QPR’S UNDER-23S shared four goals – and four penalties – in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest at Harlington on Monday.
Kingsley Eshun’s opener was cancelled out by Aaron Smith, who had a penalty saved by Marcin Brzozowski early in the second half.
Forest went in front through Arvin Appiah but conceded two penalties – one missed by Charlie Owens and one converted by Chay Tilt – before Rangers were awarded a third in stoppage-time, but Tilt’s second spot-kick was kept out by goalkeeper Liam Bossin.
Paul Hall’s side started the brighter on a damp afternoon in west London. Trialist Henry Ochieng saw a deflected shot go just wide while Tilt came close with a free-kick which was tipped over by Bossin.
Rangers made the breakthrough on 11 minutes. A corner from Owens fell kindly to Eshun six yards out, who smashed the ball home through a crowd of defenders.
Eshun nearly made it 2-0 when his half volley flashed just wide on the half-hour mark, while Niko Hamalainen was denied moments later by a last-ditch block from defender Anel Ahmedhodzic.
Against the run of play, Forest levelled with their first effort of note on goal – and what an effort it was. Smith curled a sumptuous free-kick up and over the R’s wall from 20 yards and into the top left-hand corner, giving Brzozowski no chance.
Rangers had a chance to regain the lead in first half stoppage-time but Owens shot wide after being released by Tilt.
The second half sparked into life six minutes in when Rangers were penalised for a foul on Toby Edser in the box. Brzozowski came to the R’s rescue, diving low to his left to keep out Smith from 12 yards.
Forest weren’t to be denied, however. 11 minutes later Smith combined with Appiah, who slid the ball beyond Brzozowski.
It didn’t take Rangers long to respond, though, and were awarded a penalty of their own when Zenon Stylianides was bundled over. Owens’ effort, however, sailed high over the crossbar.
Forest didn’t make the most of the let off – conceding another penalty just 60 seconds later for handball. Tilt took this one and made no mistake, sneaking his spot-kick inside the bottom left-hand corner.
Both sides looked for the winner late on, but it was Rangers who looked like taking all three points when substitute Caden Genovesi was upended by Bossin deep into stoppage time. Tilt took responsibility but Bossin came out on top this time, clawing the ball to safety as both sides had to settle for a point apiece.
QPR U23: Brzozowski, Akinola, Fox, Ochieng, Paul, Phillips (Genovesi 60), Tilt, Owens (Mesias 74), Eshun (Platt 46), Stylianides, Hamalainen.
Sub (not used): Alfa.
Booked: Ochieng, Paul.
Goals: Eshun 11, Tilt pen 65.
Highlights: QPR U23s 2, Forest U23s 2
WATCH highlights from QPR Under-23s 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest at Harlington.