Healy spares Leeds' blushes

Reading 1 Leeds Utd 1
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The Independent Football

Steve Coppell, their phlegmatic manager, was totally under whelmed by both the record and the prospect of facing Arsenal. "I'm only interested in our performance today and it was excellent," he said, which slightly overlooked the fact that Reading went to sleep in the last half-hour and Leeds capitalised.

In recent years Reading fans have got used to unfulfilled promise, but this season's impressive flow of games without defeat had been extended in midweek with a Carling Cup victory over the Championship leaders, Sheffield United, and here was an opportunity to further optimism by taking on another of the table's top four.

At the outset it seemed that they would dispose of Leeds without difficulty. However, every time they offered up a threatening centre, that threat expired on the brow of Dave Kitson. That also negated energetic midfield work from James Harper and Glen Little.

The pummelling of the Leeds defence continued into the second half with frustrating results for Reading. Even when a shrewd pass from Kitson left Kevin Doyle free to shoot, Neil Sullivan made a sturdy block to keep Reading out. In the 62nd minute, however, Brynjar Gunnarsson swivelled to drive in a shot from Bobby Convey's corner.

That seemed the finish for Leeds, but Reading's defence lapsed in the 75th minute. Ivar Ingimarsson gave the ball away. Leeds substitute David Healy hit a shot that clipped the doubly unfortunate Ingimarsson's heel and went under Marcus Hahnemann's body to equalise.

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