One Day In History - Burnley 1982-83
Date: Saturday 2nd October 1982
Competition: Football League Division Two.
Venue: Loftus Road, London.
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Terry Venables` QPR were off to a decent start in their quest to gain promotion to the First Division. Only two defeats in their first eight games and the R`s were well placed in fifth in the early stages. The only losses came on the first game of the season away to Newcastle United (1-0) and then at home to Sheffield Wednesday (2-0).
Brian Miller`s Burnley were beginning to find the going tough in the Second Division after a buoyant start following promotion. Burnley had dispatched of Middlesbrough (4-1) and Carlisle United (4-1) by large margins, but three defeats on the spin took them into the game in W12 in 14th place.
Despite Rangers` well placed position in the second-tier it was the visitors who ran the show early on, and displayed their dominance with two excellent goals.
Soon to be England international Trevor Steven was at the early stages of his goalscoring career, but nevertheless bagged two excellently taken strikes. Going on to score 11 goals in total for the Clarets over three years.
Burnley`s first half lead reflected their dominance, as they shocked Rangers with their free-flowing attacking football, and Terry Venables had his work cut out to salvage anything from what seemed a perilous situation.
After half time however Rangers turned the screw on their opponents as Warren Neill netted his first goal of the season. The R`s exploited Burnley`s wayward defence to slot in Neill down the right to half the arrears.
On Clive Allen`s return to the side the R`s were pinning the Clarets back in their own half, as wave after wave of attack ensued. It was Allen playing his first game since the FA Cup final defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, who got the equaliser and more was to come in sensational fashion.
Evergreen goalkeeper Alan Stevenson had served over ten years in a Burnley jersey, he was at his best to deny Allen on numerous occasions in the second period. The keeper was at his best to deny Ian Dawes with an acrobatic tip over the bar.
An excellent team move involving four players culminated in Gary Micklewhite neatly chipping over stopper Stevenson for Rangers winner. A crowd of merely 9,165 were present to witness a comeback of epic proportions as Venables inspired Rangers to a hard fought win.
Rangers went on to storm the division by a ten-point margin ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City, and Terry Venables men achieved promotion to the First Division for the third time.
Burnley by contrast were relegated back to the Third Division at the first time of asking. A battle against the odds started positively enough, but losing five games on the spin in April cost the Clarets dear. They finished second-bottom, a narrow three points off safety and 19th placed Grimsby Town.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 3-2 Burnley
QPR: Hucker, Neill, Dawes, Waddock, Hazell, Fenwick, Micklewhite, Stewart, Sealy, Allen, Gregory.
Watford: Stevenson, Laws, Wharton, Scott, Phelan, Holt, Dobson, Steven, Hamilton, Taylor, Young.
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