Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Mackie stops rot for QPR

By James Corrigan

Swansea City 1-1 Queens Park Rangers

Jamie Mackie scored for the second game running to earn Queens Park Rangers a thoroughly deserved point at the Liberty Stadium last night and end a run of three straight defeats.

The Scotland winger coolly slotted home a 58th-minute equaliser after Leon Britton's defensive header slipped between his own defenders to allow Mackie in on goal.

Swansea had led from the 14th minute thanks to Danny Graham's sixth goal of the season after the striker was given too much time to control a Wayne Routledge cross before turning and firing low into the net as the QPR defence appealed in vain for offside.

Brendan Rodgers' side had reason to be aggrieved after Graham was denied what looked a clear penalty in the closing stages as he went down under Armand Traoré's challenge, but referee Lee Probert was not interested.

The Swansea left-back Neil Taylor was sidelined by a knee injury so Jazz Richards moved across from right-back, with Angel Rangel returning to the starting line-up and Kemy Agustien being preferred to Mark Gower in midfield.

QPR manager Neil Warnock handed a start to Adel Taarabt, as a knee injury limited Shaun Wright-Phillips to a place on the bench.

There was also a defensive reshuffle for the visitors as Clint Hill and Fitz Hall came into the side with Anton Ferdinand (hamstring) injured.

Many sides have found themselves starved of possession on their visits to south Wales this season, but QPR started positively with Taarabt and captain Joey Barton influencing play. A cross from Barton was met by Heidar Helguson and the following-in Mackie almost managed to nod the ball over Swansea keeper Michel Vorm.

But the hosts slowly found their feet, with Graham having an effort cleared by Rangers' Alejandro Faurlin before supplying the lead.

It took a great block by Hill to deny Graham a second as the striker waited to pounce on Scott Sinclair's ball across the box, before Vorm made a flying stop to keep out Barton's long-range effort.

If Graham proved a constant threat for the hosts, at the other end Helguson was guilty of poor finishing as he headed over twice in quick succession from crosses by Luke Young and Barton as the interval approached.

QPR controlled the early stages of the second half as Taarabt and Faurlin teased the home defence, with the Moroccan flashing a volley just wide.

Rodgers shuffled his pack as Nathan Dyer and Luke Moore replaced Rangel and Routledge, but less than a minute later the scores were level, Mackie pouncing to calmly guide the ball through the legs of Vorm.

The two sides shared half-chances, but neither could find a knockout blow - though Barton did, of sorts, his poor tackle on Richards earning him a yellow card. The pendulum swung towards Rangers in the closing minutes, but Swansea held out for a share of the spoils.

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