RANGERS came from behind to share the spoils with Middlesbrough at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Both goals came in the opening half. First, Chuba Akpom gave the visitors a 19th-minute lead – heading in at the near post following Paddy McNair’s corner from the left.
But QPR would strike back on 28 minutes with a goal that earned a point, ultimately.
Luke Amos’ initial effort was palmed back into the path of Bright Osayi-Samuel, who slid home at close range to restore parity in W12.
Hoops boss Mark Warburton made two changes to the R’s side beaten 3-2 at Coventry City eight days ago.
Goalkeeper Joe Lumley missed out altogether, and Tom Carroll dropped down to the bench.
So into the team came Seny Dieng for his competitive QPR debut, while summer arrival George Thomas was also handed a first league start for the R’s.
Rangers – in a 4-2-3-1 formation – lined up as: Dieng; Osman Kakay, Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet, Lee Wallace; Geoff Cameron (captain), Amos; Osayi-Samuel, Ilias Chair, George Thomas; Lyndon Dykes.
Boro were led by assistants Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson in the continued absence of former R’s boss Neil Warnock, who it was last week announced had unfortunately contracted Coronavirus. Grant Hall – who left Rangers for Middlesbrough in the summer – lined up in the visitors’ defence.
It was QPR fashioned the first shot on target, in the ninth minute. Chair’s low blast was kept out by Fulham loanee Marcus Bettinelli.
However, Middlesbrough opened the scoring in the 19th. McNair’s left-wing corner was met by visiting debutant Akpom, who headed beyond Dieng.
Rangers levelled matters nine minutes later, though. Kakay’s right-flank delivery subsequently saw Bettinelli save from Amos, before Osayi-Samuel reacted first to poke the loose ball home from close range.
The hosts probably should have took the lead come the 34th minute – Amos’ box effort blocked by the Boro defence following Osayi-Samuel’s lung-busting run down the left.
Rangers also had strong appeals for a penalty turned down in the 42nd minute. Another Amos attempt looked to strike the hand of George Saville in the box, but a penalty wasn’t forthcoming and the teams went in level at half-time.
Into the second half, and QPR had early sighters on goal when Osayi-Samuel and Chair drove at Bettinelli in minutes 49 and 51 respectively.
The R’s made a first change on the hour mark, as Thomas made way for Carroll.
The latter so nearly got himself on the scoresheet some 10 minutes after his arrival, twisting and turning on Dykes’ ball into his path before striking the right-hand post at the Loft End. Boro then somehow scrambled the ball away from danger.
As Rangers continued to look for a second goal, Paul Smyth replaced Chair in the 73rd minute.
In terms of possession, Middlesbrough had their best spell of the match during the final quarter hour.
There would be no further goalscoring action, though, with both teams unable to muster clear opportunities in the closing stages.