Football League Cup 5th Round
Team: Springett, Watson, Langley, Keen, Hunt, Sibley, Lazarus, Sanderson, Allen, Marsh, Morgan (R)
I remember this match as being a very tense encounter indeed. That said, I can still see in my mind’s eye Mark Lazarus bombing down the wing without his shorts after the elastic had broken!
In the ‘Supporters Corner’ of the programme it read:
‘We have appealed on many occasions in this section of the programme for increased support from the terraces and to judge from our last two home matches these appeals have not fallen on deaf ears.
The din being kicked up in both the stand and on the open side at the moment is such that it strikes a good deal of terror into opposing teams and that’s the way we want to keep it.
Tonight once again we appeal. We are not complacent about this match. Carlisle have worked themselves into a strong position in the Second Division and make no secret of the fact that they are going to make a strong bid for promotion this season.
The scene is therefore set for a battle royal, which should warm the fans considerably. The Rangers Roar will be more vital than ever tonight and a repeat of the Leicester City result on the field and the joyous scenes on the terraces would be very welcome.’
Gerald Williams wrote the following match report:
‘Queen’s Park Rangers are through to the semi-finals of the Football League Cup and Rodney Marsh has scored his 27th and 28th goals of the season.
The noisy fervour from New Cross has spread north across the Thames to Shepherd’s Bush. But not even Millwall have provided anything quite approaching the sight that Mark Lazarus gave almost 20,000 spectators.
Lazarus, whose jinking raids led to the two-goal lead Rangers held by half-time, was caught with his trousers not just down but off.
He found the ball at his feet as he was changing out of a pair of muddy shorts in which the elastic had snapped. Clearly, on an occasion like this, the correct priority was team welfare, not personal dignity.
So Lazarus, with a clean pair of white shorts flapping in his right hand and his shirt saving him from unspeakable embarrassment, sped down the touchline in a dribble you could never forget.
Lazarus said: “I was sort of lost in the game when the ball came to me. I thought to myself, ‘It’s a game of football, I’d better get on with it.’ So I did.”
Even Carlisle’s tremendous fight back in the second half, prompted by that incorrigible imp Willie Carlin, paled by comparison.
But the importance of this match is that Rangers have now put a First Division side, Leicester, and one of the best of the Second Division, Carlisle, out of this competition.
Carlisle survived for 30 minutes, but by then the chinks were already showing in their left flank. Caldwell was giving Lazarus time to control the ball, start his runs and present a menace he could never satisfactorily smother.
Twice Lazarus was downed in the mud. But then Sanderson dispossessed Carlin and sent his right-winger away again. Lazarus duly put the ball over and Marsh scored simply with his thigh at the near post. In the 43rd minute Marsh scored a second goal from almost the same position.
In the 50th minute Wilson, out on Carlisle’s right wing, shot fiercely against the QPR crossbar, and the ball fell at Carlin’s feet for the little man to make it 2-1.
Carlin’s enthusiasm and great skill only once overflowed, when he chased Lazarus, caught hold of him and had his name taken.’
Three days later I travelled to Colchester on the Supporters Club coach to see a good 3-1 away win.
As for the League Cup semi-final, the R’s were drawn against Birmingham City, with the first leg to be played at St. Andrews on 17th January.