Reading twice came from behind twice to earn a draw at home to Derby County on Tuesday night. Two goals from Royals striker Adam Le Fondre cancelled out goals from Derby`s Theo Robinson and Tomas Cywka in a frantic second half at the Madejski Stadium.
Brian McDermott made two enforced changes to the team that beat Burnley last Saturday, with captain Jobi McAnuff and Jay Tabb departing for Burnley hero Jem Karacan and Jimmy Kebe, who himself has returned from a persistent knee injury.
It was the home side that made the better start to the game with very few chances , with a 50-yard surging run from midfielder Mikele Leigertwood the only half chance, scuffing his effort embarrassingly wide of Frank Fielding`s goal.
Reading continued to press the Derby goal for the first 15 minutes. Jimmy Kebe had a half-volley that went way wide before Church made a decent chance for himself getting between two Derby defenders but goalkeeper Fielding was equal to his effort.
The closest we came to a goal in the first 20 minutes was almost thanks to Mikele Leigertwood. Good link-up play between Simon Church and Adam Le Fondre teed up the stocky midfielder, who only just hit his effort over the crossbar.
Instead of the Rams coming back into it, the Royals continued to dominate with the goal their play deserved seemingly coming close. From a corner, Le Fondre connected well with a downwards header but England U21 keeper Frank Fielding pulled off a cracking stop to keep the game goal less.
An audacious Jamie Ward backheel was the only meaningful shot from the visitors in the first half, with the Royals obviously feeling aggrieved they weren`t going into the break with the lead. After some rather special half-time entertainment from former player Robbie Savage dancing alongside Ola Jordan, the game continued in the same vein of the first half.
Derby did manage to stem together a shot but not of any worry to Adam Federici`s untouched goal. Despite constant Royals pressure, it was the visitors who took a 59th minute lead at the Madejski stadium, thanks to striker Theo Robinson.
The Royals sloppily gave a free kick away of the left-hand side, which Ben Davies whipped in dangerously and Reading failed to clear the ball and it kindly fell to the feet of Robinson, who tucked it home through Federici`s legs to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.
Despite this goal, the home side found themselves on level terms six minutes later. Good play from Simon Church down the wing, led to Karacan keeping the ball alive and managing to find the feet of Adam Le Fondre whose superb shinned volley looped over Fielding to level the game.
Following that goal the Royals were now firmly in the ascendancy at the Madejski Stadium. Right back Shaun Cummings found himself on the edge of the box after Derby failed to clear but it was deflected away by the Rams defence.
Once again, against the run of play, Reading fell behind against Nigel Clough`s team. Left back Gary Roberts found space down the left and put an enticing ball into the Royals box, which Gorkss failed to meet and Tomas Cywka profited by sending the Rams fans into dreamland with a 2-1 lead.
Although this goal would seem to put to bed another Royals fightback, Le Fondre was there again to prove the doubters wrong. In similar fashion to Derby`s second, some decent play down the left led to Hal Robson-Kanu putting in a fantastic cross which Le Fondre met superbly to net his second and his team`s equaliser.
Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Mills, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Church, Le Fondre
Subs: McCarthy, Harte, Gunnarsson, Hunt, Manset
Derby: Fielding, Anderson, O`Brien, Shackell, Roberts, Hendrick, Davies, Bryson, Cywka, Ward, Robinson
Subs: Legzdins, Kilbane, Maguire, Doyle, Ball
Le Fondre 9