Reading took a step towards Championship survival with a 1-1 draw away at Bristol City despite being pegged back by a Josh Brownhill equaliser after Yakou Meite had given the Royals the lead.
A cleverly worked free-kick routine from the Royals was finished off by Meite to break the deadlock early in the second half but Brownhill headed in to equalise for the hosts as the spoils were shared.
Jose Gomes’ side now sit five points above the relegation zone with three games remaining having played earlier than their Championship rivals who are scheduled to play later today.
Bristol City made a fast start to the game as Royals captain Liam Moore put in a crucial block to prevent the hosts from making the perfect start.
In a half filled with chances for both sides, Meite came close to making a breakthrough as Adam Webster lost possession cheaply to the Reading striker whose driving shot from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar.
Meite continued to threaten Bristol and sped away from the defence and had a chance through on goal but he could only muster a scuffed shot which was saved comfortably by Max O’Leary.
Bristol City then enjoyed a wave of dangerous attacks as Emi Martinez had to make a smart save from Walsh before Matt Miazga made a heroic header off the line to block Brownhill’s curling goal bound effort. The ball then fell kindly for Jack Hunt but his volley fell inches wide of the far post as the sides went in level at the break.
Reading made an ideal start after the break as Meite broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half with his fifth goal in five games.
The Royals worked a free-kick routine smartly as Lewis Baker played a short pass before the ball was laid off for Andy Rinomhota who crossed for Meite to arrive at the near post and squeezed the ball past the goalkeeper.
City had to stay patient to work a good opportunity to equalise but they were eventually rewarded when Brownhill met substitute Niclas Eliasson’s cross to level the scores with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Reading then had a golden chance to snatch all three points in the 88th minute when substitutes Garath McCleary and Nelson Olivieira found themselves two on one against the Bristol defence.
McCleary slid through a perfectly weighted ball for Oliviera but the striker failed to capitalise on the chance and dragged his shot well wide as the visitors had to settle for a hard fought point.
With three league games to go, Reading host West Bromwich Albion at the Madejski Stadium on Easter Monday.
READING: Martinez, Gunter, Blackett, Moore, Miazga, Yiadom, Rinomhota, Baker, Ejaria (Mcintyre 73), Meite (Olivieria 64), Barrow (McCleary 73)
Subs not used: Baldock, Harriot, Walker, Loader.
Goals: Meite (48)
Attendance: 23,309 , 2,017 away.