Late drama as both sides keep cup dream aliveThe names of both Reading and Huddersfield Town will go into the hat for the FA Cup Fourth Round draw on Monday after a dramatic second half saw each side score twice to share the spoils at the John Smith's Stadium.
Jamie Paterson connected well with a header after Jason Davidson's cross from the left had picked out Paterson in the middle, but with 20 minutes left Matej Vydra brought down a direct ball from the back, cut inside from the left and saw his deflected shot sail past Joe Murphy and into the back of the Terriers' net.
Reading took the lead with four minutes left, thanks to Hal Robson-Kanu's passed finish into the bottom left corner, but in injury time Harry Bunn won a penalty which Nahki Wells converted to earn the Terriers a replay at Madejski Stadium, set provisionally for the evening of Tuesday 19th January.
Royals boss Brian McDermott made three changes to the side that nicked a 1-0 home win over Bristol City last weekend, two of which were enforced. Garath McCleary started in place of the departed Nick Blackman, Anton Ferdinand stepped in for the injured Paul McShane, while Hal Robson-Kanu started up front with Orlando Sa dropping to a bench which also included Simon Cox, Alex Fernandez and Paulo Hurtado.
The first shot at goal came from a Huddersfield boot, Harry Bunn cutting onto his left boot and testing Ali Al Habsi's handling with a low drive that bounced up just in front of the Omani international, but the Royals stopper gathering it into his chest without fuss.
Town had started much the brighter side and Joe Lolley forced Al Habsi to push a powerful effort from the left side of the area wide of the target and Scannell's attempts to recycle it on the right came to nothing.
McCleary made progress down the right and he squared the ball to Hal Robson-Kanu in a central position, who pulled the trigger only for a half-block to take the sting out of the shot on its way through to Joe Murphy in the Huddersfield goal.
Great work from Robson-Kanu on the left saw him spin past two on half way and race down the left. He crossed looking to pick out McCleary in the middle but a striped shirt got to it first, heading clear of the Terriers' area.
Wells saw his first glimpse of goal after quarter of an hour, receiving the ball after a neat exchange of passes on the edge of Reading's area before placing a shot on target but straight at Al Habsi.
Moments later at the other end, Reading came close. Quinn found McCleary in a central position and after turning he threaded a lovely ball through the Town back line and into the feet of Vydra. He dug it out from between his feet, inadvertenty took it past Murphy but couldn't turn it it from an impossible angle and his sliding cut back was hacked clear from inside the six yard box.
With half an hour gone, Taylor did well to head a cross over his own crossbar with Scannell lurking in the middle. Then at the other end Norwood's floated free kick was claimed by Murphy after Robson-Kanu had been clipped by Mark Hudson 25 yards out.
Jason Davidson found himself in an advanced position towards the end of the first half and he forced a good low save from Al Habsi with a left-footed drive towards the bottom left corner. And the final chance of the first period fell to Wells when a surging run from Bunn down the right was sidefooted goalwards by the striker only for Al Habsi to save comfortably in the centre of his goal.
Half-time: Huddersfield 0 Reading 0
Reading began the second half well with McCleary first looking to feed the overlapping Gunter down the right, then the winger winning a free kick on the same flank.
Taylor was at the near post to turn a low cross behind after Harry Bunn had weaved his way to the byline down the left.
But Huddersfield took the lead with a header from Jamie Paterson, who directed Jason Davidson's cross from the left beyond the reach of Al Habsi and into the bottom left corner of the goal to give the home side the lead ten minutes into the second half.
With their tails up, Town looked for a second to secure their route into the Fourth Round and they appealed for a penalty when Al Habsi slid in at the feet of Wells who took a tumble inside the area. But instead referee Jeremy Simpson booked the Town striker for diving.
And the Royals were back in it with 20 minutes to go when Vydra scampered onto a ball from the back. Bringing it down well with his first touch, he cut inside from the left side of the box to aim a left-footed effort at goal and, via a deflection, the ball looped over Murphy and inside the right post for 1-1.
The home side looked to respond and Bunn arrowed an effort over the bar after a break down the right had seen him teed up just inside the Royals box. Reading themselves were looking for a winner though and Lucas Piazon had half a shout for a penalty turned down as he chested the ball into the box only to be bundled over.
Al Habsi did well to tip a Davidson header over his bar with a quarter of an hour left in the tie, then Williams won a corner at the other end as both teams sought a winner.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Vydra was denied a penalty when he was pushed to ground inside the box running onto a Piazon pass inside from the left, the ball fell to Robson-Kanu who drove a powerful effort at goal only to be denied by a brilliant point blank range save from Murphy.
And Reading were looking the more likely to snatch a victory when good work between Gunter and Piazon saw the ball find the feet of McCleary, who cut inside onto his left boot but arrowed agonisingly over.
With four minutes left, Reading took the lead. McCleary found Piazon's run into the box and the Brazilian rode a challenge before passing the ball back to Robson-Kanu 12 yards out. He took a touch and then directed a shot towards the bottom left corner which Murphy could only fingertip onto the inside of his post and in.
Ishmael Miller was thrown into the fray with a couple of minutes left in the tie, moments after a good sprawling save from Al Habsi had turned Wells' header around the post.
And in the second of five minutes of injury time, Huddersfield kept themselves in the cup when Wells converted from the spot after Bunn had wriggled his way into the box from the left and tumbled over Norwood's outstretched leg to win a last gasp penalty.
Both teams go into the hat for the Fourth Round after a dramatic second half saw the cup tie end all square.
Full-time: Huddersfield 2 Reading 2
Huddersfield Town: Murphy, Smith (Dempsey 27), Davidson (Miller 88), Hudson (c), Hogg, Scannell (Husband 82), Bunn, Paterson, Lolley, Lynch, Wells.
Subs: Allinson, Miller, Cranie, Holmes, Billing.
Yellow: Hogg, Wells.
Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Taylor, Ferdinand, Cooper, Norwood (c), Williams, Quinn (Piazon 69), McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Vydra.
Subs: Bond, Keown, Fernandez, Hurtado, Cox, Sa.
Referee: Mr Jeremy Simpson