Reading were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon, with Yakou Meite’s second-half strike cancelling out Tom Holmes’ earlier own goal.
It took a little while for either side to get out of first gear on a chilly afternoon on Trentside. Reading saw plenty of the ball in and around the area, but were unable to unlock the Reds’ defence despite two dangerous crosses from the right.
It was in fact Forest who were presented with the game’s first real chance. Shortly after Filip Krovinovic registered their first shot on target with a curling attempt, Glenn Murray came close to breaking the deadlock, but Rafael did well to claw his flicked effort away at the front post.
Forest had to be wary of Lucas Joao, though, with the Royals’ leading goalscorer looking to add to his ever-growing tally of 21 goals this season. On 25 minutes, he used his physical prowess to full effect, showing good footwork and dancing into the area before firing an effort straight at Brice Samba.
The game was starting to open up at this point, and Forest came close to finding the opening goal once again. Joe Lolley drove in from the left before curling a wicked effort just wide of the far post. The winger was looking lively in these opening stages, but shortly before the half-hour mark, his afternoon ended in disappointing fashion as he pulled up with a hamstring injury. He eventually hobbled off the field, before being replaced by Anthony Knockaert.
Knockaert’s first involvement saw him give the ball away cheaply, before a comical backpass from Tobias Figueiredo gifted Reading with a corner. A low delivery was driven in from that corner with Joao on the receiving end, but the striker could only miscue his effort on two occasions as it remained goalless.
The half-time whistle blew to mark the end of the half which had been lacking quality overall, but Forest were to start the second half in perfect style.
A good ball down the right by James Garner found Sammy Ameobi, who used all of his pace and strength to burst past Omar Richards before pulling the ball across the face of goal. Amid pressure from Glenn Murray, Tom Holmes was helpless as he diverted the ball into his own net to give Forest a 1-0 lead.
Reading were presented with a golden opportunity to level the scores immediately, though. Josh Laurent slipped the ball through to George Puscas, but the Romanian lacked any sort of composure and lashed an effort high and wide from nine yards.
It was then Forest’s turn to try and find a second goal. Cyrus Christie threatened with a left-footed effort from 20 yards which flew just past the far post, before Rafael denied Ameobi with a wonderful save after the winger fired an effort across goal from 25 yards.
Reading went in search of an equaliser and added another attacker to the mix on the hour mark, with Yakou Meite replacing Alfa Semedo. Meite nearly made an instant impact, but couldn’t connect with Puscas’ cut-back and miscued an effort on the penalty spot.
Soon after, the dangerous Michael Olise drifted in from the right and danced his way into the area, before dragging a shot wide of the near post.
Reading were creeping back into the contest, though, with Hughton looking to go for the kill by replacing Murray with the returning Lewis Grabban in the 71st minute. The visitors continued to threaten, though, with Andy Yiadom hitting the post from a tight angle at close-range.
Yiadom was to almost turn provider moments later, lifting a cross up towards the back post before Joao rose highest to powerfully head over the crossbar.
But the Royals weren’t to waste another big opportunity, as they found an equaliser on 81 minutes.
Joao held up play on the halfway line before spotting the diagonal run of Meite, with the powerful forward taking one touch out of his feet before firing low and beyond Samba to put Reading on level terms, and deservedly so.
The Royals didn’t plan on stopping there, either, buoyed on by the lively Paunovic on the sidelines as Tom Holmes headed into the side-netting at the back post.
Three minutes were added on at the end of a much more entertaining half, with Olise failing to make the most of a free-kick in a good position, floating an effort over from 20 yards. Joao was then denied with an excellent block in the dying embers of the contest, but the spoils were shared at the City Ground.
The full-time whistle blew, met with cries of frustration from the Reading players after wasting glorious opportunities in the second half. The Royals had plenty of chances to score even before their equaliser, but leave the East Midlands with a point and having seen their winning run come to an end.