Scrappy point secured at Blackpool
- Appiah makes full debut as one of four changes
- O'Hara scores early from penalty spot
- Hall og makes it 1-1, 30 seconds after HT
- Draw takes Royals 10 points clear of danger
The Royals had reaped the rewards of an early goal at home the previous weekend, but within the first five minutes they were behind at Blackpool. Zat Knight was penalised for a tug on the shirt of Gary Madine inside the box and Jamie O'Hara arrowed home from the spot.
A double change at the break had an immediate impact as Pavel Pogrebnyak embarked on a fantastic run down the left that led to a cut back to Yakubu whose shot eventually ricocheted in off Blackpool defender Grant Hall to make it 1-1.
Reading dominated the second half but couldn't find a winner, Pogrebnyak heading wide from close range and Mackie having a drive palmed wide by Joe Lewis. The point takes Steve Clarke's men ten points clear of the drop zone, with six league games left to play.
Blackpool: Lewis (Parish 73), Hall (Maher 49), Clarke (c), O'Dea, Dunne, O'Hara, Perkins, Cubero, Orlandi (Osayi-Samuel 78), Jacobs, Madine.
Subs: Ferguson, Oliver, Telford, Delfouneso.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Obita, Pearce (c), Knight, Norwood, Ake, McCleary (Mackie HT), Robson-Kanu, Appiah (Pogrebnyak HT), Yakubu (Cox 78).
Subs: Andersen, Cooper, Akpan, Karacan.
Yellow: McCleary, Gunter.
At the weekend, Reading scored after four minutes. After five minutes of the match this evening, Blackpool took the lead.
Zat Knight's backward header wasn't going to reach Adam Federici and the centre-half was penalised for a pull on the shirt of Gary Madine who had nipped onto the loose ball and was bearing down on goal. Referee Geoff Eltringham pointed to the spot and Jamie O'Hara made no mistake with his penalty.
Reading went on the offensive, crosses coming into the Blackpool box from the boots of McCleary, Yakubu and Gunter but Blackpool had an effort from the edge of the area well blocked as they played with a new-found freedom in search of a second.
An aerial ball forward from Ake found the chest of Appiah but the striker couldn't bring it down to get a shot away, then with 20 minutes played Michael Jacobs cut inside from the left and saw a right-footed shot blocked by the body of Knight.
Blackpool broke through David Perkins moments later, and had three on two, but Gunter did well to stop Perkins in his tracks before he could find a pass to players either side of him.
An excellent clearance from Norwood was enough to see off a dangerous O'Hara free kick under pressure at the far post, while McCleary's low driven cross at the other end was hacked clear of a crowded area.
Good work from Appiah on the left saw him win the ball and swing a ball back for McCleary who teed up Norwood on the edge of the box. His first shot was mis-hit, but the ball cannoned back to him and with the outside of his boot he arrowed over the bar with a second bite at the cherry.
Jacobs came close to making it 2-0 with a powerful shot from just outside the box that beat the dive of Federici but rippled the wide netting to the Royals' relief.
On the stroke of half-time, Reading almost levelled. Obita hooked a low cross into Yakubu who controlled the ball well and stabbed an effort goalwards only for Joe Lewis to cling onto it.
Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jamie Mackie replaced Appiah and McCleary at the interval and the change made an impact that couldn't have been more immediate. Within 30 seconds of the restart, Reading drew level.
Pogrebnyak turned his man, scampered down the left, got to the byline and toed a cross into the near post where Yakubu met it. It struck a Blackpool defender on the line, cannoned into Grant Hall and flew into the back of the net to see Steve Clarke's side restore parity.
Hall had to be withdrawn through injury after the equaliser, then Reading's other change Jamie Mackie forced Lewis into a good save, pulling the trigger from the edge of the area only for the Blackpool stopper to palm it away with a leap to his left.
Perkins curled a left-footed effort inches wide of the bottom left corner at the other end, but Reading were in the ascendancy and Pogrebnyak had a left-footed shot charged down inside the Blackpool box on the hour.
With ten minutes left on the clock a floated free kick found the head of Pearce, but the skipper couldn't direct his header back across the face of goal and instead it looped onto the roof of substitute goalkeeper Ell Parish's goal net.
Knight rose above his man to get a head to Norwood's late corner but the ball sailed over the bar, then at the other end Knight and Federici collided in trying to clear a good cross from the right. Federici recovered to mop up the loose ball before a Blackpool man could pounce.
Eight minutes of injury time were signalled and Mackie almost got on the end of an Ake throughball having sprung the Blackpool offside trap. Parish was on the edge of this area to hack it clear though.
Then Pogrebnyak nodded just wide after Knight had headed a free kick back into the middle from the back post, the Russian unable to find the target with his instinctive header on towards goal.