Lou Macari's men deserved more than the narrow defeat that was inflicted on them by QPR on a windswept, rainy Sunday afternoon.
A fine start by the Terriers saw them create chances for Hay, Booth and Thorrington but the home side took the lead against the run of play through Andy Thomson who bundled the ball past Margetson in a sweeping counter-attack following an offside decision against John Thorrington.
Town tried to get back into the game but QPR were up for a scrap and chances fell to Matthew Rose, Terrell Forbes and Martyn Margetson made a good call when he came for a drifting ball across his area with Rangers attackers closing in.
Lou Macari's side had been adept at coming back from a goal behind and the inevitable equaliser arrived courtesy of a Kenny Irons free kick which eventually found Chris Hay lurking close to Day's goal.
The Scottish striker couldn't really miss from 3 yards out and he bundled home his first goal of the season and Town's much waited for equaliser.
Town had to be careful not to fall victim to the sucker punch as the R's surged forward immediately from the kick-off but they acquitted themselves well for the rest of the first half and Andy Booth might have put the Terriers 2-1 ahead but Chris Day made a fingertip save from his goalbound shot deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half.
A poor start to the second half by Town allowed their hosts to build on their good spell in the first half when they scored the opening goal and it wasn't long before Town started to struggle again.
Hay's poor backpass started a series of counter-attacks by QPR which afforded chances to Alex Bonnot and Karl Connolly while Steve Palmer's free kick came off the Town wall and wasn't cleared for some time.
On the rare occasions that Town ventured forward, they were driven back and it was QPR who took control of the game in a 5 minute spell which saw the Hoops gain a winning advantage.
Chris Holland had a very good strike hooked off the line in the 55th minute and QPR immediately went down to Town's end with the ball on the counter-attack and Matthew Rose struck an even better half volley from 25 yards to put the home side 2-1 up.
QPR didn't let up and they exploited more poor Town defending when, 5 minutes later, Steve Palmer bundled the ball in at the near post before any of Town's markers could react.
A 3-1 advantage seemed unassailable in the poor conditions at Loftus Road but Town didn't go about repairing their scoreline in a very positive way with poor control and long ball tactics dominating their thinking for the rest of the match.
A serious looking injury to Dwayne Mattis, who was stretchered off in pain, didn't help and the bizarre decision by the referee Rob Harris not to send Leroy Griffiths off after he punched Steve Jenkins in retaliation for a late foul at the start of a lengthy injury time counted against the Terriers who scored a late goal moments afterwards.
Andy Booth pressured Aziz Ben Askar into putting through his own net after Thorrington had robbed Forbes and put a cross in with several minutes of injury time left but, despite a late rally with Paul Macari brought on as a third striker, Town couldn't break down the QPR defence.
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QPR (4-4-2): Day, Palmer, Connolly (Wardley 60), Bignot, Rose, Griffiths (Perry 90), Warren, Forbes, Bonnot, Thomson, Askar
Subs not used:Bull, Paquet, Doudou
Scorers: Thomson 12, Rose 56, Palmer 61
Town (4-4-2): Margetson, Jenkins, Evans (Macari 90), Gray, Clarke, Irons, Thorrington, Mattis (Heary 84), Holland, Booth, Hay (Baldry 76)
Subs not used: Digby, Moses
Booked: Jenkins, Irons
Scorers: Hay 31, Ben Askar og 92
Referee: Rob Harris (Oxford)
See subsequent pages for match points.
97 mins: QPR tried to make a late substitution as Town desperately pushed on for the equaliser.
96 mins: Matthew Rose headed clear and Town couldn't find a way past.
96 mins: Clarke's long throw found Booth and he won a corner.
95 mins: Gray beat Griffiths to the ball and Town pushed upfield again.
94 mins: Town won a corner but Griffiths headed it away.
93 mins: Paul Macari replaced Gareth Evans as Town pushed hard for the equaliser.
92 mins: There was plenty of time (3 mins) for a possible equaliser after Ben Askar put through his own goal under pressure from Andy Booth who was trying to conenct with Thorrington's cross after the American had robbed Forbes.
90 mins: Steve Jenkins was punched by Leroy Griffiths after a the Welshman fouled him. The referee booked Jenkins for the foul and decided to only book Griffiths as well!
89 mins: Kenny Irons and Steve Palmer had words after a strong challenge.
88 mins: Thomas Heary went back to retreive the ball from a QPR break.
85 mins: Thomas Heary replaced Dwayne Mattis as QPR continued to pressure Town. Kenny Irons gave away a corner.
84 mins: Dwayne Mattis was stretchered off in pain to a consoling round of applause from all at Loftus Road.
81 mins: Mattis was grounded in a bad tackle and play was stopped by Martyn Margetson allowing Alex Moreno came on to treat the stricken midfielder.
80 mins: Baldry's twisting run and right footed shot took a deflection and came off the bar!
79 mins: Town were struggling as QPR surged again but Mattis' excellent tackle stopped Bignot in his tracks.
77 mins: Mattis won the ball and started a good move but Booth was held and QPR recovered.
76 mins: Simon Baldry came on for Chris Hay as Lou Macari changed things around.
75 mins: Town were resorting to long ball tactics with Booth and Hay chasing aimless long balls towards a grateful Chris Day.
72 mins: Iron's free kick was poorly communicated and the ball missed everyone and went behind for a free kick.
71 mins: Bignot's effort was high.
70 mins: Stewart Wardley's effort was wayward.
69 mins: Hay couldn't get past Forbes as Town tried to fashion a chance from open play.
67 mins: Griffiths' had two attempts on goal before the referee decided to stop play for a foul on Gray.
63 mins: Leroy Griffiths tackled John Thorrington who was trying to start a Town attack.
61 mins: Gray headed a QPR setpiece away but it wasn't long before Wardley got amongst the action and made space for Steve Palmer to bundle in another goal in the disarray.
60 mins: Wardley replaced Connolly as QPR rotated their striking options.
59 mins: Both sides picked up the tempo and Jenkins was kept busy by massive amounts of pressure from QPR. Margetson was tackled very late by Marcus Bignot after the Welshman had made the save. The Terriers were defending too deep again.
57 mins: Thorrington's shot was blocked and Mattis' follow-up was wayward.
56 mins: Matthew Rose hit a 25 yard drive to put QPR ahead again directly from the counter-attack. Martyn Margetson had no chance.
55 mins: Chris Holland's shot was hooked off the line after good work from Chris Hay to cross to him.
53 mins: Palmer's 30 yard free kick came off the Town wall and QPR continued to attack after taking possession of the loose ball but Thomson's final strike was flighted over the bar with Town again too slow to react.
51 mins: Irons' whipped in delivery was caught by Chris Day despite the attentions of Nathan Clarke and Chris Hay.
50 mins: Connolly's chance flew over Margetson's bar.
48 mins: Bonnot's effort from the edge of the box flew over the bar as Town started slowly in the second half.
48 mins: Gareth Evans was too slow to react to Hay's pass to him and the R's rushed forward on the break.
47 mins: Margetson rose unchallenged to grab the flighted QPR ball into his area.
HALF TIME: QPR's shock early goal for Andy Thomson was an early setback but Town were the better side and a free kick from Kenny Irons fell to Chris Hay who scored his first Town goal to equalise from point blank range. Andy Booth could have had taken the lead for the Terriers in the dying seconds of injury time but his goalbound shot was tipped away by Chris Day.
49 mins: Mattis won a free kick after he was shoved. Holland found Booth whose fizzing goalbound shot was saved by Day who palmed it away.
45 mins: 3 minutes of added time were indicated as Town comfortably finished the half on top.
40 mins: Thorrington's ball to Hay was wasted as the Town striker slipped a little and the ball trickled through to Day.
36 mins: Town were back in the game again and they passed the ball around looking for openings again.
34 mins: Chris Holland won a corner after good work down the left flank.
33 mins: John Thorrington was berated by Steve Jenkins after QPR ranged forward from the kick-off looking for another goal.
31 mins: Irons' free kick fell to Chris Hay who bundled the ball into the back of the net from 3 yards at the back post from Andy Booth's flick.
30 mins: Mattis and Thorrington combined well to provide Chris Hay with a chance but they waited patiently until a chance came but Andy Booth, a lone figure in the box, was beaten to the ball by Forbes.
28 mins: Martyn Margetson came for a dangerous ball across the 6 yards box after called out to Nathan Clarke.
27 mins: Booth's header went out of play.
25 mins: Margetson saved well from Forbes' left foot volley which was taken on the turn. QPR were definately controlling the game now and Town were in disarray.
24 mins: Andy Booth was offside after a Town attack.
22 mins: Town weathered a short period of Rangers pressure and eventually broke free via John Thorrington but he couldn't control the ball. The home side were growing more confident and quick to close down the ball.
19 mins: Mattis' 30 yarder skidded wide after Evans had given his the ball on the slippery surface.
17 mins: Mattis forced Day into a quick save after a good Town move saw the Town midfielder in space for an effort from 25 yards.
15 mins: Matthew Rose was clean through despite claims for offside but he somehow messed up his attempt on goal with Town's defenders caught square.
14 mins: Thorrington threaded the ball to Booth who won a throw-in. John Thorrington's resulting attempted cross from the throw-in wasn't helped by a slight slip and the ball went behind for a goal kick.
12 mins: Andy Thomson turned and shot from the edge of the box after a quick R's attack following Thorrington's offside judgement. It was a scrappy goal against the run of play.
12 mins: John Thorrington was caught offside after Irons quickly put him through following a set piece.
11 mins: Gareth Evans put Matthew Rose off his effort on goal.
10 mins: Evans was treated for a head injury.
8 mins: Thorrington played in Jenkins and the flowing Town move found Hay but the chance was lost.
6 mins: Thorrington's cross for Booth was put out by Forbes after a great move by Town.
3 mins: Both sides started playing in a rain-drenched Loftus Road and it was difficult to play the ball after a quiet start by both sides.
Steve Jenkins was a non-playing substitute for Wales on Saturday against Belarus and he went straight into the Town side.
Chris Hay got the nod ahead of Paul Macari to replace the suspended Danny Schofield as Town looked for the win that would take them to the top of Division II.