QUEENS Park Rangers and West Bromich Albion will go again in the FA Cup Third Round after Kieron Dyer rescued a replay back at the Hawthorns.
A match of few chances saw West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long put the visitors ahead in the 78th minute.
But with literally the last kick of the match Dyer snatched an equaliser to put Rangers name in the hat for the fourth round.
Following Wednesday’s win at Chelsea manager Harry Redknapp made four changes for today’s FA Cup clash with West Bromwich Albion. New signing Tal Ben Haim was handed his debut at left-back whilst Kieron Dyer and Ji-Sung Park also started. Striker DJ Campbell made his first appearance of the season after returning from a successful loan spell with Ipswich Town earlier in the week.
A cagey opening ten minutes saw Gabriel Tamas fire over from 30-yards before Ben Haim had to make a block on James Morrison in the R’s penalty area 6 minutes later. His shot deflected over for a corner but it came to nothing.
Play was then held-up as Zoltan Gera received treatment before being substituted for Marc-Antoine Fortune following a clash with Rangers Ji-Sung Park as both sides struggle to find any rhythm to their play.
A good passing move from the R’s on 27 minutes allowed Ben Haim to chip a ball into Ji-Sung Park, who found good space behind the Baggies defence, but the South Korean could only lift it over Boaz Myhill’s bar. Morrison warmed Julio Cesar’s hands at the other end for West Brom almost immediately in response.
Cesar then made a double save in the 32nd minute. Firstly the Brazilian dealt with Shane Long’s strike from the left before denying Romelu Lukaku’s follow-up drive.
The former Inter Milan keeper had so far been the busier of the two stoppers and he was again called into action just under five minutes before the half-time break. He palmed away Lukaku’s header from Morrison’s cross before Chris Brunt stabbed inches wide following a pull back from his strike partner Lukaku as Rangers survived two near misses.
Having been restricted to long range efforts QPR signed off the first half through Stephane Mbia when his shot from 30-yards sent Myhill diving in the Albion goal but unfortunately for Rangers it was always rising and flew just over the crossbar.
QPR made a change at the break with Spaniard Esteban Granero being replaced by Jay Bothroyd. However, the home side were under pressure almost immediately and Lukaku fired wide before DJ Campbell was handed the R’s best chance of an opener when he headed Dyer’s right-wing cross over the Albion bar from 8-yards.
A Morrison volley from 30-yards in the 50th minute was comfortably dealt with by Cesar who caught the shot into his midriff before a period of possession followed for QPR but without any real threat.
The match awoke when Jerome Thomas tested Cesar in the 75th minute with an tame shot from the edge of the box after taking on two Rangers defenders but chance was dealt with comfortably.
The Baggies then took the lead 11 minutes from time through striker Shane Long. Rangers failed to clear an attack as the ball fell to the back post to Long and his shot deflected past Cesar to put the visitors 1-0 up.
A poorly struck free-kick from Adel Taarabt in the 88th minute failed to test Myhill who watched it all the way out.
However, Rangers set-up a replay at The Hawthorns in injury time through Kieron Dyer when the former West Ham man volleyed across Myhill’s goal and into the far right hand corner of the net to salvage a draw and ensure the R’s name being in Sunday’s fourth round draw.