BY NICK KITUNO
Bright Osayi-Samuel scored his first goal of the season as Queens Park Rangers fought back from a goal down to draw with Middlesbrough.
The winger’s future has been the subject of intense speculation but he got the hosts back on level terms following Chuba Akpom’s opener and help to share the spoils.
Rangers have moved into the top half of the Championship after collecting four points from their opening three games.
Mark Warburton handed Seny Dieng his debut as he made two changes to the side which lost 3-2 away to Coventry City last Friday. George Thomas was also picked in the starting 11 while Ryan Manning, who like Osayi-Samuel has also been linked with moves away from Rangers, was not in the squad.
Both sides tested each other in an entertaining first half as Boro drew first blood after 19 minutes. Akpom grabbed his first goal for the visitors when he nestled in a header from Paddy McNair’s corner.
Rangers hit back and were level after 27 minutes when a well-worked move saw Marcus Bettinelli push away Luke Amos’s drive before Osayi-Samuel put away the rebound.
The two sides continued to trade blows but each had penalty shouts turned down in a dramatic finish to the first half. Rangers were convinced George Saville handballed inside his own box, when replays showed it struck his face, before former Hoops captain Grant Hall went down inside the hosts’ area.
Although the second half was not as climactic as the first, Rangers twice went close to going in front as Anfernee Dijksteel denied Osayi-Samuel close to goal before substitute Tom Carroll clipped the post.
Britt Assombalonga had two of Boro’s best chances to retake the lead, first miscuing a header at the far post before failing to meet a free-kick in a similar position, but a draw ended up being the final result.
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