Queen's Park Rangers 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 match report: No pot of gold at end of Joey Barton's rainbow laces


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The Independent Football

Not even Joey Barton's rainbow bootlaces could brighten up this bore draw, although Queen's Park Rangers will take some comfort from moving top of the Championship table.

In a dull game at Loftus Road, Barton's accessories at least brought some colour to proceedings. The QPR midfielder was throwing his weight behind a campaign by gay rights charity Stonewall, which has sent the laces to all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs.

Barton had taken to Twitter before the game to promote Stonewall, which wants players to wear the laces in games this weekend to help tackle the issue of homophobia.

The controversial midfielder was always in the midst of what action there was and had a goal ruled out for offside after seven minutes as the home side enjoyed the best of the early running. Charlie Austin then fluffed his lines when well placed and Matt Phillips shot wide.

Barton was booked, rather harshly, for a challenge on Ashley Barnes before Austin headed straight at Tomasz Kuszczak from a corner.

Brighton, who have now conceded just one goal in five unbeaten games, rarely threatened until David Lopez tested Rob Green from range just before the break.

Barton again came close to breaking the deadlock minutes after the restart, but Kuszczak saved brilliantly from his free kick.Then from another Barton set-piece his curling effort was deflected inches wide with Kuszczak beaten.

QPR's Richard Dunne had the final effort, but it was cleared off the line as the match entered injury-time.

Brighton seemed happier with the point but QPR, who have the best defensive record in the Football League, with just two goals conceded in seven games, will also take this result. They move a point clear of Leicester and Blackpool.

QPR (4-3-3): Green; Simpson, Onuoha (Assou-Ekotto, 23), Dunne, Hill; Barton, Henry (Jenas, 74), O'Neil; Phillips (Traoré, 80), Wright-Phillips, Austin. Substitutes not used Murphy, Carroll, Hitchcock, Faurlin.

Brighton (4-3-3:) Kuszczak; Calderon, Greer, Upson, Ward (Bruno, 80); Andrews, Crofts, Forster-Caskey (Ince, 85); Conway, Barnes, Lopez (Buckley, 67). Substitutes not used Brezovan, El-Abd, March, LuaLua.

Referee: A Madley (West Yorkshire).