Rotherham United preserved their unbeaten start to the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship campaign with a battling draw at Loftus Road.
Paul Warne’s side looked on course for three points when Cheidozie Ogbene opened the scoring after stroking the ball past Dieng from a corner.
The Millers were not ahead for long though and their lead was cancelled out two minutes before the break by Willock as the pair went in level.
Both teams had chances to win it in an entertaining second half, but the Millers dug deep to earn a useful point on the road.
The first opening fell the way of the away side as Humphreys showed great awareness and feet to manoeuvre the ball away from Field before sending Washington clear down the left flank. The striker picked his spot and delivered a dangerous low cross across the six yard box, but a yellow shirt couldn’t quite make a telling touch to turn the ball home.
QPR responded in the 13th minute, when Chair fed Laird with a shooting opportunity, but the wing-back could only fire over the top of Johansson’s crossbar. A better chance fell the way of the hosts just seconds later, with Chair again involved. The attacker delivered a low ball into the path of Dykes, but some frantic last-ditch defending from Humphreys was enough to put off the attacker, who couldn’t get the ball under control.
The hosts attacked again in the 17th minute, when Laird advanced forward and delivered towards Willock who has denied a clear strike on goal by a superb sliding intervention from Peltier, before the Millers scrambled the ball clear.
Queens Park Rangers caught site of the Millers goal again when Jimmy Dunne’s charge out of defence was spotted by Sam Field, but also the retreating figure of Lee Peltier, whose perfectly-timed sliding interception ensured that he couldn’t capitalise in front of goal.
Warne’s men had enjoyed the early possession but the hosts were mounting some momentum when the breakthrough came in favour of the visitors.
A couple of dangerous runs forward, namely from Wiles had caused issues and it was another from Ogbene which yielded the free kick which would present the Millers with the first goal.
On the committee for the free kick from the byline were Shane Ferguson and Dan Barlaser but it was the former who stood it up to the back post, before a kind bounce of the ball fell not once, but twice for Ogbene, who made no mistake at the second attempt, caressing a right-footed effort home beyond Seny Dieng to make it 1-0.
Ogbene proved lively as the Millers continued to defy any ‘long ball’ comments levelled at them with some neat attacking play on the deck, but QPR proved equally efficient in that department and would eventually find a response with some intricate football of their own.
Willock and Chair had combined to great effect in the opening 45 minutes, but never more so than two from the break, when a calculated exchange paved the way for the former to find himself in on-goal where he applied a calm finish to beat Viktor Johansson and restore parity for the R’s.
Understandably, the hosts were looking to capitalise on the momentum which the goal had given them in the dying embers of the first half, but Warne’s men managed it professionally ensuring that the scores were level when Andy Woolmer blew the whistle for the break.
Half-time | Queens Park Rangers 1 v 1 Rotherham
Chair looked to create room for himself inside the area as QPR looked for the breakthrough early in the second half, but the forward could only lift an effort over the bar. He was involved again on the hour mark when he shifted the ball out to Willock who looked to catch Johansson out with low drive towards the near post, but the keeper was equal to it.
The Millers always carried a threat on the counter attack despite having to defend manfully in the second period and were almost presented with a glorious chance to retakes the lead on 68 minutes when High picked up possession and sprayed the ball out for Bramall whose low cross towards Kelly looked certain to be tapped home by the Irishman, before Dickie nipped in to make a vital clearance.
The hosts had pace on the flanks and looked to utilise it with 18 minutes to go when Chair looked to have put Armstrong through for the second goal, but the Millers were relieved to see him lose his footing at the vital moment. Two minutes later, the youngster was again in the thick of the action, seeing his low drive held by Johansson.
Rotherham were digging in and were forced to defend again when Adomah looked to thread the ball through to Shodipo on the counter, but the forward couldn’t make a telling contact to direct the ball past Johansson.
With three minutes remaining, Kelly raced onto a defence-splitting pass and forced Dieng into a good save from a right angle, before Paal sliced a Chair corner wide at the other end.
Five minutes were added on at the end of the half, but the Millers continued to defend bravely and saw out the added minutes to secure a hard-earned point.
FULL TIME | QPR 1 v 1 Rotherham
QPR | Dieng; Laird, Dickie, Dunne, Paal; Field, Johansen (Dozzell 55’); Roberts (Adomah 70’), Chair, Willock (Shodipo 80’) ; Dykes (Armstrong 70’).
SUBS | Archer, Kakay, Hamalainen.
Rotherham | Johansson; Hall, Wood, Humphreys; Peltier (Harding 55’), Barlaser (Lindsay 85’), Rathbone (High 65’), Wiles, Ferguson (Bramall 55’); Washington (Kelly 65’), Ogbene.
SUBS | Vickers, Eaves.
Attendance | 12,230 (413)