The Royals were denied their first win of the league season when Sheffield Wednesday substitute Modou Sougou scored a last minute equaliser to earn a share of the spoils at Hillsborough this evening.
The main team news on the night was the inclusion of Aaron Tshibola in midfield and a first league start in a Royals shirt for left-back Andrew Taylor. Jordan Obita and Nick Blackman both had a place on the bench alongside Tariqe Fosu who made his return to the first team squad, having recovered from a knock he picked up late in pre-season.
After just three minutes it was Sheffield Wednesday who created the first clear cut chance of the evening, when Silva Lopes Matias had his shot deflected wide by a last ditch Tshibola tackle.
Despite Wednesday’s early chance, the Royals soon settled into the game enjoying the majority of possession in the opening 20 minutes. Before long the visitors had their first effort, coming courtesy of Oliver Norwood. Danny Williams was bought down mid-way inside the Owls half and Norwood’s set piece strike from range flew narrowly over the opposition crossbar.
A couple of minutes later and it was Chris Gunter’s turn to come close. After some impressive combination play down the right side with Williams, the Welshman cut inside onto his left foot, but saw his shot from the edge of the Wednesday penalty area sail over the bar.
As the half wore on the Royals intensified the pressure, winning a succession of corners. The Wednesday defense stood firm however, frustrating Reading and ensuring the scores were level as the two sides headed into the break.
Half-time: Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Reading
Reading were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half and in the opening minute Owls keeper Lewis Price spilled Orlando Sa’s shot from range but Hal Robson-Kanu was unable to steer the rebound on target.
Two minutes later and the Royals were ahead. Sa picked up the ball on the left of the Wednesday box and ran at the Sheffield defence, his ball across the area found Williams, whose powerful strike rocketed past Price leaving the keeper with no chance and handing Reading a deserved lead.
After the goal it was clear the Royals were the side in the ascendancy, nearly doubling their lead from a corner in the 52nd minute. A wicked delivery from Norwood picked out Sa at the back post, but his headed effort was scrambled off the line and clear.
After just over an hour Reading were again testing Owls goalkeeper Price. The Royals won a free kick 25 yards from the Wednesday goal when Sa was bought down after a swift counter attack. Norwood again stepped up but was denied by Price, the midfielder forcing the keeper into a good save down to his left.
Jonathan Bond was called into action mid-way through the second half when Matias’ deflected shot threatened to catch out the keeper, but the Royals stopper adjusted well to dive on the ball.
But Reading were controlling proceedings...until the last minute of the ninety. A deep cross from the left wasn't gathered cleanly by Bond at his far post and substitute Sougou pounce, driving the loose ball into the open net to level.
It was so harsh on a Royals side who had totally bossed the second half at Hillsborough, but they leave Yorkshire with their first away point on the board.
Full-time: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Reading 1
Sheffield Wednesday starting XI: Price, Hunt, Lees, Loovens(c) (Sasso 33), Wiggins, López, Sánchez, Hutchinson, Wallace, McGugan (Sougou 57), Silva Lopes Matias (Bus 82), Satos Joao.
Unused Subs: Wildsmith, Semedo, Helan, Lee,
Reading starting XI: Bond, Gunter, Taylor (Obita 76), McShane (c), Ferdinand, Norwood, Williams, Quinn, Tshibola, Robson-Kanu (Hector 84), Sa (Blackman 84)
Unused Subs: Al-Habsi, Cox, Fosu, Stacey.