The Royals were denied victory at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night following Lee Tomlin's late equaliser, after Omar Richards had opened the scoring.
- Omar Richards scores first senior goal
- Forest have an early Brereton header ruled out for offside
- Forest denied by the woodwork and goal-saving block from Richards
- Tomlin fires in late to peg back to 1-1
The Royals started the game dominant in possession on Forest's turf, forcing the first chance just three minutes in. Leandro Bacuna lofted a pass over to former Forest man Chris Gunter on the right, who played first-time into the path of Chris Martin, whose effort sailed over the bar.
Forest had the ball in the net soon after, with Joe Lolley's ball finding Ben Brereton at the back post to nod home, but the assistant referee's flag was already up for offside in a let-off for the Royals.
Liam Kelly, playing in an advanced role, looked to link up with Martin at every opportunity going forward. The youngster threaded a ball through to a sprinting Martin into the Forest area, who cut across goal but it was cleared away by Jack Colback.
Gunter, who has already scored against his former side in a previous encounter, almost opened the scoring on the night as a Barrow cross was palmed out into his path. The full-back shot first time but Danny Fox intervened two yards out to put it behind for a corner.
The ball broke forward from the Forest back-line and the home side were on the break. Lee Tomlin picked it up in midfield and drove on towards goal, shooting from 20 yards out and drifting wide of Mannone's post.
The home side begun to exert pressure, with Brereton getting an effort away in the area, blocked by a blue and white shirt with Joe Lolley getting back into the area, aiming for the top corner but Mannone was level to it to catch.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Reading had the opener. Solid build-up play from the Royals saw Aluko play to Kelly, who in turn found Gunter on the overlap.
Gunter crossed deep and it was blocked into the path of Richards 15 yards out, who didn't hesitate as he powered high into the net to score his first ever senior goal.
Forest were keen to square proceedings before the half-time whistle, a Tomlin free-kick from 25 yards was curled around the wall and Mannone flew to his left-hand post to save and preserve the lead going into the break.
Half time | Nottingham Forest 0-1 Reading
The hosts started the second half as they finished the first to try and force the initiative while a goal behind, Lolley dancing and stumbling through the Royals' defence from close range, but his off-balance shot was tame and Mannone gathered.
With Forest piling on the pressure, the Royals had the woodwork to thank after Tendayi Darikwa's leathered shot rattled the crossbar. The ball soon found its way back into the area, with Richards making his presence felt at the other end with a goal-saving block on the line from Darikwa's follow-up.
Tomlin fired in a dangerous corner and Tobias Figueiredo glanced a header across goal and wide of the upright, the Royals steadfast in keeping the advantage on the hour mark.
Under pressure, though, the Royals broke with Bacuna skipping past his man on the right on the half-way line. He ran on with only the goalkeeper to beat, his effort was spilled but a hooped shirt was not there to bundle in the loose ball.
The game became more fraught as the home support raised the volume at the City Ground, with challenges flying in from both sides as the match opened up.
Osborn played a cross-field ball for substitute Matty Cash to receive, he cut inside and let fly, only for his effort to float into the higher rows of seats.
Reading's resistance was finally broken five minutes from time, the ball squared across to Tomlin to bury in the bottom corner from 12 yards to draw the hosts level.
Forest were buoyed by the home faithful and gunning hard for a second and certain winner, Cash shooting with power rather than accuracy from the right hand side of the area, Mannone holding well and the Royals returning home with a point.
Full time | Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Figueiredo, Osborn, Fox, Tomlin (Guediora 90), Brereton, Colback, Dowell (Cash 66), Lolley, Darikwa, Watson (c).
Subs: Kapino, Bridcutt, McKay, Fuentes, Bouchalkis.
Goals: Tomlin 85
Yellow: Osborn, Tomlin, Figueiredo
Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Ilori, Moore, Richards, Van den Berg (Evans 80), Bacuna, Kelly (Edwards 90+1), Barrow (McCleary 71), Aluko, Martin.
Subs: Jaakkola, Clement, Bodvarsson, Blackett.
Goals: Richards 36
Yellow: Richards, Gunter
Referee: Mr S Martin
Attendance: 21,846 (356 away)