Championship
Reading1Nottm Forest1

Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly's injury-time header earned Reading a point and denied fellow Championship promotion-hopefuls Nottingham Forest a third win in a row.

The visitors deservedly led at the break through Greg Halford's header.

Halford and substitute Matt Derbyshire both wasted good opportunities to wrap up the points after the interval.

But the Reds failed to make their chances count and Kelly equalised when he met a Royston Drenthe free-kick in the fifth of six minutes of added time.

Kelly's late intervention at a rain-lashed Madejski Stadium means ninth-placed Reading remain just one point off the play-offs and keeps them to within five points of Forest, who stay fifth.

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Adam Le Fondre: Reading striker on Nottingham Forest draw

It was a bitter blow for Forest, who despite stretching their unbeaten sequence to seven games, are now 11 points adrift of Championship leaders Leicester.

The Royals had the first noteworthy chance of a quiet opening, but Billy Sharp was too slow to react against his former club and Jamaal Lascelles was able to recover from an error and clear the ball.

Having survived that scare Forest started to get on top, twice going close through long-range Jamie Paterson strikes.

Danny Guthrie did shoot just over for the hosts but Forest went ahead on 36 minutes when Reid swung over a free-kick from the left and Halford jumped highest to send a looping header in to the net - his third goal in as many games.

A Reading side lacking in confidence and cohesion struggled to respond with Henri Lansbury and Reid dominating the midfield for the visitors.

Forest should have increased their lead when Reid chipped a cross into the home area and Halford headed straight at keeper Alex McCarthy, and Paterson was also denied by a last-ditch block from Kelly at McCarthy's near post.

The pattern of away profligacy continued as Derbyshire, the matchwinner against Leeds in Forest's last game, twice sent shots wide when well placed.

But the points seemed secure as an Alex Pearce header from a Danny Guthrie corner was nodded off the line by Derbyshire in what seemed to be the home side's final chance.

However, Kelly came to the rescue for Reading, securing a draw and ending a run of three consecutive defeats.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"We've stopped the rot, we've stopped that losing trend. People can maybe now look at the positives and not the negatives, we've taken four points off a team who we expect to be at the top and challenging with us for promotion.

"We left it late but better late than never. We showed a lot of character to keep going, got back into it and were in the ascendancy at the end.

"If we can stay in the play-off race and get most of our injured players fit again, we'll have better opportunities in March and April."

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies:

"You can see just what we need and I've been saying that for a few weeks. The game should have been over, well and truly done.

We were just not clinical up front and we should have had a second goal, a third and a fourth - we've got to kill teams off.

"Nine tenths of our game was good, we just didn't defend in the last 10 seconds and it felt like a defeat. We may have got seven points from nine but it should have been more."

Line-ups

Reading

  • 21McCarthy
  • 2Gunter
  • 3Kelly
  • 23WilliamsBooked at 39mins
  • 5Pearce
  • 24CummingsSubstituted forTaylorat 82'minutes
  • 12McClearySubstituted forDrentheat 59'minutes
  • 20GuthrieBooked at 53mins
  • 14SharpSubstituted forLe Fondreat 59'minutesBooked at 63mins
  • 7PogrebnyakBooked at 90mins
  • 22Blackman

Substitutes

  • 1Federici
  • 9Le Fondre
  • 10Drenthe
  • 16Akpan
  • 25Taylor
  • 34Keown
  • 47Sweeney

Nottm Forest

  • 1Darlow
  • 18JaraBooked at 88mins
  • 2Lichaj
  • 10Lansbury
  • 16Lascelles
  • 25HobbsBooked at 65mins
  • 12MackieSubstituted forDerbyshireat 68'minutes
  • 11Reid
  • 15HalfordSubstituted forCoxat 68'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 7ChalobahSubstituted forGreeningat 81'minutes
  • 21Paterson

Substitutes

  • 3Harding
  • 14Greening
  • 27Derbyshire
  • 28Majewski
  • 29de Vries
  • 31Cox
  • 38Osborn
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
19,873

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home6
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 1, Nottingham Forest 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 1, Nottingham Forest 1.

Goal!

Goal! Reading 1, Nottingham Forest 1. Stephen Kelly (Reading) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Royston Drenthe with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest).

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

Booking

Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest).

Booking

Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Danny Guthrie (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Nick Blackman.

Attempt saved. Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gonzalo Jara.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Jake Taylor replaces Shaun Cummings.

Attempt missed. Royston Drenthe (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Guthrie.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Jonathan Greening replaces Nathaniel Chalobah.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Matt Derbyshire.

Attempt blocked. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

Attempt saved. Nick Blackman (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Danny Guthrie.

Attempt missed. Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Henri Lansbury.

Attempt saved. Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah.

Attempt missed. Matt Derbyshire (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jamie Paterson following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Simon Cox replaces Greg Halford.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Matt Derbyshire replaces Jamie Mackie.

Nathaniel Chalobah (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nick Blackman (Reading).

Booking

Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest).

Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Adam Le Fondre (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Reading).

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Chris Gunter.

Attempt blocked. Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Paterson.

Greg Halford (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Royston Drenthe replaces Garath McCleary.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Adam Le Fondre replaces Billy Sharp.

Attempt saved. Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie Paterson with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester2416351651
2Burnley2413831847
3QPR2413741246
4Derby2413561844
5Nottm Forest24101041040
6Ipswich24996936
7Brighton24996736
8Leeds241059735
9Reading24987235
10Blackburn24978234
11Wigan23968233
12Blackpool24888-432
13Huddersfield24879431
14Watford23797630
15Middlesbrough24798530
16Bournemouth248610-1030
17Birmingham24789129
18Bolton24699-527
19Charlton245910-824
20Sheff Wed234109-722
21Millwall245712-2322
22Doncaster245613-2321
23Yeovil234514-1817
24Barnsley243813-2117
View full Championship table

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