keith Sanderson, League Cup winning hero, moving on while fresh blood in the guise of Phil Parkes was introduced – £45,000 from Walsall.
Things changed on the managerial front as well, Les Allen’s indifferent start to the campaign saw him replaced by Gordon Jago, the former Charlton Athletic man returning from the United States.
Despite a brief flurry of form with Jago’s introduction, Rangers went nine without a win prior to successive wins over Oxford United (2-0) and Sunderland (2-0).
Losing away to Carlisle United (0-3) and being held at home by Hull City (1-1) somewhat epitomised Rangers sporadic form, but nevertheless they could be positive ahead of Millwall’s visit.
The Lions were looking for a repeat performance that saw them trounce the R’s 3-0 at the Den, but their form on the road was also a little strange – one win in seven that the 4-0 away thrashing of Watford.
Back to back defeats against Birmingham (1-3) and Bristol City (2-3) meant that Millwall were looking to avoid their third successive defeat, all of which would have come away from the fortress Den.
Jago made one change from the side that drew with Hull City with Ian Morgan being replaced by Ian Watson, as talisman Rodney Marsh continued in the forward line.
As was expected Rangers took the game to visitors Millwall, who in turn regressed to their shell as an injury-ravaged side hoped to soak up the pressure of the hosts.
It appears the Lions’ defensive tactics were succeeding as the first half ended in a damp squib, defender Harry Cripps playing a star role for the visiting side.
The spoiling tactics of the visitors came undone thanks to two moments of class from Gerry Francis and Rodney Marsh.
A useful run from wide-man Mike Ferguson found Marsh who in turn laid on for Francis. The midfielder beat Bryan King all ends up with a shot across the visiting stopper.
Soon after the second was on the board as Francis rode a succession of challenges before crossing for Marsh, he beat Alan Dorney in the air to double the Rangers lead.
In fairness to Rangers the score-line flattered Millwall who were forced into several goal-line clearances, but the R’s could take the plaudits from a thoroughly convincing win.
Rangers embarked on a stunning finish to the campaign with seven wins from nine as they cemented an 11th placed finish in the second-tier.
Millwall meanwhile were also resurgent, being defeated only once on their way to their berth in eighth place in an excellent finish for the Lions.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Millwall
Queens Park Rangers: Parkes, Watson, Clement, Venables (McGovern 55), Hunt, Sibley, Wilks, Francis, Leach, Marsh, Ferguson.
Millwall: King, Brown, Cripps, Dorney, Kitchener, Bolland, Possee, Jacks, Bridges, Neil, Allder.
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