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05:09 18th July 2014

Murray strike earns Royals a point

A late equaliser from Glenn Murray rescued Reading a vital point in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals took the lead on 19 minutes as Michael Hector netted his first goal from the club with a thumping header.

Wolves responded quickly in the second-half, completing a quick turnaround courtesy of ex-Reading Midfielder James Henry and Evans, before Jake Taylor equalised for the hosts.

Substitute Dave Edwards looked to have sealed a win for the visitors late on as his flicked header crept over the line, but Murray's superb strike from outside the box two minutes from time snatched a draw back for the hosts.

A superb game for the neutral that perhaps will have tempted a few viewers over from the Ryder Cup coverage!

Reading: Federici, Gunter (C), Obita, Hector, Pearce, Akpan (Guthrie 46), Norwood, Taylor (Kuhl 72), Blackman, Cox (Mackie 66), Murray
Subs not used: Andersen, Long, Cooper, Porgrebnyak

Booked: Taylor (44), Guthrie (63)

Wolves: Ikeme; Doherty, Batth (c), Stearman, Golbourne; McDonald, Evans, Henry (van La Parra 77), Saville (Edwards 76), Sako, Clarke (McAlinden 86).
Subs not used: McCarey, Rowe, Ebanks-Landell, Jacobs.

Booked: Stearman (65), Edwards (89)

Referee: Mr J. Adcock

Attendance: 17,454 (1,784)

First Half

Manager Nigel Adkins made two changes following the Royals' last league game, as Adam Federici and Hector entered the starting 11 for the televised clash against Wolves.

Meanwhile, the visitors had two familiar faces in their side with former Reading defender Scott Golbourne and midfielder Henry both starting for Kenny Jackett's men.

After a slow start to the game, it was Wolves who created the first chance on five minutes as Richard Stearman picked out a fine ball to George Saville, but the midfielder was fantastically denied by Federici's out-stretched leg.

Reading's first few opportunities came after 13 minutes as Jordan Obita's free-kick was headed wide by Simon Cox, before the striker was in the thick of the action again lashing his shot from out wide into the side netting.

The Royals' pressure soon paid off on 19 minutes as a superbly timed cross from Oliver Norwood was lethally headed home by Hector for his first goal for the club, giving Wolves' shot-stopper Carl Ikeme no chance.

Adkins' men were growing in confidence, with the in-form Murray then trying his luck from 25 yards as his shot whistled wide, before some lovely build-up play from our side ended with Ikeme comfortably saving from a Hope Akpan effort. 

With the first-half coming to an end, despite Wolves beginning the game brightly, Reading would have felt more than happy following their dominant play.

Second Half

The second-half exploded into life, starting with a speculative 30 yard effort from Norwood which swerved and dipped just over the bar, almost causing Ikeme problems.

Despite a strong start from the Royals after the break, Wolves equalised on 51 minutes against the run of play, as former Reading midfielder Henry fired home at the back post following a delightful Bakary Sako charge and cross down the wing.

The away side completed a remarkable quick turnaround just moments later, as Obita's failed clearance landed into the path of Evans who drilled his shot past Federici with ease.

Nevertheless, Reading didn't let their heads drop and immediately responded in the 55th minute as Cox ran at the Wolves defense before slotting the unmarked Jake Taylor through on goal, who finished cooly.

Wolves almost regained the lead 10 minutes later, as Henry's floated free-kick was flicked narrowly wide by Leon Clarke.

on 84 minutes, the visitors managed to get themselves back in front after Edwards' header from a corner was bundled just inches over the line as they looked to have stolen all three points.

However, there was still more drama to follow, as Murray's deflected effort from the edge of the area found its way past the helpless Ikeme, ending a very entertaining afternoon at the the Madejski Stadium in front of the Sky cameras.