Charlie Austin's first league goal for QPR gave them a hard-fought victory over Birmingham at Loftus Road.

Austin, recruited from Burnley during the summer, scored from close range early in the second half after Birmingham failed to deal with a Joey Barton free-kick.

City were unlucky when Lee Novak headed against a post while Jonathan Spector had an effort ruled out for offside.

Spector felt he should have had a late penalty but he was booked for diving.

Birmingham have now lost four of their opening six games - the club's worst start to a league season for 25 years.

Play was briefly stopped because of a flare at Loftus Road

Play was briefly stopped because of a flare at Loftus Road

In contrast, this was QPR's fourth consecutive victory as Harry Redknapp's side aim to climb back into the Premier League.

Rangers, who gave debuts to on-loan Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll and recent signing Matt Phillips, remain second in the Championship table behind leaders Blackpool on goal difference.

But they were troubled by Birmingham who felt they deserved a point.

After Novak headed Andrew Shinnie's free-kick against the woodwork, Shinnie then wasted a great chance when he shot wide from 12 yards.

Birmingham were punished when Barton found Richard Dunne at the far post and after Tom Adeyemi sliced the ball against the underside of his own crossbar, Austin had the simple task of tapping into an empty net.

Barton later had an effort saved and hit the post in injury time with a superbly struck free-kick but Rangers were unable to add to their lead.

Birmingham pushed in vain for an equaliser as Novak headed wide from Chris Burke's cross before Kyle Bartley also went close with a header.

QPR first-team coach Joe Jordan:

"I think we rode our luck a bit as Birmingham created opportunities. In our previous 1-0 wins we maybe could have got another goal but today I think the chances went to Birmingham. They failed to take them and we took our opportunity.

"But the team spirit is there and we want that to show in what is a very important period for us, with three games in a week."

Birmingham City manager Lee Clark:

"I'm just frustrated for the players. It's cruel. In the first half we could have been 2-0 up. We then score an offside goal and 30 seconds later they get one from a set play. Then we still created opportunities, but it wasn't to be.

"It's tough for my young players. We've had some good performances but not got the results. I've told them to keep the belief, because we are playing well and we will get results."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

QPR

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Simpson
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Hill
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 10 Carroll (Jenas - 82' )
  • 17 Barton Booked
  • 23 Hoilett (Phillips - 39' )
  • 36 O'Neil
  • 09 Austin
  • 25 Zamora (Wright-Phillips - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 26 Murphy
  • 39 Assou-Ekotto
  • 07 Phillips
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 16 Jenas
  • 20 Henry
  • 32 Faurlin

Birmingham

  • 01 Randolph
  • 04 Robinson Booked
  • 05 Bartley
  • 06 Burn Booked
  • 15 Elliott
  • 23 Spector Booked
  • 24 Adeyemi (Lovenkrands - 82' )
  • 31 Caddis
  • 07 Burke
  • 12 Novak
  • 22 Shinnie Booked (Ferguson - 55' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Doyle
  • 27 Ferguson
  • 10 Ambrose
  • 17 Reilly
  • 20 Lee
  • 29 Brown
  • 11 Lovenkrands
Ref: Jones
Att: 16,953

Match Stats

Shots

10 9

On target

2 1

Corners

3 2

Fouls

17 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:08 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +4:09

Clearance made by Wade Elliott.

90:00 +3:25

Free kick taken by Jermaine Jenas.

90:00 +3:11

Unfair challenge on Charlie Austin by Dan Burn results in a free kick.

90:00 +2:56

Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Joey Barton and hits the post.

90:00 +1:56

Booking for Dan Burn for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:56 Booking

Booking

90:00 +1:50

Dan Burn concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Austin.

90:00 +1:25

Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +1:15

Free kick taken by Rob Green.

90:00 +0:48

The assistant referee signals for offside against Lee Novak.

89:21

Wade Elliott takes a shot. Rob Green safely holds on.

89:17

Clearance made by Clint Hill.

89:15

Shane Ferguson produces a cross.

87:39

Joey Barton takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Darren Randolph safely holds on.

87:36

The ball is swung over by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

87:24

Nedum Onuoha restarts play with the free kick.

86:52

The referee books Paul Robinson for unsporting behaviour.

86:52 Booking

Booking

86:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Robinson on Shaun Wright-Phillips.

86:27

Clearance made by Joey Barton.

84:55

Clearance by Kyle Bartley.

82:55

Kyle Bartley makes a clearance.

82:54

Centre by Charlie Austin.

82:13

Joey Barton takes the free kick.

82:10

Lee Novak challenges Clint Hill unfairly and gives away a free kick.

81:36 Substitution

Substitution (QPR) makes a substitution, with Jermaine Jenas coming on for Tom Carroll.

81:18 Substitution

Substitution Peter Lovenkrands is brought on as a substitute for Tom Adeyemi.

79:05

Free kick taken by Rob Green.

78:50

Jonathan Spector goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

78:50 Booking

Booking

77:19

Tom Carroll makes a clearance.

75:39

Wade Elliott challenges Joey Barton unfairly and gives away a free kick.

74:40

Clearance made by Paul Robinson.

74:35

Paul Robinson makes a clearance.

74:14

The ball is crossed by Paul Caddis.

73:34

Clearance made by Shane Ferguson.

73:33

The ball is sent over by Danny Simpson.

72:34

Tom Carroll restarts play with the free kick.

72:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dan Burn on Charlie Austin.

71:51

Shot by Tom Carroll cleared the net.

71:44

Clearance made by Kyle Bartley.

70:07

Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

69:50

Dan Burn fouled by Gary O'Neil, the ref awards a free kick.

67:58

Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

67:34

Shane Ferguson fouled by Matt Phillips, the ref awards a free kick.

67:15

Nedum Onuoha manages to make a clearance.

67:14

The ball is sent over by Wade Elliott.

67:01

Free kick taken by Kyle Bartley.

66:54

Paul Caddis fouled by Charlie Austin, the ref awards a free kick.

66:22

Shot by Christopher Burke went wide left of the goal.

66:14

Centre by Shane Ferguson.

66:09

Wade Elliott takes the free kick.

66:03

Shaun Wright-Phillips is penalised for a handball.

65:08

Matt Phillips restarts play with the free kick.

64:58

Kyle Bartley concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Phillips.

62:56

Clearance made by Dan Burn.

62:55

Danny Simpson sends in a cross.

62:00

Wade Elliott crosses the ball in from the free kick.

61:31

Shane Ferguson fouled by Shaun Wright-Phillips, the ref awards a free kick.

61:06

Clint Hill makes a clearance.

58:46

Clearance by Kyle Bartley.

57:36

Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

57:14

The offside flag is raised against Shaun Wright-Phillips.

57:02

Clearance by Richard Dunne.

54:40 Substitution

Substitution Shane Ferguson on for Andrew Shinnie.

54:07

Shot by Christopher Burke went over the crossbar.

54:04

Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.

53:00

Header at goal by Kyle Bartley goes over the bar.

52:55

Corner taken by Andrew Shinnie.

52:22

The ball is swung over by Christopher Burke.

51:42

Corner from the left by-line taken by Joey Barton.

51:11

Kyle Bartley manages to make a clearance.

51:10

Free kick crossed by Joey Barton.

49:58 Booking

Booking

49:58

Andrew Shinnie is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

49:47

Unfair challenge on Shaun Wright-Phillips by Andrew Shinnie results in a free kick.

48:00

Joey Barton produces a cross.

48:08 Goal scored

Goal! - Charlie Austin - QPR 1 - 0 Birmingham Charlie Austin scores a headed goal. QPR 1-0 Birmingham.

48:06

The ball is sent over by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

48:07

Tom Adeyemi manages to make a clearance.

48:07

Clearance by Tom Adeyemi.

47:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Wade Elliott on Shaun Wright-Phillips.

46:45

Free kick taken by Rob Green.

46:35

Richard Dunne makes a clearance.

46:33

The official flags Jonathan Spector offside.

46:28

A cross is delivered by Jonathan Spector.

46:18

Free kick taken by Jonathan Spector.

45:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Novak by Tom Carroll.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Shaun Wright-Phillips comes on in place of Bobby Zamora.

45:00 +3:34 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +3:15

Clearance by Joey Barton.

45:00 +3:12

Free kick crossed by Andrew Shinnie.

45:00 +2:31

Bobby Zamora gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Shinnie.

45:00 +1:09

Clearance made by Danny Simpson.

45:00 +1:08

Centre by Christopher Burke.

45:00 +1:00

Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

45:00 +0:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Dunne on Lee Novak.

44:11

Christopher Burke crosses the ball in from the free kick.

43:37 Booking

Booking

43:37

Joey Barton is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

43:32

Joey Barton challenges Paul Caddis unfairly and gives away a free kick.

41:45

Danny Simpson produces a cross.

40:22

Clearance made by Richard Dunne.

40:19

Christopher Burke crosses the ball in from the free kick.

39:15

Joey Barton concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Adeyemi.

38:31 Substitution

Substitution Matt Phillips replaces David Hoilett.

36:35

Dan Burn makes a clearance.

35:54

Shot by Andrew Shinnie went over the bar.

35:14

Corner from the left by-line taken by Andrew Shinnie.

34:54

Clearance by Richard Dunne.

34:52

A cross is delivered by Jonathan Spector.

33:52

Header by Clint Hill goes to the left of the goal.

33:45

Corner from the right by-line taken by Joey Barton.

33:20

Dan Burn manages to make a clearance.

33:16

Corner taken by Joey Barton.

32:41

Clearance made by Jonathan Spector.

32:36

Danny Simpson restarts play with the free kick.

32:27

Kyle Bartley concedes a free kick for a foul on Bobby Zamora.

30:51

Jonathan Spector restarts play with the free kick.

28:59

Unfair challenge on Paul Caddis by Gary O'Neil results in a free kick.

28:06

Charlie Austin takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Dan Burn gets a block in.

27:11

Header by Tom Adeyemi misses right.

27:07

The ball is crossed by Paul Robinson.

27:04

Richard Dunne makes a clearance.

27:03

Christopher Burke delivers the ball.

24:30

Gary O'Neil takes the free kick.

24:18

Dan Burn challenges Charlie Austin unfairly and gives away a free kick.

23:37

Richard Dunne makes a clearance.

23:34

Centre by Christopher Burke.

23:23

Joey Barton manages to make a clearance.

23:19

Header by Lee Novak hits the post.

23:13

Free kick crossed by Andrew Shinnie.

22:46

Foul by Tom Carroll on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded.

22:08

The official flags Charlie Austin offside.

22:07

Joey Barton has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.

22:02

Jonathan Spector manages to make a clearance.

20:39

Charlie Austin takes a fantastic shot and missed to the right of the net.

20:05

Richard Dunne makes a clearance.

19:57

Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

19:29

The referee blows for offside against Charlie Austin.

19:08

Clearance by Clint Hill.

18:27

Shot by Wade Elliott went harmlessly over the bar.

18:26

Christopher Burke restarts play with the free kick.

17:34

Clint Hill concedes a free kick for a foul on Christopher Burke.

17:04

Free kick taken by Jonathan Spector.

16:45

Free kick awarded for a foul by Clint Hill on Christopher Burke.

15:54

Free kick taken by Joey Barton.

15:34

The assistant referee flags for offside against Lee Novak.

14:59

Clearance by David Hoilett.

14:29

Clearance made by David Hoilett.

14:28

The ball is sent over by Paul Caddis.

12:39

Clearance by Richard Dunne.

12:34

Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

12:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Caddis by David Hoilett.

11:01

Rob Green takes the free kick.

10:52

Foul by Lee Novak on Danny Simpson, free kick awarded.

9:00

Clearance by Clint Hill.

8:56

The ball is crossed by Paul Caddis.

8:50

Free kick taken by Wade Elliott.

8:33

Unfair challenge on Lee Novak by Gary O'Neil results in a free kick.

8:10

Danny Simpson makes a clearance.

8:04

Christopher Burke has an effort at goal. Blocked by Clint Hill.

7:52

Charlie Austin crosses the ball.

6:30

David Hoilett has an effort at goal. Dan Burn gets a block in.

6:05

Gary O'Neil manages to make a clearance.

5:58

Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

5:23

Unfair challenge on Lee Novak by Nedum Onuoha results in a free kick.

5:15

Danny Simpson produces a cross.

4:12

Kyle Bartley makes a clearance.

4:03

Clearance by Richard Dunne.

3:37

Free kick taken by Jonathan Spector.

3:22

Unfair challenge on Wade Elliott by Clint Hill results in a free kick.

3:05

Free kick taken by Richard Dunne.

2:47

Paul Caddis concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Carroll.

0:52

Shot by David Hoilett went harmlessly over the bar.

0:43

The ball is crossed by Danny Simpson.

0:23

Clearance made by Dan Burn.

0:14

Clearance made by Danny Simpson.

0:12

Clearance by Dan Burn.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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