Report: All SquareReading 1 (Pearce 16)
Leicester City 1 (Drinkwater 33)
The Royals picked up a valuable point against league leaders Leicester on Monday evening, to edge back into the Championship play-off places.
Alex Pearce rose brilliantly to head home Jordan Obita's set piece and give his side a first half lead, before Danny Drinkwater lashed home a long range drive with Alex McCarthy unsighted in the Reading goal.
Pavel Pogrebnyak headed against the post shortly after the interval, whilst substitute Mikele Leigertwood saw red for two bookable offences late in the game - making it all the more impressive that Nigel Adkins' men held on - to set up an increasingly tense finish to the campaign.
Next stop - Wigan.
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Bridge, Pearce, Morrison, Hector, Williams (Leigertwood 63), Obita (Robson-Kanu 74), McCleary (Drenthe 84), McAnuff (C), Pogrebnyak
Subs: Federici, Kelly, Gorkss, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, Drenthe, Le Fondre
Booked: Leigertwood (foul 74)
Red Card: Leigertwood (two bookable offences 87)
Booked: De Laet (handball 68)
Referee: Mr S Hooper
Attendance: 20,072 (2,219)
After an uneventful series of opening exchanges, it was the visitors Leicester that had the ball in the net with ten minutes on the clock - but as Jamie Vardy bundled home from close range, he was denied by the assistant's flag.
That seemed to boost the increasingly lively Foxes, who fired just wide shortly afterwards as Richie De Laet prodded a corner kick narrowly off target.
But the Royals responded! Pavel Pogrebnyak won a free-kick, Jordan Obita whipped in a teasing cross - and a terrific header from Alex Pearce proved too much for Kasper Schmeichel. The centre half had plenty of work to do as the ball dropped to him under pressure from a number of City defenders, but his looping effort crept into the far post nonetheless.
In turn, that sparked the Royals into life - who piled some pressure on their opponents with a series of dangerous set pieces from Jordan Obita and Jobi McAnuff. Indeed one delivery was seemingly handled by midfielder Dean Hammond in the box, though away from the eyes of referee Mr Hooper.
On the half hour mark Garath McCleary did superbly to weave in from the right, before seeing his low cross bundled towards goal by McAnuff - which was well kicked away from goal by the prone Schmeichel.
Naturally City always posed an offensive threat - with Mahrez beating his man on the right and seeing a low effort well saved by McCarthy, and so the equaliser came in the 33rd minute. Danny Drinkwater smashed a daisy cutter towards goal from long range, and with the Reading 'keeper's view obstructed by a number of players, he remained motionless as the ball slammed into the net.
Wes Morgan then headed over after another dangerous corner kick, before McCleary bombing through on goal and being denied by Schmeichel. 1-1 at the interval perhaps a fair result.
Having come so close in the climax of the first half, Nigel Adkins' men came closer at the dawn of the second - with Pogrebnyak nodding McCleary's header towards goal, only to see it teasingly creep back off inside of the post.
Mikele Leigertwood was then reintroduced to Madejski Stadium action, following the withdrawal of Williams - who is still struggling with a knee injury.
At the other end McCarthy did brilliantly to stand up strong and deny Drinkwater, with the goalbound ball cannoning back of the Academy product's face and away from danger.
The Royals' crusade for all three points was hampered as substitute Leigertwood saw red for two bookable offences, the second a late tackle on the right wing.
Drinkwater lashed over another one of his sizzling drives in injury time, but the Royals saw it out for a valuable point against the league leaders - that propelled the men from Berkshire back into the play-offs.