Field’s late equaliser boosts QPR’s survival bid

West Brom

Sam Field boosted QPR’s Championship survival hopes by scoring a late equaliser to earn a point on an emotional – and controversial – night at Loftus Road.

Field scored both Rangers’ goals, putting them ahead before West Brom hit back by netting twice in the space of many minutes midway through the first half, with Mikey Johnston and Grady Diangana on target.

Early in the second half, Rangers missed a penalty and should have been awarded another.

After Adam Reach blocked Lucas Anderson’s right-wing cross with his elbow, the resulting spot-kick by Michael Frey was saved by keeper Alex Palmer.

A couple of minutes later, Field’s header from Jimmy Dunne’s cross initially appeared to have been superbly tipped over by Palmer or cleared off the line by Cedric Kipre.

However, replays showed that Kipre used his hand to prevent a goal – an offence which would almost certainly have resulted in a red card as well as a penalty had it been spotted.

Justice was done with nine minutes remaining. After Chris Willock’s cross was headed back across goal by Steve Cook, Dunne headed against the bar and Field followed up to nod home.

And there was more late drama when centre-back Cook’s overhead kick was cleared off the line – legitimately this time – by ex-QPR man Darnell Furlong.

The draw lifted Rangers up a place, to 19th, and stretched their unbeaten run to four matches.

They went ahead on 17 minutes after Palmer spilled Ilias Chair’s shot from near the edge of the box.

Frey looked to pounce and then went down under Palmer’s challenge looking for a penalty, with Andersen retrieving the loose ball and squaring it for Field to score from close range.

Rangers seemed to be in control but the tide suddenly turned, with Johnston continuing his incredible form since his loan move Celtic.

Johnston is gaining a reputation for scoring spectacular goals – and he struck again on 25 minutes to haul Albion level with his fourth in six matches.

He cut in from the left, past Dunne and Paul Smyth, and sent a cracking strike beyond keeper Asmir Begovic and in off the near post.

Diangana, who like Johnston scored in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Friday, then put the visitors ahead.

Tom Fellows did superbly on the right and picked out Diangana, who took a touch to ease himself away from Andersen and then fired past Begovic.

There were emotional scenes prior to the match – QPR’s first at home since the recent death of club legend Stan Bowles.

As well as a minute’s applause, there was a mosaic in Bowles’ honour in the stand named after him, while members of his family attended along with team-mates from the Bowles-inspired outstanding QPR side of 1975-76, who were famously pipped to the league title by Liverpool.

QPR: Begovic; Dunne, Cook, Clarke-Salter (Fox 80), Paal (Dykes 80); Field, Hayden (Hodge 60); Smyth, Andersen (Willock 72), Chair; Frey.