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17:00 28th December 2015


SEBASTIAN Polter’s 80th-minute opener wasn’t enough to secure all three points for QPR, who were pegged back four minutes from time by Huddersfield Town at Loftus Road.

This Sky Bet Championship encounter was far from a classic, but Polter’s close-range finish appeared to give Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men victory in W12.

However Huddersfield, who probably deserved their point, didn’t relent and were level in the 86th minute, after Nahki Wells finished well with a free-kick.

Rangers are now unbeaten in nine fixtures at home.

Hasselbaink made three changes to the team which lost in the dying embers at Ipswich Town on Boxing Day. 

Clint Hill and Sandro both returned to the side, while Daniel Tozser also made the starting XI. 

The three demoted to the bench were Gabriele Angella, Ale Faurlin and Polter.

With Charlie Austin still nursing a hamstring injury, it was Matt Phillips who was entrusted with leading the line for Rangers. 

QPR went into the game with a good record against the Terriers, having not lost in their last five outings against the visitors, winning four of them. 

Before the kick-off, there was a minute’s applause following the recent and unfortunate passing of former R’s manager, Don Howe. The gesture was to also remember both Rangers and Huddersfield fans who have sadly passed away in 2015. 

It was Huddersfield who had the first shot of the game, with Emyr Huws dragging his 25-yard strike harmlessly wide of the mark in the fifth minute.

Rangers responded well, forcing three corners in quick succession, the second needing a fine clearance from Mark Hudson from underneath his own bar. 

The visitors did not look like a side hovering above the relegation spots, dominating the early proceedings with another shot from Huws, which didn’t trouble Rob Green, along with Jason Davidson slicing a strike wide of the post.  

However, Green’s reflexes were soon tested, as Wells went close with a headed effort which required palming out of danger in the 20th minute. 

Rangers’ best source of attacking threat was coming through corners and Tozser’s delivery. 

The hosts showed increased urgency going forward in the latter stages of the first half, with their best chance falling to Junior Hoilett, searching for his third goal on the bounce with an effort which sailed just over from outside the box.

It was a cagey opening to the second half, with neither team really taking hold of the game, as tackles flew in.

But the hosts should have opened the scoring in the 58th minute. A superb cross from Paul Konchesky, and an even-better dummy from Leroy Fer, allowed the ball to fall to Phillips, whose effort from six-yards out could not beat goalkeeper Joe Murphy. A follow-up header from Karl Henry was too weak to trouble Huddersfield. 

Rangers introduced Polter and Tjaronn Chery in an attempt to win the game, but it was visiting substitute Ben Chilwell who provided the assist for what should have been the opening goal. Jamie Paterson headed just over from six yards. 

Chery also blazed over the crossbar in the 74th minute, after finding himself in acres of space outside the Terriers’ box. 

The home side’s last throw of the attacking dice came in the 77th minute, as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replaced Phillips. 

However, Huddersfield continued to threaten and Green saved well from Joe Lolley’s low blast in the 80th minute.

Moments later, the opening goal of the contest arrived.

Emmanuel-Thomas’ trademark long throw was eventually controlled by Polter, who used all his strength to muscle in and sweep the ball home from point-blank range.

Relief all around Loftus Road – all Rangers had to do now was hold out for the final minutes.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t. 

Opposing striker Wells provided the perfect response for Huddersfield six minutes after Polter’s opener, curling home wonderfully well with a free-kick effort 25 yards from goal.
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