Helguson keeps QPR in the FA Cup

MK Dons 1 QPR 1

Heidar Helguson atoned for a careless mistake to rescue his side from another embarrassing FA Cup defeat – but QPR were left to worry over the condition of Alejandro Faurlin, who was stretchered off.

Rangers, without a win in the competition since 2001, went behind midway through the second half when Dean Bowditch netted after robbing Helguson inside the penalty area.

Faurlin’s injury added to the visitors’ woes, but they snatched an undeserved draw when Helguson capitalised on keeper David Martin’s gaffe to score into an unguarded net two minutes from time.

This was Rangers’ first visit to StadiumMK – a ground which might now be their home had Dons chairman Pete Winkelman had his way.

Winkelman discussed moving QPR, who were then in administration, to Milton Keynes before being given short shrift and focusing his attention on Wimbledon.

On one occasion he met a gathering of R’s supporters to try to win their approval for his idea.

He would probably have had even less chance of convincing some Rangers fans their team will ever win an FA Cup match again after Bowditch’s opener.

Helguson, on as a substitute, allowed the former Ipswich man to muscle him off the ball to collect Shaun Williams’ right-wing cross and fire home.

The goal had been coming, with the League One outfit unfortunate not to have been ahead by the interval.

Both teams had goals disallowed for offside in the first half; MK Dons after Jabo Ibehre netted after being fed by Luke Chadwick, and Rangers after DJ Campbell had been put through by Tommy Smith.

And Rangers, without suspended skipper Joey Barton, seemed lucky not to have a penalty awarded against them when the ball appeared to strike Clint Hill’s arm as the defender slid in to block Daniel Powell’s cross.

They struggled to create chances after going behind and when Faurlin, who fell to the floor in agony after stretching for the ball, was carried away with six minutes remaining, they were left with only 10 men because they had made all their substitutions.

Those changes included the hauling off of on-loan Manchester United forward Federico Macheda, who was ineffective on his full debut for the club.

Yet Rangers got out of jail when Martin got himself into all sorts of trouble after racing from his line to block Helguson, whose eighth goal of the season set up a replay at Loftus Road and perhaps that elusive cup win – or yet another humiliation.

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