QPR 1 Crystal Palace 1
By Ian Cooper QPR marched into the Championship play-off spots on Tuesday and, on the evidence of a battling display against Palace, they may well be there to stay. Defensive frailties made it a fraught evening against Neil Warnock s side but, after Akos
By Ian Cooper
QPR marched into the Championship play-off spots on Tuesday and, on the evidence of a battling display against Palace, they may well be there to stay.
Defensive frailties made it a fraught evening against Neil Warnock's side but, after Akos Buzsaky and Darren Ambrose traded penalties, Rangers were good value for the point that took them to fifth, their highest position of the season.
Led by the outstanding quartet of Wayne Routledge, Akos Buzsaky, Jay Simpson and Adel Taarabt, goals were never going to be a problem for the Rs, despite a strangely subdued start.
After Routledge put an early effort straight at Julian Speroni, the match caught fire, and the Hoops were gifted the lead when Danny Butterfield slid in rashly on Taarabt inside the area. Buzsaky (pictured) stroked home the penalty.
Palace responded and the influential Ambrose crossed for Stern John, whose point blank shot cannoned back off the crossbar from four yards.
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Alessandro N'Diaye then saw his shot cleared off the line as Palace pressed, but Rangers who should have doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time when Taraabt fed Routledge, who raced clear, but could only fire wide of the post.
The chances continued to flow after the break, with Speroni diving full stretch to divert a stinging Alejandro Faurlin shot around the post, but Palace hit Rangers with a sucker punch midway through the half.
This time it was the home defence in generous mood, Fitz Hall's foul on Freddie Sears gifting a penalty, and Ambrose slammed home the equaliser.
With the game swinging from end to end, Neil Danns headed straight at Radek Cerny, and Rs substitute Rowan Vine scuffed a shot wide before stinging Speroni's palms with a ferocious drive.
Rangers piled forward in search of a winner, but almost paid the price as Lee Hills fired over on the counter-attack, wasting the final chance of an absorbing contest.
QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge, Buzsaky (Ephraim 77), Gorkss, Watson, Faurlin, Simpson (Vine 73), Borrowdale, Taarabt (Agyemang 73).