Burton Albion (1) – QPR (1) – Rangers’ first League Goal of the Season from Open Play

Team: Smithies, Bidwell (Lynch), Hall, Caulker, Onuoha, Henry, Borysiuk (Polter), Luongo, Wszolek, Chery, Washington

Subs Not Used: Ingram, Kakay, Sandro, El Khayati, Shodipo

Attendance: 3,725 (including 638 R’s fans)

Sebastian Polter scored QPR’s first goal from open play in the Championship this season to earn a draw at Burton.

In a tame first-half, Jon McLaughlin thwarted Rangers pair Pawel Wszolek and Tjaronn Chery, while Jamie Ward’s free kick was tipped wide for the hosts.

Ward put the Brewers ahead, stooping to head his first goal for the club after Lloyd Dyer’s deflected shot.

But just after coming on, Polter poked home Massimo Luongo’s cross on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s return to Burton.

Both sides remain in the bottom half of the table and are on five-game winless runs in the league.

In the first ever league meeting between the sides, Dyer had the best chance to claim all three points, blasting over from 20 yards after a Lucas Akins cutback.

Polter, who had been an injury doubt, headed just wide for QPR late on as Hasselbaink’s side chased victory in his first (league) match at the Pirelli Stadium since leaving Burton in December 2015.

BBC Sport
bufcThe R’s had previously made two visits to the Pirelli Stadium, firstly in a League Cup tie in 2014 and then more recently there was the pre-season friendly a couple of months ago.

Best effort of the half came when Tjaronn Chery’s free kick was well saved by the Burton keeper, but I thought the first-half was generally fairly scrappy.

The Brewers took the lead on 58 minutes following an R’s free kick taken wide of the Burton penalty area. Karl Henry lost possession in midfield and the ball was knocked out to Lloyd Dyer on the left-wing. As he cut in, his shot went up off a defender and Jamie Ward finished with a diving header.

Rangers deservedly equalised on 70 minutes when Massimo Luongo set up Seb Polter, whose seemingly soft effort, from my view in the seats, looked as if it was going to go wide of the post. The Burton keeper certainly thought so as he stood motionless and watched as the ball went in!

Jake Bidwell went down heavily but play continued. It was thought at the time that he had been elbowed in the face. After some delay, he was stretchered off.

It was later stated that his injury was a dislocated shoulder and that he could be out for up to four months. Joel Lynch came on after 81 minutes to replace him.

There was a big shout for a penalty in the closing stages, following Ben Turner’s challenge on Seb Polter. So incensed was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink when nothing was given, Scott Duncan ran over to him to have words!

Eight minutes added time was signalled and the match finished all-square.

Many thanks to Paul for the lift.

Steve Russell