Report from BrightonBrighton 1 (Vicente 36 (pen))
Reading 1 (Robson-Kanu 86)
Hal Robson-Kanu scored a late header to give Reading a draw against Brighton tonight, and it was the very least Brian McDermott's men deserved after putting in a positive performance on the south coast.
The Royals' play, in particular in the second half, was bright and incisive, and if Brighton had won would have been an unfair reflection of the game, especially considering the very soft nature of their first half penalty.
Brighton shaded the first 45 but only led through a spot kick; Michel Kuipers having saved very well early on to deny Pavel Pogrebnyak. Adam Federici then saved Craig Noone's long range effort, and although Albion had decent first half possession they were restricted to distant strikes.
The spot kick was soft to say the least - Ashley Barnes checking his run in front of Shaun Cummings and drawing a tiny hand in the back before going to ground. Although Adam Federici went the right way, Vicente's penalty was excellent. But with our Australian saving a penalty on this ground last season to help win us the League, there had been more important spot kicks on the south coast.
The second half saw Reading move up a couple of gears, and Adam Le Fondre was unlucky to see an effort deflected over, while Pogrebnyak was inches away from giving his strike partner a tap-in.
Garath McCleary's introduction at half time was also noteworthy, and the fact that it took sub 'keeper Alex McCarthy 13 minutes to have a single touch of the ball shows the way the game was flowing.
So it was fully deserved when Hal Robson-Kanu popped up at the back post to head home Cummings' excellent cross.
Noel Hunt could and probably should have won it in injury time with a header from Ian Harte's cross, but thanks to Robson-Kanu the performance was more fairly reflected in the scoreline.
Reading: Federici (McCarthy 60); Cummings, Harte, Gorkss, Pearce; Guthrie, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, McAnuff (McCleary HT); Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak (Hunt 76)
Subs: Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Tabb, Church
Attendance: 8,107 (194 away)