One Day In History - Wolves 1975-76
Date: Saturday 7th February, 1976
Competition: Football League Division One.
Venue: Loftus Road, London.
On a mild afternoon in W12 QPR were riding high in the first division and set to welcome struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves came into the game following a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions, that saw them dispatch of Arsenal and then Ipswich Town in the FA Cup. The away derby win over Birmingham City was a definitive plus point of Wolves revival over the turn of the year.
In contrast to what their league position suggested, the R`s were proving inconsistent in their quest for the title. Mick Leach`s oddly timed testimonial during the season marked a win against Red Star Belgrade, following up on a good 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Prior to that Rangers had only won 1 game in 6, losing to Arsenal and Manchester United before being dumped out the cup by Newcastle United following a replay. The victory came courtesy of a Don Masson brace at home to Birmingham City.
Rangers were not to be denied against Wolverhampton Wanderers despite a spirited performance from the gold and blacks, as returning duo Stan Bowles and England captain Gerry Francis stole the show.
The aforementioned Masson was on hand in the opening quarter of an hour to block Derek Parkin`s clearance, and the ball fell kindly for Don Givens who rolled the ball past Phil Parkes, name-sake of the Rangers stopper, to give the R`s an early advantage.
Barely five minutes later and the R`s had doubled their lead after more good work from Givens carved out a chance for Dave Thomas, who duly dispatched his header.
Half an hour gone and Wolves were back in it courtesy to what has become a familiar face in football. Bobby Gould dispatched his header past Rangers` Parkes following a useful Ken Hibbitt free-kick.
The R`s reasserted their two-goal advantage from the penalty spot as Frank Munro fouled skipper Gerry Francis in the box, and the England captain duly dispatched the set piece just after half time.
Gould was once again causing Rangers bother as he nipped in to nod home Gerald O`Hara`s cross past a static Phil Parkes, as Wolves worked their way back into the fixture with tension high in W12.
Givens effectively put the game to bed just after the hour mark reacting fastest to a David Webb flick on to net his brace and Rangers` fourth.
Wolves eventually succumbed to relegation only the narrow margin of three points separating them from rivals Birmingham City who survived.
Famously Rangers fell an agonising one point short of leaders Liverpool who confirmed themselves as champions by beating Wolves after the season had finished for everyone else.
Rangers fans were biting their nails as Wolves were holding the Reds up until 15 minutes from the end, but then Rangers dreams were shattered as Liverpool took the game and subsequently the title.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 4-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
QPR: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Leach, Hollins, Webb, Thomas, Francis, Masson, Bowles, Givens.
Wolves: Parkes, Sunderland, Parkin, Hibbit, McAlle, Carr, O`Hara, Munro, Bell, Gould, Richards.
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