Clint Hill goal settles Elland Road affair...

UNITED 0, QPR 1 (Hill 75).

United: Kenny, Peltier, Wootton, Pearce, Warnock, Green (Diouf 79), Austin, Murphy, McCormack, Hunt (Smith 57), Varney (Poleon 57). Subs. Ashdown, Drury, Lees, Tonge.

QPR: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Onuoha, Barton, Henry (Faurlin 72), O'Neill (Hoilett 64), Wright-Phillips, Johnson (Jenas 88), Austin. Subs. Yun, Zamora, Murphy, Sheriff.

Referee: S Attwell

Att: 23,341

For the visit of Queens Park Rangers in the Sky Bet Championship United manager Brian McDermott made one change to his team that beat Ipswich Town 2-1 the previous Saturday.

After an impressive debut in midweek, Scott Wootton found himself starting for the first time in a league match. The defender replaced Tom Lees who dropped to the substitutes bench.

It didn't take long for United's first chance to materialise in this early season top of the table clash. Ross McCormack - fresh from signing his new four-year contract less than 24 hours earlier - was the creator for a Paul Green strike, but the midfielder's effort just just over the bar.

United started the brighter of the two teams but it was the visitors that had the ball in the net on eight minutes. But unfortunatley for the away side Joey Barton was seen to be in an offside position before slotting past Paddy Kenny.

As the 20 minute mark approached both sides threatened with half chances. First Rudy Austin shot from distance for United and that was closely followed by Shaun Wright-Phillips seeing a headed attempt trickle past Kenny's post.

Midway through the half came a chance for McCormack after an unfortunate sliced QPR pass fell into his path. The striker had Nedum Onuoha to beat but the defender stayed with McCormack's advance and blocked his attempted strike on goal. 

The first half saw few goalscoring opportunities with much of the first period a midfield tussle. United skipper Austin, along with Green were the men to break up any advances from the away side and restricted them to half chances before the whistle announced the interval.

Moments after the restart Kenny was called into action. The keeper prevented Charlie Austin from giving QPR the lead after the striker latched onto a through ball and was one-on-one with the keeper but he saved well at his near post.

Five minutes into the second half McCormack, and the Elland Road crowd were screaming for a penalty after the ball appeared to striker Danny Simpson's arm as the striker attempted to head across the box. The appeals were waved away by referee Stuart Attwell.

As the hour mark approached United manager Brian McDermott freshen up his striking options as he replaced Luke Varney and Noel Hunt with Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon.

United's new striker force almost made an instant impact. Smith's glancing header fell to the feet of Poleon but the striker's shot was straight at Robert Green.

With 15 minutes of the game remaining the away side threated Kenny's goal. It was Austin once again that struck but the United keeper kept the striker out.

But moments later the away side took the lead through Clint Hill. The goal followed a free-kick into the United penalty area that wasn't dealt with and the ball fell to Hill who struck into the roof of the net.

United manager McDermott reacted to going behind by increasing his striking options by introducing El-Hadji Diouf in place of Green.

United striker's Smith and Poleon combined once again with five minutes remaining. Smith's backwards header found Poleon and the striker turned Richard Dunne but could only find Green with his shot.

Another chance came United's way minutes later when Lee Peltier's cross found Jason Pearce in the area but he headed wide while under pressure.

With the game deep into five minutes of injury time United broke forward through McCormack. The Scotland international played through Peltier but his deflected effort looped over the bar.

There was still time for one final effort on goal from United. Austin struck from 30-yards and was close to rescuing a point for United, but the midfielder saw his effort hit the point where the crossbar meets the upright.

The skipper's long range effort proved to be the end of the afternoon as United's unbeaten start to the season came to an end.