One Day In History - Preston North End 1979-80
Rangers were looking to bounce back from a disappointing relegation campaign under the guidance of Tommy Docherty.
Teams: Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Saturday February 23, 1980
Competition: Football League Division Two
Venue: Deepdale, Preston
Docherty's Rangers were primed for a late push on the promotion places as they travelled to Deepdale in the hope of dispatching mid-table Preston North End.
The R's were picking up in terms of form after a dramatic dip that saw them slide from top spot as low as ninth - a seven game winless run had truly scuppered their progress at the top of the second division.
They faced Nobby Stiles' Lilywhites who themselves were sitting comfortably in mid-table after an early scare that saw them plummet towards the relegation zone.
Preston's indifferent form was the primary reason for their mediocre position with an excellent home victory over Sunderland (2-1) balanced out with a disappointing result against Oldham Athletic (0-1).
Meanwhile the R's were looking at a mini-revival after a period of poor form. Only one defeat in five ensued with wins over Fulham (2-0), Swansea City (3-2) and Oldham Athletic (4-3).
However only one away win in seven blighted their progress to the top positions - but that win did come against local rivals Fulham (2-0) with youth product Gary Waddock hitting his first goal for QPR.
Docherty kept faith with the same team that defeated Oldham at Loftus Road meaning that influential strike duo Paul Goddard and Clive Allen combined once again in attack.
A heavy surface greeted the two teams as they took to the Deepdale pitch, but it certainly didn't affect Rangers' excellent passing play as they attacked from the off.
Tony Currie was at the centre of the action and not for the first time as he pounced on some hesitant defending by Willie Naughton to feed Paul Goddard.
Goddard instinctively searched for his strike partner Clive Allen as he foraged down the right flank - his cross was inch perfect who slotted home his 26th of the season.
It soon became two when an excellent cross from Steve Burke found Allen lurking on the far post. He touched it back to Glenn Roeder who smashed home with consummate ease.
Currie took centre stage once more as his fine free-kick was nodded past Roy Tunks by an in-form Paul Goddard - the forward claiming his fifth in five games.
Rangers expressed their football with great craft and expertise under Docherty and appeared good value for their win against a limp and lacklustre Preston outfit.
They went on to finish the season positively with only one defeat in 15 games securing a fifth-placed finish in the Second Division.
Preston's season also picked up in the latter half of the campaign as they completed a tenth-placed finish under England World Cup winner Stiles.
Final Score: Preston North End 0-3 Queens Park Rangers
Preston North End: Tunks, Taylor (Houston), McIteer, Doyle, Anderson, Blackley, Bell, Coleman, Elliott, Naughton, Bruce
Queens Park Rangers: Woods, Shanks, Gillard, McCreery, Hazell, Wicks, Goddard, Roeder, Allen, Currie, Burke
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