SUBSTITUTE Nahki Wells missed an 88th-minute penalty, as Rangers’ home Championship campaign ended in a 1-0 defeat.
In a largely-unfashionable W12 affair, Nottingham Forest’s Karim Ansarifard finished off the best move of the match to put the visitors in front in the 55th minute.
That proved to be the game’s only goal – despite QPR winning a late penalty when the returning Jack Robinson was deemed to have handled from a Josh Scowen corner kick.
R’s caretaker boss John Eustace handed Under-23s striker Lewis Walker his full debut for QPR’s final home fixture of the season, while fellow youngster Nathan Carlyle was named among the Rangers substitutes for the first time.
The Hoops lined up in a 4-4-2 formation of: Joe Lumley; Darnell Furlong, Toni Leistner, Geoff Cameron, Ryan Manning; Ebere Eze, Scowen, Massimo Luongo, Bright Osayi-Samuel; Walker, Tomer Hemed.
When the game got underway, Rangers fashioned the first attempt of the contest in only the fifth minute.
Scowen’s left-flank corner was met by Furlong, whose header whistled only just wide of the far post.
Forest replied with their maiden effort six minutes later. Ansarifard was slipped in by Joao Carvalho, with the former’s low effort on the angle smartly tipped away from goal by Lumley.
However, despite those two early chances, the first half made for a rather unspectacular watch thereafter.
Rangers had more moments in front of goal, with Cameron, Manning, Hemed and Eze in particular – whose low 25-yard blast was repelled by Costel Pantilimon – trying their luck for the R’s.
But the first half would remain goalless – despite Forest spurning the best opportunity before half-time.
Joe Lolley put Ansarifard through on goal, whose low effort was deflected onto the crossbar by Lumley before the goalkeeper thankfully gathered the ball.
The untidy nature of this contest spilled over into the second period.
There was nothing ugly about Forest’s opening goal of the game, though, as the visitors edged in front following a well-worked team move in the 55th minute.
Lolley, Matty Cash, Carvalho and Ansarifard all combined, before the latter slotted the ball past Lumley from inside the box.
Advantage Forest, then, but Rangers – who introduced Olamide Shodipo at the expense of Walker in the 58th minute – did go close soon after, Hemed forcing a decent reaction save from Pantilimon.
Three minutes later, the Forest ‘keeper was on hand to deny Hemed again – this time pushing the ball away from goal as the Brighton loanee headed Luongo’s inswinging cross goalwards.
Luongo almost found the net himself in the 66th minute, as his stinging volley from the edge of the penalty area shot marginally past the upright.
Rangers were edging closer, though Lumley did have to fashion a 69th-minute save to keep out Forest sub Lewis Grabban, following the forward’s low tester on the angle.
The R’s were back on the attack in the 73rd minute, with Pantilimon keeping out Eze’s half-volley from a Manning corner.
QPR then used their last two substitutes a minute later as they looked to earn at least a point, as Matt Smith and Wells replaced Hemed and Eze.
Rangers’ first sub, Shodipo, looked lively after his introduction, and teed up fellow winger Osayi-Samuel on 10 yards in the 85th minute. Unfortunately, the latter could only drag his effort wide of the target.
The hosts were then presented with an even-better chance to level matters when they were awarded a penalty kick. Former R’s defender Robinson was adjudged to have handled the ball from a Scowen corner.
Rangers couldn’t capitalise, though, as Pantilimon flung himself to his left to keep out Wells' 88th-minute spot-kick and ultimately help Forest to all three points.