English Premiership

Austin pays penalty as QPR held

2015-04-25 19:11
Charlie Austin reacts after missing a penalty (Getty Images)

London - Charlie Austin missed a first-half penalty as Queens Park Rangers remained on the cusp of relegation from the Premier League following a 0-0 draw at home to London rivals West Ham on Saturday.

Both sides had chances to win at Loftus Road but the best fell to QPR striker Austin after James Collins handled the ball in the box but his spot-kick was blocked by the legs of Hammers goalkeeper Adrian, who made several key saves.

QPR defender Richard Dunne thought he had scored in the second half but his header was ruled out for a foul on Adrian and second-bottom Rangers were left five points from safety with only four league games remaining.

QPR have now won just once in nine games since Chris Ramsey was appointed manager until the end of the season back in February following the resignation of veteran boss Harry Redknapp.

And this result would have done little for the peace of mind of West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation, given the Hammers have won just twice in the league in 2015.

QPR almost went ahead in the opening minute but Sandro's shot was saved by Adrian at the keeper's near post.

Soon afterwards teenager Reece Burke, who'd come through West Ham's youth system, came close to a fairytale debut in the Premier League but his header was cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha.

QPR were presented with a golden chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute when referee Mike Jones awarded a penalty after Collins raised his hand following a touch from home striker Bobby Zamora.

But Austin, one of QPR's rare success stories this season, opted for power and saw his spot-kick down the middle blocked by Adrian's legs.

Early in the second half, Zamora's half-volley from close range was gathered comfortably by Adrian.

At the other end, former West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green denied his old side with a fine save when he tipped Aaron Cresswell's excellently-struck free-kick from 25 yards onto the crossbar.

Zamora should have made it 1-0 to QPR on the hour mark after bursting into the box but, with just the goalkeeper to beat, the forward shot wastefully over the top of the woodwork.

Rangers thought they'd taken the lead through Dunne's header 15 minutes from time but the veteran defender's effort was ruled out for a foul by Steven Caulker.

West Ham almost snatched a winner late on but midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate blazed over the top from eight yards out and QPR then carved out an injury-time chance through Matt Phillips, only for Adrian to palm the midfielder's shot over the bar.


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