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17:59 3rd December 2011
By  @OfficialQPR


Shane Long's 81st-minute strike earned West Brom a share of the spoils at Loftus Road.

Rangers had looked to be heading to only their second home Barclays Premier League win of the season, after Heidar Helguson's nodded effort put QPR in front in the 20th minute.

But the Baggies fought back to claim a point.

It was probably no more than Roy Hodgson's side deserved - even though the R's missed a whole host of earlier chances to extend their lead.

James Morrison and Peter Odemwingie broke at pace for Albion on the counter attack and, when the latter found Shane Long from close range, he struck a West Brom leveller.

R's boss Neil Warnock made two changes to his side for the visit of the Baggies to W12.

Joey Barton returned to the starting line-up to replace Shaun Derry after serving a one-match ban in last weekend's defeat at Norwich, while Jay Bothroyd came in at the expense of Clint Hill.

The absence of injured duo Paddy Kenny and Brian Murphy meant that Radek Cerny kept his place in goal.

Luke Young, Danny Gabbidon, Anton Ferdinand and Armand Traore lined up in defence.

Jamie Mackie began from the right-hand side of midfield, alongside Barton, Ale Faurlin and Shaun Wright-Phillips on the left flank.

Helguson partnered Bothroyd in attack.

Albion were first to go close. Morrison lashed a low drive at goal that had Cerny at full stretch, but the Baggies midfielder's shot flashed past the left-hand post.

Rangers were soon back on the offensive. Mackie rode two challenges down the right before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area and, although Faurlin and Wright-Phillips couldn't get out of the way of each other, the latter still managed to get a shot away that went just wide of the target.

Moments later, QPR were on the attack once more. Faurlin's delightful sweeping pass found Traore on the left, whose subsequent ball into Barton saw the R's skipper fire an effort straight at Ben Foster.

Play then switched to the other end. Long's willingness eventually saw him brush aside Ferdinand before combing with Jerome Thomas, whose effort forced a comfortable save from Cerny.

The breakthrough arrived on 20 mintues for Rangers - and what an effort it proved to be.

Mackie's industrious run into the box was blocked into the path of Barton and, when the R's talisman executed a delicious lob in the direction of Helguson, he expertly guided a header into the top right-hand corner.

It was an outstanding finish from the Icelandic striker - and his fourth strike in as many home league appearances.

The R's thought they'd added a second four minutes later. Another sensational pass from Faurlin this time found Wright-Phillips, who cut in past his marker from the left to fire a stunning effort into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Unfortunately for Rangers, the effort was chalked off for offside - even though replays proved that decision was incorrect.

QPR again went close on 27 minutes. Bothroyd's ball from deep for Helguson eventually fell into the path of Mackie, before the former Plymouth Argyle ace blasted an effort with his weaker left-foot just over the bar.

Morrison was unlucky not to do better when he danced his way past Ferdinand and fired a shot straight at Cerny on 35 minutes.

But it was Rangers who should have doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Helguson's ball into the box was deflected up into the path of an unmarked Wright-Phillips, who - with Foster some way of his line - could only nod an effort wide of the right-hand post.

It may have been a golden opportunity to extend their lead, but the R's missed arguably a greater chance to pull further clear of Albion just four minutes after the break.

Barton's challenge with his marker saw the ball deflect into the path of Helguson, who slid the former through on goal.

The Rangers skipper advanced towards the target before attempting to guide the ball over an advancing Foster, but Barton's effort went agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.

West Brom yielded an opportunity to level seven minutes later. Gareth McAuley rose highest to meet Morrison's in-swinging free-kick from the left, but his header went wide of the target.

Soon after, Albion were fortunate to come off the better in a goalmouth scramble in their own box.

The ball bounced around the Baggies penalty area like a pinball but Wright-Phillips, Mackie and Helguson all couldn't find the time or space to get a shot away.

Chances continued to present themselves for Rangers but still they could add a second goal. That again was the case on 69 minutes.

Bothroyd found Traore down the left, before the full-back rounded Foster - who'd strayed some way off his line to collect the original pass - on the edge of the box.

Traore looked up before finding Wright-Phillips on ten yards but he couldn't capitalise on the opportunity to find an open goal, firing an effort into the ground and wide.

Play continually switched from one end to the next as the second half wore on.

That was exemplified on 71 minutes. Albion broke and the ball eventually found Chris Brunt on 25 yards, whose thunderbolt effort - that looked in all the way - flashed just past the right-hand post.

West Brom did, however, level ten minutes later on the counter attack.

Morrison's driving run from deep saw the Baggies midfield man skip past challenges from both substitute Akos Buzsaky and Faurlin, before he fed Odemwingie on the left.

The Albion striker looked up before firing across a low centre that deflected into the path Long at the back post, who couldn't miss from all of three yards to earn his side a point.

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