Team: Drinkwater, Bentley, Ingham, Malcolm, Dugdale, Angell, McClelland, Bedford, Large, Collins, Lazarus
On 3rd November 1962, the R’s defeated Newport County 3-2 in the FA Cup 1st Round at the White City which was, incidentally, Gordon Macey’s first ever QPR game. Rangers were drawn at home again for Round 2 and three weeks later Hinckley Athletic from the second tier of the Southern League were the visitors: Bernard Lambert was there that day:
‘There were in fact good times during the 1962/63 White City season, before it all went pear-shaped in the New Year. The second round FA Cup encounter with Hinckley Athletic was part of a “purple patch” of QPR victories.
Rangers were fifth in Division Three on 24 points, three points behind leaders Peterboro’ with two games in hand and well in promotion contention. They were entering this fixture on the back of five consecutive wins and were expected to brush the non-leaguers aside and did so accordingly as the resultant 7-2 slaughter of a score-line duly confirms.
The Midland minnows from the Southern League Division One, found ace R’s striker Brian Bedford too hot to handle and he helped himself to a hat-trick. I recall John McClelland running riot on the right wing for most of the afternoon and also getting on the score sheet, but remaining events now seem just a blur of goals going in at regular intervals played out on a muddy surface.
Unfortunately the R’s then got a tough one when they were subsequently drawn away to 2nd Division Swansea Town in the third round and were seen off 2-0. RIP hopes of a decent cup run for yet another season. Something we are all too familiar with in this modern day era !’
Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)
The following match report appeared in the West London Observer:
‘Back-to-form goal ace Brian Bedford set Queen’s Park Rangers off on a scoring spree against non-leaguers Hinckley Athletic at the White City on Saturday with two “beauties” in the first ten minutes.
From then on Rangers were able to score almost at will and in fact did so. Admittedly Hinckley appeared to be holding their own at times, but only because Bentley and his boys had no intention of wearing themselves out or getting injured in a game which was already won.
There were flashes of really brilliant football from the Rangers as wingers McClelland and Lazarus sped down the touchlines and ripped open Hinckley’s game and outclassed their defence. When Malcolm and Angell relaxed their strangle-hold grip on the midfield play the Hinckley attack made some lively and intelligent raids which at times had full-backs Bentley and Ingham in a certain amount of trouble. But on the two occasions Hinckley did score, Stock’s men soon showed them who were the masters by bursting back into attack and adding another goal or two to their credit account.
Even with John Collins a hobbling passenger in the second-half, Rangers’ attack was able to hammer home their superiority. Last week I said this was D-Day in Stock’s plans. Well, there can be no doubt that Rangers are safely on the beaches.
Hinckley started in sprightly fashion and might have taken the lead after four minutes. Left-winger Edwards beat Bentley and his low cross was right on the target for right-winger Round racing in, but Tony Ingham was there to push the ball behind for a corner. This was the last time I would have taken less than a million-to-one on Hinckley.
In the eighth minute Lazarus swept down the left wing, across came a perfect centre and there was Bedford to thump it first time past a helpless Lines. Two minutes later, McClelland – the man-of-the-match – walked round two defenders and flicked back a square pass for another Bedford “special”. McClelland, who had Aldis and Adams gasping for breath, scored the third in the 27th minute. He strolled round four defenders and shot straight at the goalkeeper, but Lines obligingly dived over the ball.
In the 39th minute, Hinckley had one of their moments of glory. Rangers had relaxed for a time and from a corner on the right wing, centre-half Aston headed through a packed defence into the top corner of the net.
A brilliant save by Lines stopped Lazarus from opening his account early in the second-half, but he could do nothing in the 53rd minute when Angell’s long throw was nodded down by Large for Bedford to complete his hat-trick with another unstoppable drive. After this, the game died for a while as Rangers sat back on their laurels and except for the periodic flashes of brilliance from McClelland and Lazarus and the enthusiastic efforts of the visitors, there was little for the 13,008 fans to get excited about.
It took another Hinckley goal to bring the match alight. Dugdale headed backwards attempting to cut off a centre and outside-right Round was left with an easy chance. A moment later Rangers had scored again. McClelland did a “ton up” down the touchline and crossed a low centre which Collins jabbed home.
A few minutes later, Lazarus and Collins combined in a brilliant inter-passing movement and Mark finished it off with a winning shot. Lazarus was like a streak of lightning at the height of a storm in the last ten minutes. No sooner had he parted with the ball than he got it back and with only seconds to go he made another burst through the centre, picked up the return pass and slammed in number seven.’
Looking through the programme the first thing I noticed was that John Bloom was listed as one of the Directors. The background to his involvement at QPR will be the subject of a future article.
Coach, Jimmy Andrews had watched our opponents at Yiewsley a fortnight earlier and this was how he rated them: “a good little side who play the 4-2-4 game as well as I have seen it played outside the top class clubs.” The programme notes also revealed that the referee’s hobbies included billiards and train spotting !
It was also recorded that the previous Monday afternoon there had been a warm-up match against an England team that was due to play Wales at Wembley in two days time. The R’s went down 0-3 and the line-up was: Smith, Taylor, Rutter, Malcolm, Dugdale, Angell, McClelland, Johnston, Evans, Barber and Lazarus.
Rangers travelled to Second Division Swansea Town in Round 3 and lost 0-2. The match had been postponed several times due to heavy snow and was eventually played on 26th January.
And what of Hinckley Athletic ? The original football club was known as Hinckley Town. They were founded in 1889, but later dropped ‘Town’ to ‘United’ and in 1946 the club became Hinckley Athletic’. In 1958 another club in the area was formed, Westfield Wanderers. They then decided to change their name to ‘Hinckley Town’ and finally it all came together with the 1997 merger when Hinckley United was formed.