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.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?