MID-TABLE sides Queens Park Rangers and Watford battled it out for local supremacy in the First Division.
Mid-table sides Queens Park Rangers and Watford battled it out for local supremacy in the First Division.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Watford
Date: Saturday March 30, 1985
Competition: Football League Division One
Venue: Loftus Road, London
Rangers were sitting in the bottom half of the First Division with Watford coming to W12 in similar circumstances.
The R’s had already seen off Terry Venables’ predecessor in Alan Mullery earlier in the campaign after a work-man like victory over relegation fodder Stoke City.
Frank Sibley was now charged with steering Rangers to safety and it was clear that their home form would be an important indicator as to their First Division safety.
Watford were in a comparable position under boss Graham Taylor – with the FA Cup scuppering their league progress and causing them to slip into the relegation mire.
Talent such as Luther Blisset and John Barnes made the Hornets a tough prospect however, as on their day they could challenge the division’s best.
Coming into the clash Rangers saw the importance of their Loftus Road form, with only one defeat since the turn of the year in W12.
Since then wins over Sunderland (1-0) and Ipswich Town (3-0) bolstered the R’s position in the table, while a point at home to Norwich City (2-2) also helped raise spirits in a gloomy period.
Watford by comparison were seeking their first away league win since Boxing Day, and after a succession of games against rivals Luton Town they came to Loftus Road in mixed spirits.
They lost out to the Hatters, 1-0 after a second-replay at Kenilworth Road before brushing Luton aside in the league fixture (3-0) at Vicarage Road to reclaim the local bragging rights.
Sibley made two changes from the side that were defeated by Luton Town (2-0) at Kenilworth Road, with a tactical shift prompting Terry Fenwick to move into midfield.
He partnered Gary Waddock in the middle of the park as Steve Wicks was also introduced at the expense of Robbie James and John Gregory.
Rangers were looking to press forward in numbers while keeping a close eye on the likes of John Barnes and Nigel Callaghan, with Alan McDonald and Steve Wicks dominant aerially.
It was the R’s that dominated however and reaped their rewards prior to half time John Byrne supplied Mike Fillery with the opening goal from close range.
It didn’t take long for the R’s to double their lead as Fillery once again was on the mark to secure his brace from a Wayne Fereday cross.
The form of Rangers converted midfielder Terry Fenwick was a particular delight as Watford’s strike players were kept quiet and the hosts kicked on to a confidence boosting win.
Rangers’ form dipped in the final few games as they narrowly avoided relegation. Four defeats from five games saw them finish one place and one point from relegated Norwich City.
Watford meanwhile finally displayed their great potential as their season picked up. The Hornets finished a positive 11th in stark contrast to this display.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Watford
Queens Park Rangers: Hucker, Chivers, Dawes, Waddock, Wicks, Fenwick, McDonald, Fillery, Bannister, Byrne, Fereday (Stewart)
Watford: Coton, Gibbs, Rostron, Taylor, Terry, McClelland, Callaghan, Blissett, West, Jackett, Barnes.
To read the full catalogue Click Here >>>
Have your say on The Forum
Follow us on Twitter
Become our friend on Facebook – Add Vital Queens Park Rangers