Ross McCormack’s 24th goal of the season - after he had earlier had a penalty saved - earned Leeds United a point from a 1-1 draw against promotion favourites QPR.
There was ultimately little between the teams, but they will see the game as a missed opportunity to get their respective seasons back on track.
Leeds will now be banking on home games coming up to try to make up for lost ground and at least they saw some promise from new boy Connor Wickham, who made a decent debut up front after joining on loan from Sunderland this week.
There was one other change to the team that drew at Middlesbrough with Tom Lees returning at centre-back.
Leeds could count themselves unlucky to be level at 1-1 at the break after bossing the game only for Rangers to hit back right on half-time.
It took the hosts 41 minutes to manage their first effort on target as they struggled to put any football together and were hustled out of their stride by a committed United display.
Leeds should have gone ahead in the tenth minute when McCormack raced into the box onto Luke Murphy’s pass and was brought down by Richard Dunne to bring about a penalty. But the Scottish international saw his weak spot kick saved by home keeper Robert Green.
Four minutes later McCormack had a chance to make amends with a free-kick 22 yards out and did just that with a shot that deflected off the wall to fly into the top corner of the net.
New signing Wickham forced a save from Green with another free-kick from further out and the on-loan striker hit a shot that was deflected wide as United remained in control.
But Rangers finally got a foothold in the game towards the end of the half and after Jermaine Jenas forced Jack Butland into his first save with a header they equalised in the 45th minute.
Kevin Doyle held the ball up well on the edge of the area and Murphy failed to track back with Jenas allowing the former England midfielder room and time to place his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
It could have been worse for the visitors as in injury-time Clint Hill beat Tom Lees to a corner only to head the ball wide.
Rangers started the second half strongly as Butland was forced to save from Traore, but the Whites weathered the storm and got forward again when Wickham fired in a shot that was only inches wide.
Little then happened as the game became broken up with too many injuries and stoppages. But in the 89th minute United almost snatched a winner as Wickham’s glancing header from a fine Alex Mowatt free-kick was well saved by Green.
Rangers briefly thought they had won it in injury-time when Hill blasted a volley into the top corner, but his celebrations were cut short as he was correctly flagged offside.
Leeds United 1
Saturday, March 1, 2014
QPR: Green; Hughes, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Traore; Morrison (Benayoun 85), Jenas (Carroll 81), Henry; Hoilett (Keane 62), Doyle.
Leeds: Butland; Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock; Kebe (Byram 90), Austin, Murphy (Brown 80), Stewart (Mowatt 70); McCormack, Wickham.
Referee: Chris Foy.