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Match Reports

📰 Report | Incredible finale as Royals and Reds share spoils

Watson strikes late at Madejski but Reading reply

11 January 2020

Reading and Nottingham Forest played out 1-1 draw on Saturday - a game which saw both goals in the very last seconds of the game.

The Royals were every bit a match for their visitors – and went closest when Tyler Blackett struck the woodwork in the second period.

Ben Watson had the visitors ahead in the fifth added minute, looking like a heartbreak for the hosts.

But Jordan Obita's brilliant delivery was poked in just seconds later - an own-goal by Tobias Figueiredo - to earn a share of the spoils - a fascinating end to the game.

The Royals’ return to league action saw just one change from the side which beat Fulham on New Year’s Day, as Sam Baldock returned to lead the line in place of the injured Lucas João. George Pușcaș, meanwhile, returned from his shoulder injury to take a seat on the bench.

And it was the returning striker who posed the first threat when Yakou Méïté tried to slip him in behind; he attempted an early shot in a similar fashion to the one which brought him a goal last week against Blackpool, but had his effort blocked.

Then when Méïté won a free-kick wide on the right, John Swift’s wicked delivery was agonisingly out of reach for the onrushing attack. Michael Morrison closest to turning in, but relief for the Forest as it evaded everyone.


Forest’s first attack of note came down their right flank, after the quarter-hour mark – and in the first instance it needed a flying headed clearance by Liam Moore to repel Tiago Silva’s low cross, and then a critical block at the last by Charlie Adam to prevent Sammy Ameobi from slotting in.

Former Reading striker Lewis Grabban was next to chance his arm after a bout of head-tennis – the aerial rally ended when Méïté’s clearance found the Forest man on the edge of the area, but his volley ballooned up and over.

The two in-form sides were making it difficult for each other in the centre of the park; neither side having much joy in stringing together a succession of passes. Reading’s next opportunity came as Adam delivered an outswinging corner, which Morrison diverted over.

Swift’s free-kicks were causing havoc in the Forest box – and when Ovie Ejaria stole possession from Grabban, striker Baldock turned it round the corner and Méïté fired hard and low from a narrow angle, forcing a fine stop from Brice Samba as the deadlock remained.


Shortly before the break, there was a protracted stoppage as Swift put his body on the line for the Reading cause. Ameobi’s cut-back was intercepted and the midfielder swept away the loose ball – Silva crunched in late, and both players needed treatment. The Forest man was eventually booked.

Half-time | Reading 0-0 Nottingham Forest

It had been a stop-start first half - but the Royals came flying out of the blocks after the break and set off waves of attacks. Adam and Ejaria each had pop-shots blocked as the decibels rose at Madejski Stadium.

Reading could have been done on the counter when Grabban almost capitalised as Morrison's footing let him down - but Rafael was out to it quickly to paw away down low. The Forest man tried to flight in an early shot on the rebound but Liam Moore cleared off the line.


But it was the Royals who were firmly in the ascendency. A characteristic shimmy and shuffle by the advancing Tyler Blackett earned space, and with dummy runners swarming forward, Samba was stranded as the shot came in from the left... but back off the post.

The Reading fans in the South Stand were trying to suck the ball into the net, and nearly had a goal to celebrate when Morrison tried to squeeze in from less than six-yards, after a blocked Méïté shot had broken his way. But an incredible low stop by Samba kept the scores level.

Pușcaș was thrust into the thick of it just after the hour, and his first contribution was to hook an effort over his shoulder as it dropped out of the air. It was goal-bound but well fielded again by Samba.
Adam was withdrawn for Jordan Obita with 15 remaining; Adam's last action to draw yet another foul from Samba Sow, who somehow continued to evade the referee's notebook.
The third and final change was enforced, as Ejaria went down under a challenge couldn't continue. On came Andy Rinomhota for the last ten, with the game still goalless.
Reading could have had a match-winner late on as a lapse of concentration by Reds captain Ben Watson allowed Swift to scamper onto the ball. Driving from midfield, he eventually got to a shot away from the edge of the area but it was blocked away.
Watson had Forest ahead in the fifth added minute of the match; controversially so as the corner was contentious and then the ball appeared to be out of play before it was played in for the Forest man to score.
But Reading's character, again, shone through. Obita's brilliant delivery sought out Puscas, but it was defender Figueiredo who got his toe onto it and squirmed inside his goalie's near post. 1-1 - a point apiece.
Full-time | Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Reading: Rafael, Gunter, Morrison, Moore (c), Blackett, Pelé, Adam (Obita 76), Swift, Ejaria (Rinomhota 80), Méïté, Baldock (Puscas 63).
Unused subs: Walker, Miazga, McCleary, Loader.
Yellow: Swift, Meite, Rafael, Blackett.

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Ribeiro (Yates 69), Figueiredo, Worrall, Grabban, Watson (c), Cash, Ameobi, Sow, Silva (Lolley 69), Rodriguez (Jenkinson 87).

Unused subs: Smith, Adomah, Dawson, Mighten.
Yellow: Silva, Watson.

Attendance: 16,602 (2,073).

Referee: Mr D Whitestone

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