QPR were left to lament Charlie Austin’s saved first-half penalty as their Premier League survival hopes took a further dent with a goalless draw against West Ham at Loftus Road.
Austin’s spot-kick – which was just too close to Adrian – proved to be QPR’s golden opportunity in a game otherwise devoid of clear-cut chances, as Chris Ramsey’s side slipped four points off safety.
Wins for fellow strugglers Hull City and Leicester City compounded the result, but it could have been so different had the hosts capitalised on the penalty – awarded when Bobby Zamora’s prodded ball struck James Collins on the hand.
However, Adrian – who was excellent throughout – got down to make the save, and, though QPR were the better side after the interval, there was to be no breakthrough.
On his 100th QPR appearance, former West Ham goalkeeper Rob Green was also kept relatively busy – required to deny Aaron Cresswell from a free-kick before the hour.
West Ham were unable to sink their London rivals further into the mire, as their own late-season malaise continued, with Ramsey’s men further frustrated going into their final four games when Richard Dunne’s header was disallowed late on.
In a frenetic start, Sandro tested Adrian at his near post after just two minutes, while Enner Valencia went close after a break at the other end.
Reece Burke then almost made a dream start to his Premier League debut with a header cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha.
As the pace of the game slowed, chances proved few and far between until Collins handled inside the area before the half-hour mark.
However, the West Ham defender was bailed out by his goalkeeper as Adrian got down to save Austin’s straight, driven penalty with his legs and keep the scores level.
QPR continued to apply pressure and Zamora should have made Adrian work harder early in the second but the striker could only side-foot tamely at the Spaniard.
Opposite number Green was called on to palm Cresswell’s free-kick over the crossbar, while Sandro and Zamora both flashed shots off target before the hour at the other end.
Stewart Downing almost finished off a quick break, but Green got to the ball first – Sam Allardyce’s side able to offer a reminder of the attacking form on show in the early stages of the season.
The sight of Leroy Fer – making his first appearance since February following a knee problem – will have buoyed the Loftus Road faithful, who were denied a late winner when Dunne’s goal was chalked off for a foul on Adrian.
QPR continued to press, with Karl Henry shooting powerfully at the target before Onuoha’s dangerous cross eluded his team-mates in the box, while there was still time for the impressive Adrian to keep out Matt Phillips’ long-range drive.
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