QPR go top despite stalemate

QPR returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table despite being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Brighton at Loftus Road.

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Richard Dunne: Battles for possession with Ashley Barnes

Richard Dunne: Battles for possession with Ashley Barnes

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Harry Redknapp's side were looking for a fifth straight win but wasted a string of chances to secure it, with Charlie Austin the main culprit.

The R's had won their previous four matches 1-0 but could not even muster the solitary goal which would surely have seen off a Brighton side who are hardly prolific themselves.

With Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson sidelined it was left to Austin to shoulder the goalscoring burden.

And the fact Rangers ended the night with Armand Traore joining the attack showed why Redknapp wants to bring in another striker on loan.

The hosts did had the ball in the net after only eight minutes, but Shaun Wright-Phillips was a long way offside when he played the ball across the face of goal for Joey Barton to tap in.

Moments later Gordon Greer's dreadful pass along the edge of the area almost let in Gary O'Neil but Matt Upson managed to clear the danger.

Rangers lost defender Nedum Onuoha to injury midway through the first half, paving the way for Benoit Assou-Ekotto to make his debut from the bench.

The Tottenham loanee almost made an instant impact when he overlapped and crossed for Austin, but although the striker turned smartly, he could not hit the target.

Winger Matt Phillips, making his full Rangers debut, was next to try his luck but his angled drive flew narrowly over.

Then came two chances in a minute for Austin, who was mightily relieved to see an offside flag after somehow dragging the first one wide from all of three yards out.

Moments later he met Barton's corner with a firm header but planted it straight at Tomasz Kusczcack.

Brighton showed little ambition in the first half, with a couple of long-range efforts from Keith Andrews the closest they came.

It was more of the same after the interval with Barton forcing a fine save from Kusczcack from one curling free-kick and seeing another bounce inches wide after taking a deflection which left the Seagulls keeper stranded.

Kuszczak was beaten when Phillips nodded the ball over him during an almighty goalmouth scramble but Greer was on hand to hack the ball off the line.

Their final chance came on the stroke of full-time when Richard Dunne headed Barton's free-kick over and Brighton escaped with a point.

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Wednesday, 01 October 2014
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Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Norwich 10 11 20
2 N Forest 10 10 20
3 Watford 10 8 20
4 Derby 10 9 19
5 Ipswich 10 6 18
6 Charlton 10 4 18
7 Wolves 10 3 18
8 M'boro 10 6 17
9 Sheff Wed 10 3 16
10 Reading 10 0 15
11 Blackburn 10 -2 14
12 Leeds 10 -2 14
13 Brentford 10 -3 14
14 Cardiff 10 0 13
15 Bournemth 10 1 12
16 Millwall 10 -3 11
17 Rotherham 10 -4 11
18 Huddersfld 10 -8 11
19 Brighton 10 -2 10
20 Birmingham 10 -6 10
21 Wigan 10 -2 9
22 Fulham 10 -8 7
23 Bolton 10 -12 5
24 Blackpool 10 -9 3

Updated Wed, 01 Oct 2014

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