Djbril Cisse's second-half strike earned Queens Park Rangers a 1-1 draw with Reading as both teams continue to wait for their first Premier League win of the season.
It was the visitors who made the better start to proceedings and came close to taking the lead just minutes into the contest as Kaspar Gorkss fluffed his lines after meeting a well placed free-kick from Nicky Shorey.
The home side responded well to that early pressure when Cisse flashed an effort just wide of the post from 20 yards. Despite looking dangerous going forward Mark Hughes' men soon fell behind as Gorkss atoned for his earlier miss, acrobatically volleying home from close range after Sean Morrison had headed Shorey's effort against the crossbar.
The R's dominated much of the game following the goal, but they struggled to find a way through a determined Reading defense and were reduced to long-range efforts for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
Still, the West London club should have levelled just before the break but were denied by a finger tip save from Alex McCarthy, who dived brilliantly to his left to push Esteban Granero's curling free-kick against the bar.
The hosts continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession in the early stages of the second half, but clear-cut opportunities were rare and in truth McCarthy had little to worry about as the Royals' defense stood firm. However, about 20 minutes into the second period, Hughes' men did get the goal their efforts perhaps merited, with Cisse controlling Jose Bosingwa's right-wing cross before prodding the ball past McCarthy and into the bottom corner.
That leveller seemed to spark the visitors into life, and they had a good chance to take the lead again as substitute Kebe marauded through the QPR midfield before powering an effort a few yards over the bar.
Hughes' side did dictate the majority of the play as the game trundled towards the closing stages, but Reading remained a threat and came close once more when Hal Robson-Kanu headed Shorey's corner wide of the goal. Still, the Royals had McCarthy to thank for keeping them in the game, as he performed heroics to deny Adel Taarabt after Cisse had broken the offside trap to play the Moroccan through on goal.
That proved to be the last meaningful chance of the contest, and although Robson-Kanu, QPR substitute Bobby Zamora and Cisse all had opportunities to win the game, both sides were left to settle for what will be a slightly unsatisfying point apiece.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Hughes
- Nicky Shorey