RANGERS had hit poor form in the worst possible season as they hosted Plymouth Argyle in the final year of the Third Division South.
Rangers had hit poor form in the worst possible season as they hosted Plymouth Argyle in the final year of the Third Division South.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Plymouth Argyle
Date: Saturday October 5, 1957
Competition: Football League Third Division (South)
Venue: Loftus Road, London
This was to be a defining season in the history of English football as the Third Division would become nationalised, splitting the regionalised divisions into two separate national tiers.
Imperative then that the sides pulled their resources into finishing in the top 12 and securing their place in the third tier – but thus far Rangers were struggling.
After starting the season with back to back wins over Brentford (1-0) and Colchester United (1-0) Jack Taylor’s men were thumped away at Southend United (0-6), prompting a five game winless run and a perilous position of 21st.
Home wins over Swindon Town (2-1) and Millwall (3-0) were subsequently tempered by back to back defeats at Port Vale (1-2) and the Lions (0-5).
Despite not travelling well Rangers had won four of their six home fixtures and were looking to extend this positive run against the visiting Plymouth Argyle.
Jack Rowley’s Pilgrims were faring better than Rangers overall with three successive wins bolstering their confidence ahead of the trip to Loftus Road.
Wins over Southampton (1-0) and Exeter City (1-0) saw them play the Saints once more and dish out a sound thrashing, 4-0 at Home Park.
Taylor made two changes to his QPR side that were defeated handsomely at Millwall with influential players Jimmy Andrews and Arthur Longbottom replaced by Glaswegian Alec Dawson and Pat Kerrins.
It was striker Les Locke that struck the crucial goal to separate the sides at Loftus Road. His seventh goal of the season was enough to see off Plymouth Argyle and spark the R’s progress.
Five wins from six games saw Rangers rise to ninth in the table. A win over Reading (3-0) in mid-march pushed the R’s into the coveted 12th spot and it was a position they wouldn’t relinquish.
Three wins from the final four games saw Rangers into tenth place and they were one of the 12 sides that secured their Third Division status.
Argyle continued their fine form throughout the season and managed to secure third place behind Champions Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.
Swindon, Reading, Southampton, Southend, Norwich, Bournemouth, Newport County and Colchester United were the other fortunate sides to make up one half of the newly-formed Third Division.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Plymouth Argyle
Queens Park Rangers: Springett, Woods, Ingham, Petchey, Rutter, Angell, Dawson, Cameron, Smith, Locke, Kerrins.
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