(The former) Football League Division One
Team: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Hollins, McLintock, Webb, Thomas, Francis, Eastoe, Kelly, Givens
On 26th February 1977, Leicester City were the visitors to Loftus Road. John Dixon later filed the following match report:
‘Rangers’ boss Dave Sexton may have found the answer to his problems in leaving out Stan Bowles and Don Masson. For his reshuffled team handed him two very welcome points. But what will the set-up be against AEK Athens in the UEFA Cup this week?
For Sexton has put Bowles and Masson in the squad for the tie. But Frank McLintock is doubtful after injuring a hamstring yesterday.
But first Rangers will have to sort out the venue for their Euro tie. They want it at Wembley on Thursday, while AEK insist it goes ahead at Loftus Road on Wednesday. UEFA will decide tomorrow where it takes place.
Sexton said: “We got a match out of the pitch today, but it was hardly conducive to good football. One more downpour will put it out of action.”
Then Sexton, on his two troubled stars, added: “I stressed all along they were only being rested and not dropped and it is quite ridiculous to say that Masson wants a transfer.”
Rangers can take some comfort from beating Leicester. In nine disastrous minutes Jeff Blockley scored a fine own-goal, keeper Mark Wallington gave away a penalty and gifted another goal.
No wonder boss Jimmy Bloomfield said: “You can’t give away three goals, miss five chances and expect to win.”
Leicester deservedly took the lead in the sixth minute when Steve Earle scored a fine goal.
Then came the crazy capers that shattered City. In the 33rd minute, Wallington presented Don Givens with the simplest of headers after he had missed Dave Webb’s speculative cross.
And two minutes later, Leicester fell behind with a tragic Jeff Blockley own-goal that again owed much to Wallington’s indecisions in the air.
The keeper, distracted by Givens, again missed a cross and Blockley racing back, could only volley the ball into the net.
Wallington’s misery continued, and he gave away a penalty just before the break. Gerry Francis, back to his best in midfield, gratefully accepted the gift from the spot.
Frank Worthington was not as grateful at accepting a penalty after a handball decision against McLintock. He telegraphed his spot-kick and Parkes dived to save.
But Leicester got the goal their encouraging second-half merited. Jon Sammels capping an industrious display with a first-time shot 12 minutes from the end.’
Rangers manager Dave Sexton said: “The first match after a semi-final defeat is always difficult. I’m just glad to get the points. It will be a different game against Athens.”
Stan Bowles and Don Masson did both return of course for that UEFA Cup tie, first leg. Frank McLintock was passed fit and played. The R’s recorded an excellent 3-0 win.