QPR boss Mick Beale said Seny Dieng’s dramatic headed equaliser at Sunderland was a special moment, but bemoaned his side’s dreadful first-half display.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time after goals from Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, Rangers appeared to be heading for a second defeat of the season.
However, Ilias Chair struck in the 87th minute with a superb free-kick before Dieng nodded home an unlikely equaliser to claim a point – the first-ever QPR keeper to score.
Dieng took it upon himself to push up for the injury-time corner and met Chair’s delivery with a powerful header to stun the home crowd.
Rangers were awful before half-time but much improved in the second following the introduction of Tyler Roberts.
Beale insisted it was not a day to be too hard on his team, but admitted they have to improve.
“On the amount of chances we created in the second half I thought I was going to be sat here talking about our lack of quality in our final pass and shot,” he said.
“We had Albert Adomah’s header in the first half, Lyndon Dykes had a chance, from Niko Hamalainen’s cross to be fair, but we go in 2-0 down.
“They were direct and handful up front. We had some honest words at half-time and came out second half on the front foot and lived a bit dangerously.”
Sinclair Armstrong made himself a glorious chance with a barnstorming run down the line but instead of crossing for an unmarked Dykes, he shot on goal and forced Anthony Patterson into a fine save.
Beale said: “Illy scores a good goal and then we have a massive moment with Sinclair and thought that was the chance, to be honest, but Seny had other ideas at both ends of the pitch.
“He is quite a modest young man, Seny, and I have been trying to get him to come out of himself. But what a magic moment for him.
“He is the first goalkeeper to score for QPR and for the 900-odd fans that have made the trip up with a rail strike for what is the furthest we will travel this season, they will be able to say ‘I was there when that moment happened’.
“He is a big player for us and I thought he made some great saves and was unlucky with the first goal. He makes a great save but where is everybody else following up?
“I want to be super positive because it is a great point for us when you look at the players we have missing.
“We knew it would be a tough trip as Sunderland are on the up and although I want to be positive, we are dropping too deep.
“We have spoke this week about holding the line, not dropping, but we are going far too deep.
“It’s not a good look on us. It was similar to Middlesbrough and we need to stop doing it.”