Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

Lex Immers

Lex Immers comes close to giving Cardiff an early lead

Cardiff City fought back to snatch a point at Reading and maintain their Championship promotion aspirations.

Garath McCleary, who came off the bench to replace Hal Robson-Kanu, put Reading ahead with a fine first-half volley.

However, Cardiff hit back in the second period when Lex Immers converted a header after fine work by Sammy Ameobi.

Cardiff remain seventh in the table, three points off the play-off places, while Reading slipped to 17th, eight points above the drop zone.

Robson-Kanu’s thigh injury soured the afternoon for the hosts and Wales, who have two international friendlies this week.

Brian McDermott<!–

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Brian McDermott on Reading v Cardiff

In a first period where both sides matched each other shot for shot, Cardiff paid the price for a failure to convert their chances.

The Bluebirds were initially in the ascendancy, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping prevented them from taking the lead.

A mix-up in the eighth minute saw Anthony Pilkington pinch the ball off the toes of Tom Lawrence as he shaped to shoot, before Immers almost turned home from close range.

The hosts grew in confidence as Cardiff continued to squander their best moments and Craig Noone rattled the crossbar with a first-half header.

Reading took the lead when replacement McCleary chested the ball down and fired through a crowd after five minutes of sustained Royals pressure.

Stuart O'Keefe<!–

Stuart O’Keefe shoots for Cardiff

It was tough on Cardiff’s stand-in goalkeeper Simon Moore who had done brilliantly to maintain parity when he denied Yann Kermogant a one-on-one after Ola John’s through ball.

John was pulling the strings for Cardiff and missed an excellent chance on the stroke of half-time to double the Royals advantage, missing the target when he dragged his effort wide.

The hosts stayed on the front foot after the interval, with ex-Cardiff man Andrew Taylor almost on the scoresheet.

However, the introduction of substitute Ameobi paid instant dividends for Cardiff, the on-loan Newcastle man wriggling free and teeing up Immers who finished from close range with a header.

Both sides finished the contest looking to find a winner, Reading dominating possession and Cardiff a threat on the counter-attack.

Reading are now 12 games without a win against Cardiff in the league.

Reading manager Brian McDermott: “I just can’t believe the referee has missed the Ameobi handball for Cardiff’s goal.

“It’s a nailed-on handball. He nearly caught it. You’ve got to see that, it was a big decision.

“The margins are very small and you need the officials to get things right at the big moments. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen today.

“The reaction was good from the players (after the 1-0 midweek defeat at Brighton) and we felt that we deserved to win this game.”

Cardiff manager Russell Slade: “Lex has been terrific. He’s contributed in terms of scoring but also in terms of performance and the energy he gives us.

“He’s fitted in really well and his understanding of what is required as an individual and collectively is very good.

“We looked a bit fragile at the back at times but started to grab hold of the game in the second half.

“We got level and I thought we managed the game a lot better than we had done.”

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