Kiwomya strike stalls Gillingham

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Queen's Park Rangers victories are about as thin on the ground right now as any super unleaded in this part of west London but after shooting blanks at the weekend they at least found the way to goal last night to rescue a point.

Queen's Park Rangers victories are about as thin on the ground right now as any super unleaded in this part of west London but after shooting blanks at the weekend they at least found the way to goal last night to rescue a point.

However, Gerry Francis' men will not want to leave it as late as this again for fear of turning their manager's hair even greyer this season. Having pulled back a two-goal deficit, they then went agonisingly close with two chances to seal what would have been their first win in four games.

For a match that started out almost completely bereft of entertainment, it ended up with almost too much, as it also featured a substitute referee conjuring up seven minutes of injury time and the home side finishing the game with 10 men, as Richard Langley was sent off for two yellow cards.

The turning point came after 56 minutes, with the substitute Peter Crouch, all 6ft 6in of him, coming on for Steve Morrow. Not that he seemed a likely saviour at that juncture, as Gillingham had taken the lead 53 seconds into the second half, Carl Asaba heading home from an Andy Hessenthaler free-kick.

With 74 minutes elapsed Hessenthaler then doubled the advantage for the visitors, following up from Marlon King's flick over the defence, and the Kent side looked set for only their second victory of the season.

However Crouch had other ideas. He had already forced a diving save from Vince Bartram with a header, and when a half-cleared corner fell to him he made no mistake and lashed the ball in with 11 minutes left to bring the Londoners back into the game.

Four minutes later and Rangers were level, with Gillingham's defence again unsettled by Crouch's height. After the striker won a challenge with Bartram the bouncing ball fell to Chris Kiwomya, who hooked it in from a tight angle.

With QPR now scenting a rare victory, successive chances fell to Clarke Carlisle and then Kiwomya, who sent a shot agonisingly past the post, before Langley received his marching orders, from the substitute referee Mr Deadman, deep in injury time.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Harper; Rose, Carlisle, Morrow (Crouch, 56), Darlington; Langley, Wardley, Rowland, Warren; Kiwomya, Koejoe Substitutes not used: Miklosko (gk), Perry, Connolly, Breacker

Gillingham (3-5-2): Bartram; Ashby, Butters, Hope; Edge, Smith, Southall, Browning, Hessenthaler (Lewis, 80); King, Asaba (Thompson, 76) Substitutes not used: Patterson, Saunders, Lewis, James, Thomson

Referee: R Harris (Oxford) (Replaced by D Deadman, 56).

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