Championship: Birmingham City 0 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 17:02 01 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:02 01 September 2018
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Steve McClaren’s Queens Park Rangers battled to a hard-earned Championship point against Birmingham at St Andrew’s.
Jordan Cousins came into the side for Josh Scowen, who has a minor knee injury, and new loan signing Geoff Cameron was included on the bench as Eberechi Eze lined up on the right and Luke Freeman on the left in a 4-4-2 formation.
Birmingham had the better of things in the opening exchanges, but Joel Lynch picked out Tomer Hemed, who teed up Freeman on eight minutes, before the hosts cleared.
Nakhi Wells then showed his pace to get in behind the Blues defence only to be brought down, but the visitors appeals were waved away by the refere.
Freeman’s cross from the left was just too high for Eze, but Maxine Colin then saw a free-kick from the left evade everyone in the box and go out of play.
Birmingham’s Jota had a penalty appeal turned down, after a challenge from Jake Bidwell, while Hemed sent a shoot looping agonisingly over the crossbar after a good run from Wells.
Rs had a great chance on the half-hour mark when Toni Leistner lost his marker in the box but headed over from eight yards.
And the visitors enjoyed a dominant spell towards the end of the first half, with Angel Rangel’s cross flicked on by Wells for Hemed, who could not get his shot away.
Eze’s low 20-yard drive was gathered by former Rs keeper Lee Camp on 43 minutes, but Lynch had to make a superb block to deny Lukas Jutkiewicz at close range.
The visitors made a bright start after the restart, with Wells causing problems for the Blues defence.
But Joe Lumley was called into action to save from Jutkiewicz on 48 minutes, before Hemed force Camp to save low down at the other end.
Camp kept out another effort from Hemed on 56 minutes, with Wells unable to convert the rebound, and Rs had a great chance just past the hour when Hemed and Masssimo Luongo combined to put Freeman through on goal only for Camp to save.
Leistner had penalty claims ignored after going down in the box when trying to meet Luongo’s delivery, but Birmingham saw an attempt deflected wide after a scramble in the QPR box, then saw Leistner and Hemed clear the danger from successive corners.
Wells had a shot saved by Camp after a brilliant run by Angel, before making way for Matt Smith six minutes from time.
Cameron came on for his debut in placee of Hemed with two minutes remaining and R’s went close to snatching the points as normal time drew to a close when the ball hit a post after a goalmouth scramble.
Leistner produced two important headed clearances in stoppage time to ensure R’s returned to west London with a point.
QPR: Lumley, Rangel, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell, Eze, Cousins, Luongo, Freeman, Wells (Smith 84), Hemed (Cameron 88).
Subs: Ingram, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel, Wszolek, Smyth.