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QPR held by Hammers

Published 25/04/2015

QPR's Charlie Austin misses a penalty kick against West Ham
QPR's Charlie Austin misses a penalty kick against West Ham

Charlie Austin missed a first-half penalty as QPR's survival hopes were left hanging by a thread after they were held to a goalless draw by West Ham.

Both teams had chances to take all three points at Loftus Road but the best fell to Austin when James Collins handled in the area but the striker's spot-kick was saved by Adrian's legs.

Richard Dunne also had a header ruled out in the second period as Rangers remained 19th in the table and slipped four points adrift of safety.

Rangers have now won only once in the nine games since Chris Ramsey was appointed until the end of the campaign in February and this was a missed opportunity, particularly given their next two fixtures are away to Liverpool and Manchester City.

It was also a chance to capitalise on the dismal form of their opponents.

West Ham have only won twice in the league in 2015 and if Sam Allardyce is to leave the club in the summer, this performance will have done little to persuade the Upton Park ownership to change their minds.

QPR could have been ahead within a minute after Matt Phillips slid Sandro into the penalty area but the midfielder's drilled shot was saved by Adrian at the near post.

Moments later, Reece Burke, an 18-year-old graduate of the Hammers youth academy, almost enjoyed a dream start on his Premier League debut but his header was cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha.

Both sides struggled to establish any rhythm in a disappointing first half but Rangers had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute when referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot.

Collins was the offender, raising his hand to block Bobby Zamora's heavy touch, but Austin failed to convert as he fired hard and down the middle but only into the legs of Adrian.

The second half began just as the first had, with a Rangers chance, but Zamora could only side-foot his close-range range volley into the hands of Adrian.

West Ham's greatest threat came from set-pieces and Aaron Cresswell thought he had scored with a whipped free-kick from 25 yards but Rob Green did brilliantly to tip the ball onto the bar.

Zamora went close again shortly before the hour when he outmuscled Burke to go clear but with only the keeper to beat, the striker blazed over.

Rangers looked the more likely to grab a winner in the latter stages and with 15 minutes to go they thought they had it, as a desperate scramble saw Dunne head home but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Steven Caulker.

The home side pushed forward in search of a winner in the final 10 minutes but the best chance fell to West Ham on the break as Enner Valencia teed up Cheikhou Kouyate but he shot over from eight yards out.

Phillips almost made himself a hero in injury-time but Adrian palmed the midfielder's shot over to leave Rangers needing snookers in the race to avoid the drop.

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