Football: QPR thrice deny Boro

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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers. . .3

Middlesbrough . . . . . .3

IN A thrilling second half, Rangers fought back three times to salvage a point against Lennie Lawrence's renascent Middlesbrough.

During the first half-hour, however, there was more activity in the dugouts than on the pitch. First Clive Wilson and then Alan McDonald hobbled off, following challenges from Chris Morris and John Hendrie respectively while Boro lost midfielder Jamie Pollock inside the half-hour.

Something had to give and, shortly before half-time, it was Rangers' radically restructured defence. Alan Kernaghan met a right-wing corner at the near post to give Middlesbrough the lead.

The brisk tempo continued after the restart. Rangers earned an equaliser on the hour when Les Ferdinand headed home Andy Sinton's cross from the left, but they held it for barely a minute. Tommy Wright restored the visitors' advantage, surging down the inside-left channel before chipping the ball over Stejskal.

Rangers remained undaunted. They fought back and were rewarded in the 71st minute when Gary Penrice juggled the ball round Jimmy Phillips before prodding it under Brian Horne.

But Boro took command yet again when, with six minutes remaining, Willie Falconer arrived unmarked at the far post to head in Derek Whyte's free-kick.

Rangers, however, refused to admit defeat. In the last frantic minute, after Impey's header had come back off the bar, a rash challenge by Morris on Sinton provoked a harsh penalty decision. The Rangers winger picked himself up to make it 3-3.

Queen's Park Rangers: J Stejskal; J Channing, C Wilson (D Maddix, 18 min), R Wilkins, D Peacock, A McDonald (I Holloway, 26 min), A Impey, S Barker, L Ferdinand, G Penrice, A Sinton. Sub not used: T Roberts (gk). Manager: G Francis.

Middlesbrough: B Horne; C Morris, J Phillips, A Kernaghan, D Whyte, J Pollock (B Slaven, 30 min), J Hendrie, W Falconer, P Wilkinson, T Wright, R Mustoe. Subs not used: J Gittens, I Ironside (GK). Manager: L Lawrence.

Referee: J Borrett (Norfolk).

Goals: Kernaghan (0-1, 40 min); Ferdinand (1-1, 59 min); Wright (1-2, 61 min); Penrice (2-2, 71 min); Falconer (2-3, 84 min); Sinton pen (3-3, 90 min).