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21:30 30th October 2013


QPR and Wigan Athletic shared the points in a contest of limited chances at the DW Stadium.

This Championship clash was relatively even throughout and a draw was probably a fair reflection of how the fixture panned out.

Charlie Austin had the Hoops’ best chance when he pulled an Ale Faurlin cross wide in the first half, while Chris McCann headed against the post for the Latics after the break.

Rangers made two changes to their starting line-up following the weekend defeat at Burnley, with Faurlin and Jermaine Jenas drafted in for Joey Barton (suspended) and Karl Henry respectively.

Visitors QPR enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and Niko Kranjcar blasted over inside the first five minutes.

It took the hosts a short while to find their rhythm though Rob Green was forced into a smart save to thwart Nick Powell in the 13th minute, palming the Manchester United loanee’s fierce drive away from goal.

Six minutes later, Callum McManaman rode Faurlin’s sliding challenge before curling an effort just wide of the post.

There was little to separate the teams come the midway point in the first half but Rangers did pose a threat on the counter attack. Gary O’Neil forced home goalkeeper Lee Nicholls into a routine stop in the 32nd minute.

In truth, chances were few and far between in the first period though both sides went close just before the break.   

For QPR, Faurlin was played into space down the right and when the Argentine crossed for Austin, the striker couldn’t quite get enough purchase on the ball when he dragged a shot wide.

At the other end, Jordi Gomez fizzed a low effort just past the foot of the post.

The R’s were forced into a substitution moments before the half-time whistle sounded. Kranjcar pulled up with what looked to be a hamstring injury, so the visitors sent on Matty Phillips in his place. 

Wigan replaced Grant Holt with Marc-Antoine Fortune at the interval. The substitute almost had an instant impact, with only Clint Hill’s timely block getting in the way of the forward’s seemingly goal-bound effort.

McManaman then shot just wide of the target following a Latics corner.

The home side oh-so nearly led come the 52nd minute.

McCann struck a header against the post following a Gomez centre, while McManaman fluffed his lines from the follow-up, skying the ball high and wide.

Despite that small flurry of Wigan chances, much like the first half, the closing period was a close-run contest.

Richard Dunne headed wide from a corner in the 70th minute and you felt that if there was to be a winner, victory would come by just the single goal.

Both sides made substitutions with around 15 minutes left on the clock. Rangers replaced Junior Hoilett with Andy Johnson, while the hosts brought on both Marc Albrighton and James McClean.

Johnson, returning to first-team action for the first time since August, almost enjoyed the perfect introduction but could only skew wide following Phillips’ through pass.

Wigan’s own substitute, McClean, fired into the side-netting shortly after.

A contentious decision arrived in the final 10 minutes.

Johnson raced on to a ball over the top of the Latics’ defence and appeared to be felled by Nicholls – only for referee Michael Naylor to wave away claims from the former Fulham ace.

Both teams continued to go in search of a winning goal but their efforts were both ultimately in vein.
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