RANGERS shared the spoils in a goalless encounter at Preston North End.
There were certainly missed opportunities at Deepdale, with QPR’s Lyndon Dykes passing on arguably the game’s best chance in just the sixth minute.
But both teams just lacked the cutting edge required to take all three points, as the Hoops now ready themselves for Saturday’s trip to Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship.
With the R’s hunting a seventh win in eight Championship affairs, QPR boss Mark Warburton named an unchanged starting XI following Saturday’s latest W12 victory over AFC Bournemouth.
That meant Rangers – in their now accustomed 5-3-2 formation – lined up as: Seny Dieng; Todd Kane, Rob Dickie, Geoff Cameron, Yoann Barbet, Lee Wallace; Dom Ball, Ilias Chair, Stefan Johansen; Charlie Austin, Dykes.
There was plenty of goalmouth action in a busy opening quarter hour.
Rangers frontman Dykes spurned two decent opportunities in minutes six and 13.
The first chance fell to the Scotland international following fine approach play from the visitors, with Dykes’ eventual low effort beaten away by Preston’s Daniel Iverson.
And his next opportunity came following a fine long pass from Cameron, with Dykes’ attempted lob bouncing wide of the target before the ball was cleared.
Moments later, Rangers’ Dieng was also forced into a smart stop – fisting Anthony Gordon’s fierce effort away to safety.
The first half turned a little scrappy after that.
Preston should have taken the lead in the 24th minute. Brad Potts somehow blasted over from 10 yards, after a right-flank corner wasn’t dealt with by Rangers.
At the other end, Chair threatened on 36 minutes – letting fly from an acute angle before seeing his shot flash past the upright.
The hosts went close twice more on the stroke of half-time.
First, a right-wing centre was met by Gordon on 12 yards, whose header dropped marginally over the crossbar.
Then, just before the whistle sounded, Ched Evans’ edge-of-the-box blast flew only inches wide of the target.
The first half ended goalless.
Rangers made a really bright start to the closing period.
On 49 minutes, Austin unusually missed a good opportunity to open the scoring from 10 yards – taking control of Chair’s corner before poking the ball wide.
The home side created a couple of decent openings after that, most notably on the hour mark when former R’s loanee Scott Sinclair lashed over from 18-yards out.
Warburton opted to freshen things up on 66 minutes, with Chris Willock introduced at the expense of Dykes.
Clear opportunities didn’t exactly flow after the break, though Austin threatened again in the 74th minute when his low, 20-yard drive was beaten away by home goalkeeper Iversen.
Two minutes later, Preston’s Evans also went close once more – heading into the side-netting following a corner from the right.
Two more R’s changes arrived in the 67th minute, as Macauley Bonne and Sam Field replaced Austin and Johansen. And Rangers enjoyed the better of the possession in the closing stages.
There would be no goalscoring action ultimately, though, with the R’s leaving Deepdale with a point and ninth clean sheet of the campaign to boot.