Reading 1 Wolves 1: Miller slows Reading's march to century target

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The Independent Football

By David Instone, at the Madejski Stadium

There is no such thing as the nervous nineties when teams are as far clear as Reading. For now, though, they are advancing in the singles towards a century of points this season after a worthy second-half Wolverhampton revival restricted them to a second successive draw.

Kenny Miller's equaliser came from one of six presentable chances Glenn Hoddle's side created after the break, in sharp contrast to a first half in which Bobby Convey's goal barely reflected the gulf between the teams. "For large periods, we were on top and just couldn't get that vital second goal,'' said the Reading manager, Steve Coppell. "But Wolves looked very incisive at the end and we had to defend well.''

Wolves were reminded in the match programme that England's cricketers were one down in the Ashes when a visiting side last won at the Madejski Stadium. And the freedom that has swept Reading so close to the Premiership was evident as Stefan Postma saved well from John Oster and Convey before the American beat him emphatically in the 24th minute. Lee Naylor appeared to be pushed in the build-up and Oster capitalised with an excellent pull-back that was lashed home left-footed from eight yards.

Coppell gave Convey a different role just behind his strikers and the winger demanded two more saves after Ivar Ingimarsson, Ibrahima Sonko and Kevin Doyle were just off target. With Postma also producing a desperate grab on the line, when his clearance struck Dave Kitson and looped goalwards, there was little hint of a comeback, although Jérémie Aliadière had earlier netted superbly from an offside position.

But Wolves, for whom Mark Davies was denied by a Graeme Murty clearance near the line, hit back hard and they are again pushing for the play-offs, unbeaten in eight matches following Miller's 64th-minute strike.

Tomasz Frankowski, having brought a push-over from Marcus Hahnemann, was well tackled in the area by Ingimarsson, only for the ball to break for Miller to drive home from 15 yards. Hahnemann preserved Reading's proud home record when Aliadière was played clear by Frankowski. "I wanted it to go on another 10 minutes," said Hoddle. "I'm delighted how we turned our performance round.''

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