Team: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Venables, Mancini, McLintock, Thomas, Francis, Leach, Bowles, Givens
The FA Cup 3rd Round tie at Stamford Bridge on 5th January 1974, ended goal-less. It was a lively affair and Gerry Francis missed a penalty.
Dave Sexton was Chelsea’s manager at the time and their starting line-up included John Hollins and Dave Webb. Ray Wilkins came off the bench on 60 minutes.
‘If John Phillips had not punched away Gerry Francis’s penalty in the 55th minute of Saturday’s bruising battle at Stamford Bridge, Queen’s Park Rangers would already be preparing to meet Birmingham in the fourth round of the FA Cup, writes Donald Saunders.
Despite that agile save – and others to foil Bowles, Givens and Leach – I doubt whether Chelsea will prevent their West London rivals reaching the next stage at Loftus Road tomorrow afternoon.
With Osgood and Hudson absent and Houseman, their most effective forward, pulled off with a broken finger soon after the interval, Chelsea could not match Rangers’ smooth skill, especially in the second-half.
Spirit and industry, plus Phillips’s excellent goalkeeping, enabled them to survive the first battle. I doubt whether that combination will be sufficient tomorrow when Bowles and Givens are likely to finish Rangers’ skilful moves more accurately.
Even so, Dave Sexton, Chelsea’s manager, has no intention of re-calling the transfer-listed Osgood and Hudson. Indeed, the board will meet tonight to place a valuation on this suspended pair.
Mr Sexton’s commendable determination to reinforce club discipline by refusing to lift the suspensions for so crucial a cup-tie might have been rewarded, if Houseman and Baldwin had been a little luckier shortly before half-time.
Thereafter, however, Rangers were in command, and once Clement had been booked for a foul that led to the already-injured Houseman’s departure, Chelsea resorted to physical defensive tactics of increasing ferocity.
Consequently, Garland was booked for dissent and Droy and Harris for fouls on the elusive Bowles, who also had been the target of a tackle that earned Webb a first-half caution.’
Elsewhere Terry Venables was quoted as saying: “It was pretty bad. There was an air of desperation about them.”
Stan Bowles also added: “I’ve never played in a match like it. At one stage when I was fouled by Droy I thought I’d been done permanent harm.”
Rangers won the replay 1-0 ten days later, Stan Bowles was the scorer. The R’s went on to face Birmingham City in the next round.