QPR (4) – Oldham Athletic (3) – ‘Rangers’ Brilliant Teenage Striking Duo of Clive Allen & Paul Goddard Tore the Oldham Defence to Shreds’

Football League Division Two

Team: Woods, Shanks, Gillard, McCreery, Hazell, Wicks, Roeder, Currie (Waddock), Allen, Goddard, Burke

Attendance: 8,372

On 16th February 1980, the Latics travelled to Loftus Road. Martin Franks filed the following match report:

‘Queen’s Park Rangers cling to their slender Second Division promotion hopes but only after a cliff-hanging finish. Even manager Tommy Docherty had to search for words as his side threw away a 4-0 lead. 

“All credit to Oldham for a tremendous fightback,” he said. “But we should never have let them back into the game. We relaxed but that is instinctive when you go four-up and you’ve got to hand it to the opposition”

Rangers’ brilliant teenage striking duo of Clive Allen and Paul Goddard tore the Oldham defence to shreds as they coasted to a four-goal lead in 54 minutes.

Allen scored twice to take his total in his first full-season to 23. And Goddard grabbed another as Rangers seemed set for a rout. 

Docherty went on: “They must be the best partnership in the country bar none. They have a perfect understanding and will give any defence a roasting.”

Rangers delighted their lowest league gate of the season by scoring three in the first 21 minutes. Allen got the first with a magnificent 30-yard drive that left goalkeeper John Platt rooted to the ground. 

Ex-Manchester United midfielder David McCreery, volleyed home five minutes later after a Don Shanks headed-cross had only been half-cleared.

Oldham defender David Holt was harshly judged to have fouled Goddard after 21 minutes, giving Allen the chance to score his second from the penalty-spot. 

Goddard scored from the narrowest of angles nine minutes into the second-half and Rangers looked home and dry. But they hadn’t accounted for Oldham’s fighting qualities. 

Former Fulham and Luton star, Vic Halom made it 4-1 after 64 minutes and another seven minutes later after an error by centre-back Bob Hazell.

And Polish midfield player Ryszard Kowenicki scored a brilliant third, his first for the Lancashire club. But Rangers hung on. 

Allen might have clinched a hat-trick in the dying seconds, but Steve Burke was ruled offside.’

And this report appeared elsewhere:

‘For an hour, Rangers played vintage promotion football, spearheaded by those rampant teenagers, Clive Allen and Paul Goddard.

Then they clung on grimly as they saw an impregnable 4-0 lead whittled away. I blame the pitch. While it was still wet on top, Rangers were able to move the ball smoothly and play the football which took them to the head of the division in November. 

Once it was cut-up their skill was nullified, and Oldham came back with a courageous rally which brought three goals. 

No wonder manager Tommy Docherty claims: “Allen and Goddard are the best pair of strikers in the country at the moment.”

In the thrilling opening of the match they brought their total to 36 goals between them this season.

Allen gave Rangers the lead after seven minutes. He collected a pass from Bob Hazell and let fly from 30-yards, a vicious shot which swerved and dipped. 

Five minutes later David McCreery thumped in first-time a clearance by Ken Clements, and after 20 minutes it was 3-0 when Allen scored from a penalty after David Holt brought down Goddard. It was Allen’s 23rd goal of the season.

At the interval Oldham manager Jimmy Frizzell told his players: “We don’t want to lose 6-0. We’ve come here to entertain, so go out and play.”

But a few minutes later Jim Platt could only turn aside a shot from Steve Burke and Goddard squeezed the ball in from a narrow angle.

It seemed all over but Vic Halom, formerly of Charlton, Fulham and Sunderland, started a magnificent comeback with a fierce shot from 25-yards. He then moved up into the attack with Ged Keegan substituting for Jim Steel. 

Bob Hazell, whose own-goal gave West Ham victory last week, mis-heard a call from Chris Woods, left the ball and Simon Stainrod scored.

Polish international Ryszard Kowenicki snatched the third with a first-time shot.’

The R’s went on to win 3-0 at Preston the following Saturday.

Steve Russell