QPR fought out a 0-0 draw with Exeter City in their first fixture of the pre-season campaign tonight (Thursday).
Harry Redknapp’s side enjoyed a wealth of possession but were just unable to find a way past their League Two opponents.
Boss Redknapp watched from the stands after minor knee surgery this week, while Danny Simpson made his first appearance for the R’s following a summer move from Newcastle United.
Like Simpson, Andy Johnson played 45 minutes in what was his first appearance since September following a long-term injury.
The visitors had the better of the early possession, though it was Exeter who had the first few chances of note.
Jake Gosling’s stinging drive forced a smart block from Rob Green, before the winger blasted wide from the rebound. John O’Flynn then missed the target after meeting a corner from the left.
Rangers soon created opportunities of their own. Stephane Mbia fired straight at Artur Krysiak after meeting a Junior Hoilett cross, while Armand Traore ghosted past a number of challenges before his low shot was blocked away for a corner by the ‘keeper.
First-half skipper Clint Hill then headed over from a resultant Esteban Granero corner.
Chances became limited as the half-hour mark approached, though the R’s were still enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
There was a short stoppage in play just after the 30th minute when Shaun Wright-Phillips went down under a heavy collision. Thankfully, the midfielder was able to carry on after treatment.
Both teams opted for a complete change in line-ups at half-time, with fans’ favourites Ale Faurlin and former Exeter man Jamie Mackie introduced. Shaun Derry captained the side in the second half.
QPR fashioned their best chance of the contest yet in the 49th minute. Johnson – on his return –intercepted a pass just inside the City half before he drove into the box and forced a fine save from Krysiak.
Rangers were forced to wait until the 73rd minute for their next chance when Johnson was felled 25 yards from goal. Jose Bosingwa stepped up to take the awarded free-kick but shot just over.
Belgian trialist Ryan Sanusi was then brought on in Bosingwa’s place just a minute later, while Ji-Sung Park blasted high and wide of the target soon after when a corner eventually fell into his path.
The R’s pressed for winner in the final 10 minutes. Hosts Exeter, however, stood firm to earn a share of the spoils.
Exeter City (first half): Krysiak, Woodman, Baldwin, Sercombe, Oakley, Doherty, Dawson, O’Flynn, Gosling, Jagger Cane, Anderson.
Exeter City (second half): Krysiak (Pym 55), Bennett, Coles, Gow, Davies, Moore-Taylor, Reid (Grimes 82), Keohane, Wannell, Tillson, Chamberlain (Nichols 82).
QPR (first half): Green, Traore, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Granero, Onuoha, Jenas, Young, Mbia, Hoilett, Zamora.
QPR (second half): Murphy, Simpson, Derry, Ferdinand, Park, Johnson, Faurlin, Mackie, Bosingwa (Sanusi 74), Ben-Haim, Suk-Young.
Referee: Mr S Bratt
Attendance: 2,327 (377 away)