TEN-MAN QPR surrendered a one-goal lead, as Rangers slipped to a 2-1 home Championship defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Despite a lacklustre first period, things looked to be going well for the hosts when league top scorer Charlie Austin registered his fifth goal of the campaign just after the hour mark to put the Hoops in front.
However, events took a turn for the worse for Chris Ramsey’s charges thereafter.
In the 72nd minute, Rob Green was shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris O’Grady in the box.
That also meant a penalty for Forest, which Henri Lansbury dispatched in confident fashion.
And Nelson Oliveira completed the comeback for the visitors when he shot home eight minutes from time.
Rangers boss Ramsey made three changes to his side following the two-week international break. Last time out, of course, QPR recorded a 1-0 Championship win at Huddersfield Town.
Ale Faurlin, who started in that particular success, missed out against Forest owing to a slight knock.
Meanwhile, Grant Hall and Michael Doughty dropped to the bench.
That meant debuts for two men, with centre-half Gabriele Angella and Daniel Tozser both included.
Karl Henry was also drafted into the side.
Reading’s 5-1 demolition of Ipswich Town on Friday night saw Rangers move up to third in the table without even playing, on goal difference.
Visitors Forest, meanwhile, went into this contest at Loftus Road lying 16th in the Championship.
With QPR in improved form of late, and key names such as Austin and Matt Phillips still with the club after the summer transfer window, there was an air of positivity around the ground before kick-off.
The game itself saw a tight opening. Phillips let fly from range for the R’s in the eighth minute, but his effort sailed harmlessly wide of Dorus de Vries’ goal. Austin also blazed over in the 15th minute.
However, apart from that, chances were otherwise at a premium early on. Both sides were struggling to get a stranglehold in a turgid start.
The first real chance of note arrived on 27 minutes. Chris O’Grady freed Eric Lichaj in the box, whose low blast was collected at the second attempt by Green.
Two minutes later, Forest’s Ryan Mendes fizzed an effort just wide of the target from distance.
Rangers were forced into a change in the 31st minute. Debutant Angella, who was wearing a head bandage following an earlier collision, was forced off. So Hall came on in the defender’s place.
QPR had a few forages towards goal after that but the first half petered out in the relatively-dull fashion in which it started.
David Vaughan shot from distance for Forest but his effort did little to trouble Green. Massimo Luongo also directed a tame header straight at the visiting goalkeeper.
Rangers shot-stopper Green was forced into a smart save early in the second half. In the 47th minute, he did well to claim Lansbury’s low bullet effort direct from a free-kick.
A minute later, QPR’s Tjaronn Chery saw a deflected shot caught by de Vries.
Forest peppered Green’s goal again in the 54th minute. Lansbury fashioned another attempt, and this time his 25-yard effort just missed the upright.
Two minutes later, it was the Hoops’ turn to attack and, when Tozser eventually crossed from the left, his deep ball was headed wide at the back post by James Perch.
This was more entertaining.
The Loftus Road crowd began to crank up the volume and skipper Nedum Onuoha shot wide from a corner on the hour mark.
With 30 minutes remaining, could there be a breakthrough here?
Forest attempted a long-range effort three minutes later. Reds substitute Kyle Ebecilio saw an attempt fly just over the bar.
Rangers took the lead through a familiar face in the 65th minute.
You guessed it, it was that man Austin who handed QPR the advantage. After a three-man passing exchange, the hotshot evaded his marker before unleashing a low drive from range that crept under de Vries and in.
The goal lifted Rangers and Luongo fired just wide two minutes later.
However, the home side were reduced to 10 men – and conceded a penalty – in the 72nd minute, after Green was shown his marching orders.
The goalkeeper miscontrolled a back-pass from Onuoha and when O’Grady nipped in to steal possession, he was pulled to the ground by Green in the box.
Rangers introduced Alex Smithies to take Green’s place in goal, at the expense of Luongo, but he couldn’t prevent Lansbury from hammering home the resultant spot kick.
In the 81st minute, Mendes went extremely close to adding a second goal for the visitors, but his snap-shot flew inches wide of the post.
However, Forest did take the lead just moments later.
Mendes was involved once again, feeding substitute and fellow Reds debutant Oliveira who fired home beyond Smithies from inside the area.
Rangers introduced Ben Gladwin in the 86th minute, for Tozser, as they attempted to draw level.
However, despite six minutes of added time in W12, Forest held on for the victory.