Ten-man Plymouth battled to earn a point in a 0-0 draw with QPR at Loftus Road.

Dan Scarr was sent off in the 25th minute when the hosts counter-attacked after Sam Field won the ball, and the defender scythed down Ilias Chair with a crude challenge just inside the Argyle half.

Up to that point, Plymouth had been much the better side and sloppy Rangers were fortunate to be on level terms.

Three times in the opening 10 minutes, the hosts gave the ball away cheaply.

Firstly, Field was yellow-carded with just 90 seconds on the clock for fouling Ryan Hardie after losing possession.

A similar lapse by Chair led to Hardie dragging a shot wide and Osman Kakay was the next culprit, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic sparing the defender’s blushes by denying the Plymouth striker with a near-post save.

Hardie then missed a golden chance, lifting the ball over Begovic but also the crossbar, after being played in by Finn Azaz’s pass.

Lyndon Dykes headed Kakay’s right-wing cross narrowly wide, but other than that Rangers offered very little until Scarr’s dismissal.

They were then able to dominate with Chris Willock sending a right-footed strike just wide shortly before crossing for Charlie Kelman, who was unable to get a decisive touch at the far post.

But Plymouth dug in and defended well in the second half and the below-par QPR struggled to create clearcut chances.

Chair sent an effort well wide before keeper Conor Hazard comfortably kept out two tame Dykes headers, both via right-wing crosses from substitute Elijah Dixon-Bonner.

Hazard was more troubled by a long-range attempt from Jimmy Dunne, but nevertheless made the save.

He also gathered another couple of weak Dykes headers in the final stages, ensuring the Pilgrims secured the draw.

QPR were seeking a fourth consecutive win and one which would have lifted them out of the relegation zone – and level on points with Plymouth.

They remain in the bottom three, but the point saw them continue to close the gap on the teams above them.

Rangers have lost just one of their seven matches since the arrival of boss Marti Cifuentes, who inherited a side that lost six in a row and were in danger of being cut adrift.

This was also their third consecutive clean sheet, but their failure to break down stubborn Argyle highlighted that improvement is still needed, particularly up front.