Queens Park Rangers 1 Bristol City 1: QPR unable to get the better of the Robins as final home game of 2017 ends in draw
PUBLISHED: 16:58 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:58 23 December 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 1 (Fling o.g. 37) Bristol City 1 (Reid 81p)
Queens Park Rangers played out a 1-1 draw with Bristol City in their final home Championship game of 2017.
After a strong opening, the Rs took the lead towards the end of the first half when a Robins defender turned the ball into his own net.
However, the west Londoners have away a penalty in the final 10 minutes which the visitors converted to earn a share of the spoils.
QPR boss Ian Holloway made two changes to his starting XI, despite beating Birmingham City last weekend.
Summer signing Bright Osayi-Samuel was handed his first home start for the west Londoners, while Idrissa Sylla was also recalled to the starting XI.
The pair came in for Conor Washington and Matt Smith, who both dropped to the bench against the Robins.
Home stopper Alex Smithies was called into early action at Loftus Road, keeping a low drive from Korey Smith out in just the second minute.
Four minutes later, Osayi-Samuel nearly made a bright start on his full home debut after being found in the box by Josh Scowen.
After cutting inside Bailey Wright, the former Blackpool man shot a goal, but Frank Fielding was able to parry the ball away before the Robins cleared.
From there, things seemed to peter out until the 37th minute, when the Rs hit the front in somewhat fortuitous fashion.
Poland international Pawel Wszolek was fouled down the right flank by Joe Bryan, giving Luke Freeman the chance to deliver in a free kick.
Against his former club, the ex-City midfielder provided a tantalising ball which was turned into his own net by Robins centre back Aden Flint to give QPR the lead.
It was an advantage Holloway’s men would take into the interval, seeing out the remaining of the half with minimum fuss.
Just six minutes into the second half, though, Flint nearly atoned for his earlier error, narrowly nodding over from a Bryan corner.
The Robins went even closer two minutes later, with Josh Brownhill seeing an effort come back out of the post after being played in by Matty Taylor.
The ball was cleared for a corner, from which Scowen had to clear the ball of his own line as QPR were having to deal with plenty of pressure early in the second half.
A quick break from the Rs in the 56th minute resulted in Freeman laying the ball off to Wszolek, whose effort from inside the area was pushed behind for a corner.
With 24 minutes left in the match, a thunderous drive from Bristol substitute Marlon Pack took a deflection on its way to goal, but Smithies was still able to save.
Smithies had to be at his best in the 73rd minute, showing good reflexes to keep out a fine free kick from Hordur Magnusson.
The QPR stopper again showed his talent five minutes later, keeping out a header from Cauley Woodrow.
Smithies, though, could only the parry the header to Brownhill, who nodded back across goal for Woodrow.
With the target at his mercy and only a few yards out, the City attacker looked certain to score, yet somehow blazed his half volley over the bar.
However, after knocking on the door for much of the second half, the Robins finally drew level with nine minutes remaining.
Following a long throw into the box by Magnusson, Flint was fouled in the air, with referee Anthony Madely awarding a penalty that Bobby Reid converted.
Boosted by the equaliser, Lee Johnson’s men nearly had a second three minutes later, but Woodrow fired wide from close range.
QPR continued to be put under pressure as City pressed on in search of a winner, but the hosts did just about enough to hold on for a point.
The Rs will hope that if they can take the lead in their next match at Ipswich Town on Boxing Day, they can at least hold on to it.
QPR (3-5-2): Smithies; Baptiste, Onuoha, Robinson; Wszolek, Luongo, Scowen, Freeman (Hall 79), Bidwell; Sylla (Smith 68), Osayi-Samuel (Washington 64).
Subs: Lumley (GK), Cousins, Wheeler, Oteh.
Bristol C (4-4-2): Fielding; Wright, Flint, Baker, Kelly (Magnusson 64); Leko (Pack 64), Brownhill, Smith, Bryan; Reid, Taylor (Woodrow 72).
Subs: Steele (GK), Eliasson, Vyner, Andrews.
Referee: Andy Madley.
Attendance: 13,683 (including 1,844 Bristol C fans).