Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Spoils shared after late drama at Madejski

Sky Bet Championship: Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest

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Reading v Forest. Pictures by Steve Smyth.

READING scored an equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game after Nottingham Forest had opened the scoring just moments before from Ben Watson in a manic ending at the Madejski Stadium.

Forest looked like they had snatched all three points as Watson converted after a corner in the 95th minute, but the Royals scored with virtually the final kick of the game as Puscas arrived at the near post to turn the ball in.

The draw however, does mean that the Royals are unbeaten in their last seven games in the league to keep them in 14th, just six points off the play-off places in a congested top half of the table.

Sam Baldock returned to the starting line-up to replace the injured Lucas Joao as Reading looked to continue their run of four consecutive Championship wins.

Reading won the first corner of the match after Yakou Meite dribbled forward before feeding the ball to Sam Baldock who tried an effort at goal that was blocked.

John Swift whipped in a superb delivery wide on the right from a free kick, but no player in a blue and white hooped shirt were able to get on the end of the set-piece as the chance went begging.

Nottingham Forest then began to take control in the match, as the side who started the day in fourth position in the league tested the Royals defence with the pace and trickery of Sammy Ameobi. The tricky winger used his long strides to break away from Charlie Adam before his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Ameobi continued to look a threat on the wing but Liam Moore defended resolutely to shield his through ball out harmlessly for a goal kick with former Reading loanee Lewis Grabban looking to latch on to the pass.

Having been put onto the back foot, Reading defended determinedly as Moore headed the ball away before Adam threw his body in the way of Ameobi’s shot inside the box to protect his goalkeeper.

Grabban, who already has 14 Championship goals to his name this season- had his best sight of goal in the 21st minute but he snatched at it as his volley flew high over the bar from just inside the box.

After soaking up a spell of Forest pressure, Reading looked to attack and it was Michael Morrison who got on the end of an Adam out-swinging corner at the near post but couldn’t direct his header goal-wards.

Reading attempted to hit Forest on the break but a loose pass from Pele left Gunter in trouble as the Welshman conceded a free kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the ‘d’. Tiago Silva stepped up to take the set piece for Forest but lofted a lacklustre effort well off target.

Mark Bowen’s side tried to get their prime creator Ovie Ejaria to stamp his influence on the game and he worked an opening as he slipped a through ball to Meite, but Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba stayed strong to parry his effort out for a corner at the near post.

There was a stoppage in play and a yellow card for Silva after him and Swift flew in to a tackle with the Reading man beating the Forest player to the ball to hook the ball way from danger following a testing cross from Ameobi.

With the half coming to a close, Adam tried a speculative effort from a narrow angle and volleyed a powerful effort a few inches over the bar with the sides going into the break locked at 0-0.

Goalkeeper Rafael, who was nominated for EFL player of the month, came to the Royals rescue early in the half as Grabban sprinted towards goal and tried to round the Brazilian, but the keeper got a vital touch on the ball to push him wide before Moore cleared his lobbed effort off the line.

Tyler Blackett came a matter of inches away from putting Reading in front after he cut into the box and fired a low drive towards goal but agonisingly for the home side, it bounced off the far post.

Forest began to ride their luck to avoid conceding the first goal of the game as they scrambled the ball off the line after the ball fell to Morrison from a corner but he was denied from just a few yards out.

George Puscas returned from injury to replace Baldock just after the hour mark. He had his first effort at goal just a few minutes after coming into the action but his volley from just inside the box was comfortably caught by Samba.

Bowen’s next change saw Adam replaced by Jordan Obita. Ejaria then picked up a knock and was subsequently replaced by Andy Rinomohta in Reading’s final substitution of the match.

Ovie Ejaria v Forest. Pictures by Steve Smyth.

Forest won a corner deep into stoppage time, and looked to have snatched all three points in the fifth minute of added time as Ben Watson put the ball past Rafael.

But unbelievably the Royals broke down the other end and stole a point as Tobias Figueiredo inadvertently diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper at the near post. The points were shared in a manic final few minutes of an otherwise tightly contested match.

Reading have an away trip to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday evening against Blackpool in an FA Cup third-round replay before they travel to face Millwall in the league next Saturday.

Reading: Rafael, Gunter, Morrison, Moore, Blackett, Pele, Adam, Ejaria, Swift, Meite, Baldock.
Subs: Walker, Miazga, Rinomhota, Obita, McCleary, Loader, Puscas.

Forest: Samba, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, Worrall, Grabban, Watson, Cash, Ameobi, Sow, Silva, Rodriguez.
Subs: Smith, Jenkinson, Dawson, Yates, Lolley, Adomah, Mighten.

Goals: Watson 90+5, Figueiredo OG 90+7

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