Reading 1 (Kozluk og 89)
Barnsley 2 (Bogdanovic 56, 90 (pen))
An injury time penalty from Alex Bogdanovic put Barnsley through to the third round of the Carling Cup, despite the Royals equalising with just a minute to go.
The game appeared to be heading for extra-time after an own goal by Rob Kozluk cancelled out Bogdanovic's 57th minute strike, but when Alex Pearce brought down Kayode Odejayi in time added on, Bogdanovic stepped up and coolly converted the spot kick to send the away fans into raptures, and condemn the Royals to defeat.
Reading had found visiting goalkeeper Luke Steele in fabulous form, one save in particular from Noel Hunt right from the top drawer. Michail Antonio came on for his Reading debut in the second half and did his level best, but we were unable to turn possession into goals.
Reading (4-3-3): Hamer; Kelly (Hunt 70), Bertrand (Tabb HT), Gunnarsson, Pearce (c); Harper, Matejovsky, Davies; Henry, Bignall (Antonio 55), Mooney
Subs: Andersen, Mills, Sigurdsson, Robson-Kanu.
Barnsley: (4-4-2): Steele; El Haimour, Kozluk, Foster (c), Potter; Colace (Butterfield 89), Hallfredsson, Bogdanovic, Campbell-Ryce (Anderson 77); Macken, Odejayi
Subs: Preece, Devaney, Noble-Lazarus, Hammill, Hume
Yellow: El Haimour, Foster
Ref: G Horwood
Reading made nine changes from the side that faced Sheffield United on Saturday, with several experienced players getting a run out - Bynjar Gunnarsson and James Harper both got chances to impress Brendan Rodgers, whilst Julian Kelly made his first appearance of the season, having recovered from an ankle injury.
The visitors made six changes of their own and fielded three strikers - Jon Macken, Daniel Bogdanovic and Kayode Odejayi - in a very attacking line-up.
Reading controlled possession for much of the first half, but when Kelly misjudged a ball played back from midfield, Bogdanovic stole in and created a great chance. The Maltese international comfortably played in the on-rushing Macken, but with only the keeper to beat, the striker somehow managed to chip onto the roof of net, letting the hosts off the hook.
Macken did at least test Hamer ten minutes later, but after winning the ball on the edge of the area, the English-born Irish International shot straight at the young stopper.
Barnsley continued to spurn chances - Odejayi sending a free header wide from a Macken cross, before the Nigerian took advantage of a mismatch with Ryan Bertrand to muscle the left-back off the ball in the Royals' box, only to fire over the bar when he should have found the target.
A real opportunity for the Royals came on 35 minutes; Nicholas Bignall - who played so well in the victory over Burton in the last round - played a ball in behind the Tykes' defence, putting James Henry through on goal, but the winger opted to take the ball round Luke Steele rather than chip for goal, and in the end the angle was too tight, with the Barnsley keeper clearing the danger.
Minutes later Steele was called in action again, and the former Manchester United youngster did well to block David Mooney's effort, after a great through ball by Matejovsky.
Despite the Royals coming back into the game, Odejayi had the chance to put visitors into the lead just before the break, but thankfully for Brendan Rodgers' side, the forward could only head wide from Hugo Colace's free kick - the teams going into the interval all square.
Rodgers made a change at the start of the second period , giving Bertrand a rest and employing Jay Tabb at left back - and the Royals started brightly.
A decent cross by Mooney was well cut out in the six yard box by Mounir El Haimour, with Henry lurking behind, before Scott Davies unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards that went inches over the visitors' bar.
Yet just when it seemed that Reading were getting the upper hand, Barnsley changed the momentum by taking one of their chances. Bogdanovic stole in, rounded the keeper and fired the visitors in front.
Now having to chase the game, Reading continued to push forward. As the game entered its final 15 minutes, the Royals seemed to up the tempo and pile on the pressure, with substitute Noel Hunt twice being denied by the uncompromising Steele.
The Irishman's first effort was straight at the Tykes keeper, and after Henry forced Steele into a better save from a free-kick, the stopper produced the best of the lot to turn Hunt's low drive around the post.
It seemed like Reading's pressure would go unrewarded, but with just seconds left in normal time, a stroke of good fortune gave Reading the equaliser they had strived for.
Initially it looked like Barnsley would survive, with Steele producing another good save from Henry's close range shot, but the danger was not fully cleared and a teasing ball back into the box by Davies caused panic in the visitors defence, and in an attempt to head the ball away, full-back Rob Kozluk succeded only in directing the ball past his flat-footed keeper and into the back of the net.
As the clock ticked over into injury time, it was the Royals who were pressing forward in search of a winner, but just when it seemed like extra time was looming, the Tykes broke away and with it, broke the Reading fans' hearts.
Macken slid the ball deftly into the path of Odejayi in the box, and the big man went down under pressure from Alex Pearce, leaving referee Horwood little option but to award a penalty, which Bogdanovic duly converted for his second of the game - snatching a win for the visitors, and putting them into the next round.