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September 22, 1984: Alan Mullery's Blue and White Army and the comeback against Newcastle
September 22, 1984, a crowd of 14,234 turned up at Loftus Road to see Alan Mullery/Frank Sibley's QPR take on Jack Charlton's Newcastle. QPR had begin by winning two and drawing two (including at Liverpool)...Then the previous week had lost to Clive Allen's Spurs 5-0...And then came the Newcastle game and QPR's incredible comeback from 0-4 at half-time. A hattrick for Newcastle's Chris Waddle. Among QPR scorers, subsequent manager, John Gregory! (And on the Newcastle team, ex-QPR and later Newcastle manager, Glen Roeder)
The scoring sequence: 0-1...0-2...0-3...0-4...1-4...2-4...3-4...3-5...4-5...5-5
Neil Wicks Fenwick Dawes
Micklewhite Fillery Gregory Fereday
Stainrod Bannister -
Stewart sub for Fillery
- QPR Scorers: Bannister, Stainrod, Gregory, Wicks, Micklewhite
Kevin Carr Malcolm Brown,Wesley Saunders,Glen Roeder, Anderson, Haddock, Neil Macdonald, David Mcreery, Kenny Wharton,Peter Beardsley Chrissy Waddle. -
NOBOK SPORTS - Top Five comebacks
5. QPR 5 Newcastle United 5, First Division, 1984
With a 4-0 half-time lead and Chris Waddle in inspirational form, you could have forgiven Newcastle for thinking they had QPR beaten at Loftus Road in 1984.
But this titanic Division One match took a huge twist when Rangers responded to manager Alan Mullery's furious half-time team-talk with a stirring comeback.
Gary Bannister, John Gregory and an own goal dragged the home side back into it only for Kenny Wharton to restore Newcastle's two-goal lead with six minutes left.
But Rangers were still not done as Steve Wicks and Gary Micklewhite grabbed a share of the points with two last-gasp strikes. Nobok Sports
[Aside: From a Peter Doherty Interview in Time Out
"...What’s the best sporting event you’ve ever been to?
When I was five or six I went to a QPR game and the score was QPR 5, Newcastle 5. [Chants] ‘Say we are QPR, say we are QPR!’
A Newcastle Site, Toonarama, Match Report of that Day
Absolutely Diabolical - a 10 goal extravaganza Tighten Up Mister
On the 22nd of September 1984 United travelled to Loftus Road to take on QPR in their 7th game of the season on their return to Division 1. After winning the first 3 games United had lost three on the trot, conceding 10 goals in the process.
Manager Charlton decided that changes were necessary. He adopted for a more defensive line-up but the match ended up as one of the highest scoring games in the club's history.
Newcastle lined up with Kevin Carr in goal, Malcolm Brown and Wesley Saunders at full-back and three centre-backs; Roeder, Anderson and Haddock In midfield he played Neil Macdonald, David Mcreery, Kenny Wharton and Peter Beardsley who dropped in behind the sole attacker Chrissy Waddle.
The QPR side was: Hucker in goal, full backs Neill and Dawes, centre-backs Fenwick and Wicks, midfield of Wayne Fereday (a player who would later "play" for the Toon), Micklewhite, Fillery and John Gregory and an attack of Bannister and Stainrod.
- The tactics were very simple and classic Charlton; crowd the midfield and defence to cut down the space for the opposition and boot diagonal balls out to the wings in the general direction of Waddle. Even if Waddle didn't get it the ball was deep into QPR territory.
All We Want For Xmas is a Plastic Pitch
Three minutes gone and the first real chance of the match. Waddle attacks down the left, reaches the byeline and crosses deep to the far post where the ball is headed in by Macdonald at point blank range (0-1)
- QPR try and hit back immediately and Newcastle are forced to defend desperately. Carr pulls off a magnificent save, QPR have a decent penalty appeal turned down and Roeder clears another shot off the line. But on seventeen minutes Waddle gets away on the right side of the area, cooly rounds Hucker and slots it in from an acute angle (0-2)
- Five minutes later and United win a free-kick on the edge of the centre-circle . Roeder floats it in and a poor headed clearance drops perfectly for Wharton who volleys goalwards. His shot deflects off a defender and hits the post. Waddle gleefully slots in the rebound with Hucker grounded.(0-3)
- Almost immediately QPR pull a "goal" back, but to the Hoops fans displeasure, the referee disallows the goal having already whistled for a free-kick to the home side. The free kick is easily fielded by Carr.
- With 4 minutes of the first half remaining Waddle picks up a loose ball just outside the area and curls in a superb shot into the top left-hand corner to register a 24 minute hat-trick( 0-4)
- So, four goals up at half time and surely the match is over. The Toon Army are (for the one and only time I imagine) singing the praises of the artificial turf. Charlton's tactics seem to be coming up trumps. However United's football has been scrappy and QPR did have chances while Newcastle had scored from all four of theirs....
In Your Face
QPR bring on left-winger Ian Stewart (another player who would later have a deeply unimpressive spell at Gallowgate) for Fillery.
The second half begins and almost immediately Carr has to make a superb save to deny QPR from a free kick. At the other end Waddle makes space for a shot but his effort is blocked. He tries to win a penalty with a ludicrous dive. The referee is not fooled, but there is no booking as players got away with that sort of thing then.
Four minutes into the second half and the ball is punted upfield by the QPR keeper, it is flicked on and suddenly Gary Bannister is in on goal. Carr (not for the first time in his career) rushes from his line and manages to parry the shot. Unfortunately it goes straight back to the QPR player who heads into the empty net (1-4)
- Play is now switching from end to end, Carr is forced into another brilliant save and a shot from Wharton is saved at the other end. A free-kick from QPR goes narrowly past the post. What then followed had to be seen to be believed. All through the game United's defensive strategy had appeared to be to get a foot in and kick the ball as hard as possible, in whatever direction you happened to be facing.
- Well in this case Haddock was on the edge of the area facing the corner post. He blasts the ball towards the corner but only succeeds in hitting Wharton full in the face. He hits it at such pace that the ball ricochets off Wharton's head right across the goal and passed a startled Kevin Carr into the far corner of the net (2-4)
- Almost immediately QPR try and score an even better own-goal. The ball is passed back so hard and high from the half-way line in the QPR goal is forced to back-pedal furiously to get a hand to it and tip it over the crossbar just before it crossed the line.
- QPR are now full of confidence and are attacking at will. Just past the hour mark and Roeder makes a hash of a clearance - completely missing his kick- and the ball is in the Toon net again; but once again the referee disallows Stainrod's effort. However after 74 minutes Carr again rushes out of his goal and is left in no-mans land as the ball is steered home by John Gregory for QPR's third (3-4)
You're Not Singing Any more
- During the next ten minutes the game becomes even more scrappy and is littered with fouls. Another QPR header flies narrowly wide of the post before Waddle heads just over and then has another shot deflected for a corner.
- Then with six minutes to go, Beardsley picks up the ball ten yards within his own half and hits a great cross-field pass to Waddle out on the right-wing. Waddle lollops into the area and crosses for Kenny Wharton to slot the ball home from three yards out. This brings the stunned Toon Army back to life.
- However, just as they were starting a chorus of "You're not singing any more" the words stuck in their throats as a free kick was headed in by Steve Wicks at the far post (4-5)
- Then with 90 minutes on the clock more slack defending allowed Gary Micklewhite to burst into the area and cooly lift the ball over Carr who had already gone to ground (5-5)
A Total Embarrassment
After the game Charlton was livid. "Saturdays game was a total embarrassment, absolutely diabolical. I have never seen anything like it in my 32 years in the game. I went mad at the players because there were times when they were going to give me a heart attack. They just stopped playing"
Big Jack obviously thought the problems went deeper than just the one game. "There are so many things wrong at Newcastle it is incredible. People are asking me where I intend to start with the problems, but I just don't know. It will take years to put right. Some of the players couldn't even breathe in the second half. I don't know where they got their education from before, but, believe me they'll get it from me in the months to come."
QPR manager Alan Mullery added "These kind of games are great for the fans but they give managers heart attacks. We needed a miracle in the second half and we got it" Toonarama