QPR (5) – Everton (0) – ‘QPR & Stan are the Tops!’

Team: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Leach, McLintock, Webb, Thomas, Francis, Masson, Bowles, Givens

Sub: Hollins

Attendance: 23,022

On 11th October 1975, Rangers took on an Everton side managed by Billy Bingham. Alan Hoby’s match report appeared in the Sunday Express the following day:

‘Rangers are perched proudly and jauntily at the top of the First Division after this five-goal rampage, even if it is only on goal average.

Stan Bowles, of the wondrous left-foot, is surely a “must” for England when Don Revie announces his squad tomorrow for the vital European Championship match in Czechoslovakia on October 29.

And the magnificent Don Masson, whose stunning first-half goal was one of the emotional highlights of this spectacular, can no longer be ignored by Scotland.

Team captain, Gerry Francis, perhaps spurred on by the supporter who bawled: “Go on Gerry, show ‘em you’re the England skipper,” powered through for two roof-raising goals.

QPR boss, Dave Sexton said: “We’ve played as well as this before but have only scored once. It is nice for the lads to know that they do go in.”

“All of our goals were beautifully taken, only one, by Don Masson, coming from outside the area.”

The Merseysiders’ debacle began just after the first minute, Bowles, on the left, chipped a gem of a pass over to Don Givens. A great one-two with the splendid Mick Leach and Don Givens evoked the first shattering lung explosion from the home fans as he slammed the ball in.

Now we all tensed excitedly, the adrenalin racing in our veins. Everton, whose usual tedious custom is to mount a massive defence away from home, would now be forced to attack. And they did!

If centre-forward Bob Latchford had not made an appalling hash out of a clear-cut chance – blazing the ball wildly over – the Goodison stars would have been level.

Then Phil Parkes dived acrobatically to another Latchford header after the burly Everton leader had nodded fractionally wide. But although Everton camped in the QPR half for long periods, Rangers were two-up on the half-hour.

It was a fabulous goal. From Ian Gillard’s free kick, Frank McLintock headed on, Bowles pushed the ball on to Dave Thomas whose blocked shot flew out to Masson. Bringing his left-foot down like an unleashed spring, Masson hammered the ball to the right of keeper Dai Davies and the crowd went completely crazy.

After both Everton’s Gary Jones, and QPR’s Dave Clement had been booked, Rangers’ trainer Ritchie Roberts also found his name in the ref’s book for arguing after treating Clement on the pitch.

Then the jinking Stan Bowles struck again. From Masson’s pass, Stan’s glorious chip put Francis clear. He dribbled on, rounded poor Dai Davies and slotted the ball home after 64 minutes.

And when Roger Kenyon lost the ball to the flying Dave Thomas, who then struck it beautifully into the net, six minutes later, the Everton chins sagged.

Finally, Francis, like a magnificent charging bull, went past two defenders to link with the crafty Don Masson.

Another perfect one-two, and Francis slammed the ball into the empty net.

But if Francis, Masson and Leach were the ‘Three Musketeers’ of Rangers’ triumphant midfield, Bowles was the team’s swaggering D’Artagnan. I loved every minute of it.’

The following week the R’s went down 0-1 at Turf Moor.

Steve Russell