DEBUTANT Macauley Bonne’s stoppage-time strike rescued a point for the R’s, who came from behind to draw 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Rangers struck the post in an unspectacular first period, before Yoann Barbet turned Adam Reach’s left-flank cross into his own net to give Wednesday the lead on 54 minutes.
QPR huffed and puffed as they looked for a reply and, just as it looked as though they’d be frustrated by their Steel City hosts, Bonne headed home Barbet’s delicious cross in the 96th minute to restore parity.
Rangers boss Mark Warburton made once enforced change to his starting XI following last weekend’s home draw with Middlesbrough.
Injury kept out George Thomas, so into the team came Tom Carroll.
Bonne – who joined the R’s from Charlton Athletic in midweek – was named among the visiting substitutes.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, QPR lined up as: Seny Dieng; Osman Kakay, Rob Dickie, Barbet, Lee Wallace; Geoff Cameron, Carroll; Bright Osayi-Samuel, Luke Amos, Ilias Chair; Lyndon Dykes.
When play got underway, the first half made for a largely-untidy affair and both goalkeepers were rarely threatened.
Hosts Wednesday were marginally better from the off, but it was the R’s – who grew into the game as the opening period progressed – who had the first effort on target in the 23rd minute.
Amos’ clipped ball in from the right was met by Dykes, whose tame header on the stretch was caught comfortably by Cameron Dawson.
Rangers really should have taken the lead 10 minutes before the break.
Chair’s right-wing corner was turned goalwards by Cameron, whose effort struck the far post before Wednesday cleared the danger.
At the other end, last-ditch heroics from Wallace denied the home side on the stroke of half-time, after Garry Monk’s men worked their best opening of the half.
Barry Bannan’s through ball put Josh Windass in the clear, only for Wallace to slide in with a surely goal-saving challenge as Windass bore down on goal.
Wednesday were also first to go close in the second period. Bannan’s edge-of-the-box attempt on 49 minutes forced a smart save from Dieng at the foot of his right-hand post.
But the hosts would take the lead come the 54th minute.
Bannan’s clever ball played in Reach down the left and, when his dangerous, low centre darted towards Windass on six yards, Barbet nipped in but was unfortunately only able to divert the ball into his own net.
The goal lifted Wednesday and, with their tails up, Reach’s volleyed effort on 62 minutes forced a fine save from Dieng.
A minute later, Warburton and Rangers reacted by throwing on Bonne for his debut, replacing Carroll.
Bonne’s impact was almost instant, challenging home goalkeeper Dawson to a lofted free-kick into the box before Amos blasted handsomely over when the loose ball bounced into his path.
QPR went close again in the 72nd minute, as Dickie headed Chair’s corner over the target. Then, soon after Dom Ball replaced Amos in the 74th, his inviting low cross was scrambled clear by the Wednesday defence.
Slowly but surely, Rangers were beginning to up the ante and, 11 minutes from time following a well-worked team move, Cameron’s blast crashed off Dykes before bounding wide.
As time began to run out for the R’s, former QPR man Massimo Luongo hit the bar for Wednesday in the 88th minute.
But just as it looked like this contest would slip away from the Super Hoops, Bonne struck deep into stoppage time.
Barbet’s sweet ball in from the left was to a tee for the Zimbabwe forward, who headed beyond Dawson to grab a point.