Jamie Ward effort enough as Nottingham Forest edge QPR
A solitary goal from Jamie Ward was enough to earn Nottingham Forest a 1-0 win and a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his winless run extended as he made his City Ground return.
The Rangers boss - and former Forest coach - has now failed to secure a win in his first seven games in charge of the London club, as QPR maintained their remarkable record of never having won at Forest.
Instead it was Dougie Freedman who saw the Reds extend their unbeaten run to nine games, with Ward's first-half finish, from close range following fine work from teenager Oliver Burke, enough to see them edge victory over the club where he began his playing career, in a closely-fought encounter.
Both sides face Championship fixtures in midweek, which was perhaps the inspiration as Forest made seven changes to their starting line up - and the visitors eight. With both sides having made so many alterations, it took them a while to settle into the game. Forest had the greater share of possession - and of the chances. But they were never clear-cut openings.
Crosses from Chris Cohen and Ben Osborn twice almost picked out the rampaging Burke, with Gabriele Angella twice making important headed clearances. While free-kicks from Ward and Gary Gardner, who was making his first appearance since returning to Forest on loan from Aston Villa, were both off target.
QPR were struggling to cope with the pace of 18-year-old Burke when he ran at them and, when the winger let off the shackles again, it led to the opening goal in the 24th minute - and it was one that was all of his making.
His speed opened up a huge gap in the Rangers defence, which he arrowed into down the right side, before firing a shot across the face of goal towards the far post, where Ward was arriving to steer it over the line, from a few feet out.
The visitors responded as Daniel Tozser sent a curling free-kick spinning just wide of the post, although Dorus de Vries looked to have it covered. Michael Doughty, the son of former Forest chairman Nigel Doughty, was booked for a cynical foul on Burke as the first half drew to a close, with the visitors still struggling to thwart his threat.
Burke resumed his efforts after the break, firing an ambitious effort over the bar from 30 yards, while Ward was denied a clear run on goal by a tight looking offside flag.
QPR's threat was still limited, with a wayward shot from Doughty their most notable effort until Angella powered in a header from a corner, which Dorus de Vries palmed acrobatically over his bar at full stretch.
Forest suffered a blow in the 80th minute when sub Henri Lansbury, who had been on the pitch for less than 20 minutes, sustained a serious looking injury after landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge, with the midfielder carried off and replaced by Bojan Jokic, who was making his debut after signing from Villarreal on loan.
Lansbury was carried off the field with his leg in a brace, after being given oxygen on the pitch.
The delay led to eight minutes of injury time, but Forest were able to hold out for the win.