Team: Richardson, Clement, Gillard, Hollins, Howe, Roeder, Shanks, Francis, Eastoe, Bowles, Goddard.
This was our second league victory at Stamford Bridge but it wasn’t enough to keep us up. Pat Needham wrote the following report for the Sunday Mirror:
‘Substitute Martyn Busby appeared like a fairy godmother to guide Rangers to their first win of 1979 – offer a ray of hope in their relegation struggle. With the match poised at 1-1. Busby made his entrance on the hour and set up Glen Roeder’s goal five minutes later. Then he sealed this grim battle for First Division survival with a goal of his own in the 74th minute.
From Chelsea’s viewpoint this was surely one of the final nails in their coffin. On St. Patrick’s Day of all days, Chelsea Manager Danny Blanchflower was entitled to expect a little luck. But it didn’t work out that way. “It wasn’t a good day for us, was it ?” he said. “We need a lot of luck to stay up and we’re just not getting it at the moment.” It was no surprise when Rangers took the lead in the 23rd minute. Chelsea defender Nutten lost the ball then failed to make a convincing challenge on Goddard, who slipped the ball past Borota.
As Ray Wilkins found his touch, Chelsea began to buzz. In the 35th minute, Wilkins found Stanley on the right and his cross was pushed past his own keeper by Shanks, as he rushed back to clear. For a while, Chelsea looked the likelier side. But after Docherty wasted an open goal chance from only five yards out – a miss leading to his replacement by sub Langley – Busby stepped in to steal the show. Man of the match: Ray Wilkins (Chelsea). Rangers Manager Steve Burtenshaw missed the match. He was in the Midlands trying to clinch the ¬£100,000 signing of West Brom winger Willie Johnston.’
The headline on the back of the above Press photo reads: ‘Chelsea Blues !!! ‘ – and goes on to say: ‘Ian Gillard of Queen’s Park Rangers, right, fires in a powerful shot during today’s First Division clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Goalkeeper Peter Borota gets in the way with the help of defender David Stride. Rangers won the match 3-1 to give Chelsea further cause for concern.’
Our victory was on the back of five successive defeats and ten without a win. In fact, our last victory was against Manchester City on 16th December. Chelsea finished bottom on 20 points, followed by Birmingham City on 22 points and we were also relegated in 20th position with 25 points, 6 points adrift of Derby County. In May, Tommy Docherty returned as Manager.