Queens Park Rangers 1 West Bromwich Albion 2
The save of the match and, perhaps, the save of West Bromwich Albion's season. If Albion do secure promotion to the Premiership, they will think back to when, in the 68th minute at Loftus Road, Dean Kiely dived to his right to turn aside a penalty by Paul Furlong.
With the scoreline at 1-1 and Albion crumbling like a bad council estate, Rangers might have won had Furlong scored. Instead, after a workmanlike performance, the antithesis of everything that is Albion under Tony Mowbray, the visitors won because of a late goal by Zolton Gera.
It was a good goal, too, coming after a fine cross by Nathan Ellington that was prodigiously converted at close range by Gera. Kevin Phillips had given Albion the lead at the beginning of the second half, Dexter Blackstock (a name straight out of a "Roy of the Rovers" comic) equalised with a header on the hour and there was little to commend the match from an aesthetic point of view.
Was this Albion's answer to those who think that the team are not good at winning ugly? "It wasn't an answer to anything," Mowbray said. "It was not a great game but at this stage of the season it is all about results and I will certainly take a scrappy 2-1 win away from home."
Albion are still more likely to finish in the play-off positions than the automatic promotion positions but they have given themselves a chance. At least they go into April with hope. At least March, an otherwise wretched month for Albion, ended with something positive.
There are six matches remaining and, realistically, Albion are going to have to win all of them to have a chance of finishing in the top two. It is possible, especially if they can show the character that was evident here.
As Mowbray said, Albion have played far better than this in the past and lost. For sure, this was easily their worst performance in March and also their only victory.
John Gregory, the Rangers manager once in charge of Aston Villa, called Albion "basically a Premiership team". There is some truth in that, although Gregory, among the most Machiavellian men in the game, probably only said this to emphasise how close his team came to defeating a de facto member of English football's elite. "We should have beaten them," Gregory said.
For "should" read "could". The truth is that QPR's style of play was direct and basic and designed to unsettle Albion. "There are times when you have to battle and play to the style of the opposition," Mowbray said. "QPR were very direct at times but we have to be able to play all types of football."
And here, Albion did just that. There were occasional examples of their exciting, expansive football, with Diomansy Kamara, Jason Koumas, Robert Koren and Jonathan Greening playing impressive one-touch football. And Kamara did provide flashes of the brilliance that, to my mind, makes him the best player in the Championship.
More significant, however, was that their best outfield player was Sam Sodje, an uncompromising defender; a stopper in the old style; a soldier rather than an artist. Sodje spent most of the match playing head-tennis.
Sodje, who calls himself "an interesting man" and is exactly that, has his own unique style of defending. Not for him the simplicity of a headed clearance; with Sodje, it is always a diving header.
He was just what Albion needed on a day when the ball spent more time in the air than on the ground. You would not want a DVD of the match but you would want one of Mowbray's reaction afterwards. He glowed and was happy to shake hands with anyone whose face was familiar.
But the first smile of the day came from Phillips, who scored with a low shot in the 48th minute after good work by Koumas. That should have been the prelude to a routine victory, but it was QPR who benefited most. They equalised when Gareth Ainsworth's cross was headed home by Blackstock in the 63rd minute and should have gone ahead five minutes later.
Furlong was fouled by a combination of Kiely, Paul Robinson and Koren and, while it was clearly a penalty, there was also a suggestion that somebody should have been sent off. "It was hard to understand why there was not even a yellow card," Gregory said. For sure, Furlong was certainly the last man, so perhaps a sending-off would have have been appropriate. But to whom should the referee have shown the red card?
Kiely saved Furlong's shot and circumstances were such that Albion were likelier winners. Ellington's trickery on the left enabled him to find space. His cross was good and Gera, a 77th-minute substitute, exquisitely volleyed the ball home from a tight angle.
Cue the most enthusiastic celebrations seen among the Albion supporters this season. Cue the most heavy-handed interventions by stewards seen in the division this season. Two fans, who went on to the pitch to celebrate with Gera, were met with excessive force and bundled out of the stadium. Clearly, the QPR stewards cannot distinguish between over-enthusiasm and trespassing.
This was a good say for the Albion supporters. They were happy enough to hear that Wolverhampton Wanderers were disappearing without trace at home to Southampton. But just as March did not destroy Albion's hopes of promotion, so a 6-0 defeat did not destroy Wolves's hopes.
But still there is the perception that Albion have left it too late to revive hopes of automatic promotion.
Scorers: Phillips (48), 0-1; Blackstock (63), 1-1; Gera (84), 1-2.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS (4-4-2): Camp; Mancienne, Stewart, Cullip, Bignot; Ainsworth (Ricketts 83), Idiakez (Lomas 14), Bolder, Cook; Furlong, Nygaard (Blackstock 61). Substitutes: Cole, Kanyuka.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; McShane, Clement, Sodje, Robinson; Koren, Greening, Carter (Ellington 46), Koumas; Kamara (Chaplow 85), Phillips (Gera 77). Substitutes: Daniels, Albrechtsen.
Referee: Paul Armstrong (Berks).
Bookings: QPR - Blackstock (ungentlemanly conduct), Ainsworth (dissent), Camp (dissent); Albion - Gera (ungentlemanly conduct).
Albion man of the match: Dean Kiely - a fine penalty save and two other impressive stops did much to ensure victory for Albion