QUEENS Park Rangers were looking to maintain their positive campaign following promotion from the Second Division
Queens Park Rangers were looking to maintain their positive campaign following promotion from the Second Division
Teams: Sheffield United v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday April 20, 1974
Competition: Football League First Division
Venue: Bramall Lane, Sheffield
The sheer elation as Rangers achieved promotion at a canter from Division Two was a feeling that many would not forget, but even that was being eclipsed by the fantastic achievements of Gordon Jago’s men as they embarked on a positive first season back in the top flight.
The R’s had hit the heights of fourth in a season that had exceeded the expectations of many. Gordon Jago had made a name for himself as well as the likes of Gerry Francis, Stan Bowles and Don Givens who lead the line-up so ably.
They faced a Sheffield United side who were sat in mid-table with little expectation of a title push or indeed relegation under John Harris. With Rangers looking to bolster their league position it would be an important test of their credentials.
Despite such a positive season the R’s only had one win in their last five as they slipped from their lofty perch in fourth. Successive 1-0 defeats against Ipswich Town was only tempered by the excellent 3-0 victory over Manchester United.
The Blades’ inconsistency had blighted their campaign, as despite beating title-hopefuls Liverpool at Bramall Lane a 4-1 away defeat at Derby compounded the sporadic set of results that saw United as purely a mid-table side.
Jago made two changes from the side that lost at Ipswich with Ian Evans and Martyn Busby coming in for Ron Abbott and Dave Clement. As a result Mick Leach dropped to the bench with Stan Bowles leading the line for the visitors.
The first half was more of a war of attrition with a minority of opportunities for both sides, Rangers showed a couple of glimpses of their potential without every truly penetrating or testing a stubborn United defensive line.
In the second half the game proved more open as both sides seemed to spring into life. On the hour mark Rangers took the advantage. A good run and cross from Francis saw Bowles scuff his effort high and the fortuitous Don Givens was on hand to nod home past Jim Brown.
Then the Blades started to come out of their shell with 24-year old forward Steve Cammack at the centre of United’s revival. Replacing John Flynn, the born and bred Sheffield lad was positive in his attacking play and contributed to a last gasp equaliser.
His cross was handled by Ian Gillard and despite the protests from the Rangers defence a penalty was given. Keith Eddy stepped forward and gave United a share of the spoils in a keenly-contested encounter at Bramall Lane.
Rangers finished eighth in what must be considered as a highly successful campaign following promotion. The R’s were fashioning an excellent footballing side under Gordon Jago, who drew the plaudits for engineering a golden era.
United finished off in 13th place, three points behind Rangers – it was a pretty standard placing for the Blades who had secured successive mid-table finishes since their promotion three years previously.
Final Score: Sheffield United 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield United: Brown, Badger, Hemsley, Eddy, Colquhoun, Salmons, Woodward, Flynn (Cammack 70), France, Nicholl, Field
Queens Park Rangers: Parkes, Hazell, Gillard, Venables, Mancini, Evans, Thomas, Francis, Busby (Leach 75), Bowles, Givens
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