QPR (1) – Everton (0) – ‘When Bowles tried yet another of his Swerving Individual Runs, he was brought down by Clements’

League Division One

Team: Parkes, Clement, Gillard, Venables, Mancini, McLintock, Thomas, Francis, Leach, Bowles, Givens

Sub: Hazell

Attendance: 19,051

On 12th January 1974, Everton travelled to Loftus Road. Jim Gaughan wrote the following match report later that day:

‘Gerry Francis, Queen’s Park Rangers’ midfield star, gave further proof of his international potential with some superb passes, which split the Everton defence at Shepherd’s Bush this afternoon.

Rangers almost snatched the lead in their first dangerous move, which started with a long free kick from Ian Gillard.

Stan Bowles, unmarked on the right, immediately sent him towards the far-post, and Don Givens, moving in fast, headed the ball against goalkeeper David Lawson.

Rangers appealed for a penalty when Thomas, racing in from the left, was floored by Terry Darracott, but referee Arthur Lees waved everybody aside and awarded a corner.

This was well-placed by Thomas, and Lawson – apparently unnerved by the presence of Gerry Francis and Mick Leach – dropped the ball over the bye-line for another corner. 

Centre-half Roger Kenyon, injured in midfield when supporting an Everton attack, tried to continue but had to limp off and was replaced by substitute Mick Lyons.

Thomas was presented with a chance of putting Rangers ahead when a Gerry Francis shot was deflected into his path by David Clements. The little winger elected to cut inside instead of going straight for goal, and his shot was charged down by John McLaughlin.

Then Mick Leach failed to make contact with a right-wing centre. 

Clements was outstanding for Everton – who gave 19-year-old John Smith his debut in midfield, and one of the moves he started was carried out by Joe Royle, who made a chance for Jones with a downward header.

Jones shot hard and low, and Phil Parkes made a brilliant diving save. 

A great pass by Stan Bowles sent Francis through and after losing control for a moment, he hit a fine shot which Lawson turned away for a corner.

Everton were forced to defend almost continually, and it took the combined efforts of Lyons and McLaughlin to stop a run by Bowles. 

When Bowles tried yet another of his swerving individual runs, he was brought down by Clements just outside the penalty area and the Everton player was booked. 

Rangers vulnerability to a quick counter-attack, was demonstrated when Jones found himself a space and hammered the ball into the net. 

Fortunately for Rangers, referee Arthur Lees had spotted an Everton infringement before the ball reached Jones and he promptly disallowed the “goal”.

A mix-up between goalkeeper Lawson and John Hurst gave Rangers the lead after 69 minutes. They collided and the ball ran loose to Don Givens, who placed it into the unguarded net.’

Three days later the R’s went on to defeat Chelsea in an FA Cup replay.

Steve Russell