QPR champagne left on ice after last-gasp twist

Queen's Park Rangers 1 Hull City 1

The multitude, bedecked in blue-and-white hoops, were already celebrating on the Loftus Road pitch when Simeon Jackson scored in the 96th minute at Carrow Road, 120 miles away, to delay QPR's return to the Premier League. It would take an implausible turn of events, involving a 13-goal turnaround, but Norwich's last-gasp victory over Derby, combined with Cardiff's success at Preston, means QPR are not yet promoted.

Football folk are the last people to tempt fate, and Neil Warnock is as superstitious as any, so the public address had to tell the club's joyous fans the players would not be coming for a lap of honour, and they should all go home.

They will return in 11 days' time, when Leeds United are the visitors, in the hope that promotion has already been secured. QPR, who are at Watford on Saturday, need one more point. Even should they lose both remaining games, Norwich and Cardiff will have to win both of theirs, and the latter manage a goal difference swing of at least 13 goals. It is possible, but highly unlikely.

"It's a great position to be in, five points clear with two games to go," said Warnock. "We'd have taken that at the start of the season, but I'm disappointed we haven't tied the Championship up. A few words were said in the dressing room – their goal was Sunday league defending – but the players have been fantastic all season so I can't fault them really."

Had Rangers taken advantage of their first half superiority the mathematics would have been irrelevant. Wayne Routledge, running onto a beautiful through pass from Taarabt, put them ahead after nine minutes with an emphatic finish. Rangers, who had already gone close through Heider Helguson, continued to dominate. For a while, with the sun baking down as the blue-and-white hoops passed the ball around with speed and elan, it was 1976 all over again with the parts of Don Masson, Gerry Francis and Stan Bowles being played by Alejandro Faurlin, Shaun Derry and Taarabt. All that was missing was the punk soundtrack.

Neil Warnock's team are unlikely to reach the heights Dave Sexton's did when coming within a whisker of the old First Division title – not unless Messrs Ecclestone and Mittal decide to open their Swiss bank accounts – but they have the same attacking mien and Helguson, Kaspars Gorkss and Taarabt all threatened to close out victory.

Hull last won at Loftus Road in 1963, the year their manager Nigel Pearson was born, and had been beaten 4-2 at home by Middlesbrough on Saturday. That result all but scuppered their play-off chances and, said Pearson, was the reason they began so poorly. However, having reached half-time still in touch he changed to 4-4-2 and, he noted, "we recovered our composure and looked a different side".

So did QPR, who began to look more interested in preserving their lead than extending it. This handed the initiative to Hull and it was no great surprise when, in the 82nd minute, the unmarked David Amoo ran on to a simple long pass from Hope Akpan and lashed in the equaliser.

It was the 20-year-old's first league goal, but he took it with such aplomb one could see why his parent club, Liverpool, paid Millwall up to £1m for him four years ago.

Patrick Aygemang and Faurlin both went close to restoring Rangers' lead but it was not to be. Hull were little happier with a point than Rangers.

"We have to win our games and need others to slip up now, it's probably too much," said Pearson – but they can look to next season with confidence, having climbed from 23rd place in November. For Rangers next season has even greater promise, but first they must complete this season's mission.

QPR (4-2-3-1): Kenny; Orr, Gorkss, Hall, Hill; Derry, Faurlin; Routledge, Taarabt, Smith (Ephraim, 68); Helguson (Aygemang, 77). Substitutes not used Cerny (gk), Connolly, Buzsaky, Shittu, Hulse.

Hull City (4-3-3): Duke; Chester, Hobbs, Gerrard, Dawson; Evans (Akpan, 12), Harper, Cairney (McLean, h-t); Garcia, Fryatt, Simpson (Amoo, 71).

Substitutes not used Oxley (gk), Devitt, Solano, Belaid.

Referee C Webster (Tyne & Wear)

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower