Samba rescues point for Rovers
Substitute's penalty appeals denied on home soil
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: 15/10/11 6:00pm
Christopher Samba: The centre-back gets mobbed by his team-mates after his header brought the game level for Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers skipper Christopher Samba netted his first goal of the season to snatch a point at Queens Park Rangers in a 1-1 draw.
The centre-back rose highest, beating Fitz Hall in the air to guide his header over Shaun Derry at the far post from Jason Lowe's inch-perfect delivery on 24 minutes.
That goal cancelled out an earlier Heidar Helguson chip which appeared to be meant as more of a cross than a shot.
However the Icelandic striker will no doubt claim the strike which was the first goal a QPR player had scored at home this season.
Late substitute Adel Taarabt could have won the hosts a penalty after going down under Michel Salgado's challenge, however, referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on as neither side could snatch the winner in the feisty encounter at Loftus Road.
Jamie Mackie was one of three changes made by manager Neil Warnock, with Helguson and Armand Traore also included in the side.
Rovers also made three changes to the side that were thumped 4-0 by Manchester City as Jason Roberts led the line up front and Salgado and Martin Olsson were drafted in.
QPR pressed from the off and, after Helguson came close to connecting with Traore's searching ball from the left, Alejandro Faurlin saw his speculative drive sail over the bar.
Blackburn went on the attack and in the 13th minute could have opened the scoring when Anton Ferdinand lashed Olsson's delivery on to his own crossbar.
Three minutes later Rangers were 1-0 up when Lowe failed to clear a set-piece and 34-year-old Helguson brought the ball down, looked up and chipped it into the far corner.
QPR came close to doubling their lead moments later when Joey Barton found a yard of space and drove an effort across goal which just missed the target and the out-stretched boot of an unmarked Helguson.
Olsson saw his tame free-kick hit the wall as Rovers pushed for an equaliser.
Their pressure counted eight minutes after falling behind when Lowe's corner from the left found Samba, who beat Hall in the air and expertly directed his header over the leaping Derry at the back post.
The Rovers skipper never put a foot wrong in what has been a turbulent start to the season by Kean's men.
The visitors could have found themselves behind when Shaun Wright-Phillips fizzed a 25-yard effort just past the post.
Olsson almost picked out Junior Hoilett who then had a shot cleared off the line by Ferdinand after great play to evade Derry and Barton.
The second period took time to recreate the action of the first 45 with the only moment being a booking to Steve N'Zonzi of Blackburn.
Hall was a stalwart in defence for the hosts and produced several blocks, one in particular to thwart Olsson.
Blackburn looked content to counter-attack and allowed QPR to boss possession, although they struggled to string together any clear-cut chances.
Wright-Phillips and Traore were booked as frustrations got the better of QPR and tackles began to fly in from both sides.
Having produced a solid display since being sidelined, Mackie was eventually replaced by talisman Taarabt which buoyed the QPR crowd.
The Hoops looked lively after the Morocco international's introduction, although he was guilty of lacking composure when he lashed at a shot rather than taking a couple more touches when he was through on goal in what was his 100th league appearance for the club.
Taarabt then mis-hit another shot in the 76th minute before Lowe was booked for a nasty-looking challenge on Faurlin.
QPR upped the tempo in the final stages and Taarabt was in the thick of the action again when he had a penalty shout turned down after a challenge by Salgado with six minutes remaining.
Despite QPR pressing, it was Blackburn who almost grabbed victory in the dying seconds when Paddy Kenny was forced to save Olsson's shot in stoppage-time.
|Queens Park Rangers||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||6|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|