West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Reading: Late Baggies penalty cancels out Ejaria stunner

READING were denied their first away win of the season after Kenneth Zohore’s late penalty cancelled out Ovie Ejaria’s stunning opener.

Ejaria gave the Royals the lead in the 71st minute as he lashed the ball into the top corner from 20 yards.

But Ejaria would become the villain as a foolish challenge led to West Bromwich Albion being awarded an 88th minute penalty which was converted by Zohore.

West Brom began the game in the ascendancy and had an early penalty shout turned down as Furlong flew into the box from the right wing and went down too easily for the referee’s judgement under a challenge.

Matt Miazga then had to be alert in defence as he got his body in the way of Charlie Austin’s low driven shot.

Reading responded well after an early spell of pressure from the hosts to create some chances of their own. John Swift went close as his 25-yard free-kick was parried away by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone before Ovie Ejaria scuffed a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Matt Phillips snatched at a shot inside the box as he miscued the bouncing ball to send it a long way wide.

The lively Ejaria continued to look threatening and almost found an inch perfect pass to George Puscas in the box as he guided the ball with the outside of his boot towards the striker but overhit it by just a fraction.

Ejaria then had a chance at goal himself as he met Omar Richards pass before cutting inside on the left hand side of the box but fired his shot at Johnstone’s near post.

Puscas then had arguably the clearest cut chance of the half as he met a flick on from a corner but couldn’t react quickly enough to sort his feet out as it bounced off his shin and into the keeper’s arms.

The hosts started the better of the sides in the second half as Rafael was forced into action for the first time in the match. Charlie Austin got on the end of a cut back into the box but saw his shot excellently saved by the boot of Rafael before Michael Morrison cleared the danger.

The Baggies then had another claim for a spot kick turned away as Diangana advanced into the box and hit the deck after a tackle from Richards, but was denied by the referee.

But it was the Royals who took the lead in the 71st minute. Substitute Lucas Joao laid the ball off for Ejaria who took aim 20 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top left hand corner.

West Brom battled to find an equaliser but the Royals defence stayed resolute as Liam Moore threw his body in the way of Kenneth Zohore’s close range effort.

Ejaria lunged in on Krovinovic, leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty with just minutes remaining in the contest. Zohore sent Rafael the wrong way as he successfully converted the equaliser.

Reading face another away trip at the weekend as they face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Reading: Rafael, Richards, Morrison, Moore, Miazga, Yiadom, Pele, Swift (Adam 84), Ejaria, Boye (Joao 65), Puscas (Rinomhota 77)

Subs: Virginia, Rinomhota, Loader, McIntyre, Adam, Joao, Barrett.

West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs, Sawyers, Livermore (c), Phillips, Krovinovic, Diangana (Pereira 69), Austin (Zohore 76)

Subs: Zohore, Brunt, Pereira, Townsend, Edwards, Bond, O’Shea.

Andy Preston

Sports reporter for The Wokingham Paper. Sport Journalism graduate from the University of Brighton.

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