Insult erased in injury time

Reading 1 - Ipswich Town 1

For 90 minutes at the Madejski Stadium yesterday neither hard-working but wasteful Reading nor chance-spurning Ipswich could turn this into the top-of-the-table match as advertised. Then came all of the relevant action. Two goals in the last minute.

For 90 minutes at the Madejski Stadium yesterday neither hard-working but wasteful Reading nor chance-spurning Ipswich could turn this into the top-of-the-table match as advertised. Then came all of the relevant action. Two goals in the last minute.

In the worryingly important climb to reach the profitable heights of the Premiership, these are the occasions when one slip can prove costly. Steve Coppell, Reading's manager, thought that had occurred when Darren Bent struck a goal as the referee prepared to close the game, but even he admitted that a moment later he had not noticed his own Ivar Ingimarsson storm straight up the field to equalise. Ipswich's Joe Royle said: "I was devastated. It was quite a blow.''

The underlying theme of yesterday's game was the match between the wisdom and motivating powers of these two widely experienced managers. But there are many things for which a manager, however well journeyed, cannot account. Late goals, for one, but also outrageously impudent attempts on his goal. Coppell's side almost fell for that after only two minutes when Shefki Kuqi tried a dipping shot from 30 yards that dropped on to the crossbar.

Reading took 15 minutes to recover from the shock. At that point Nicky Forster and Lloyd Owusu led them on several hopeful attacks, but the player always most likely to take advantage was Glen Little, who at one point made a mockery of Ipswich's marking only to drive his shot into the hands of Kelvin Davis.

Little's frustration continued. His rasping cross-shot was deflected away by Davis as Reading piled on a series of unfulfilled attacks, including one in which Andy Hughes struck a shot against Davis and the ball was somehow scrambled away. At least Reading held possession moderately well, but the finishing from both sides was far below the standard you would expect of promotion prospects.

Owusu was particularly negligent and was replaced on the hour by Dean Morgan who joined Forster up front. It was around that time that the game swung to the other end where, at last, there was a shot of real power and accuracy. Bent made ground through midfield and fired a low drive that Marcus Hahnemann was relieved to feel bounce off his outstretched arm. Ipswich kept pressing: Ian Westlake clouted a shot into a clutch of defenders; Hahnemann pounced superbly to save Kuqi's header and Darren Currie chipped a speculative shot against the post.

The effort that Ipswich put in to all of this took its toll when Reading counter-attacked quickly. Little remained their most productive player and was fully involved in this surge. It resulted in Nicky Shorey heading powerfully but disappointingly close enough to Davis, who pushed it away.

But there was plenty left in this game. The 90th minute had come when Currie centred. The ball deflected to Bent, who cracked in what seemed like the winner. Not so. Reading tore up field. Appropriately it was Little who crossed and Reading's central defender Ingimarsson was there at the far post to whack in an equaliser that even took his manager by surprise.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future