Barnsley 1-1 Reading FT

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Chris O’Grady claimed his fifth goal of the season as Barnsley claimed a draw with much fancied Reading.

The former Sheffield Wednesday converted on 79 minutes to give under pressure David Flitcroft some breathing room.

Peter Ramage, on loan from Crystal Palace, was back into the Oakwell starting line-up after recovering from a back problem. Flitcroft also recalled Jason Scotland, the scorer of the consolation strike at the King Power Stadium, and Jacob Mellis.

Jean-Yves M’voto, Dale Jennings and Reuben Noble-Lazarus dropped out.

Barnsley, looking to avoid a fifth successive league defeat, created the first meaningful opportunity in the seventh minute when David Perkins let fly from just outside the area after good play from Paddy McCourt and David Fox but Alex McCarthy was equal to it.

Chris O’Grady seized on a woeful kick from McCarthy just before the quarter of an hour mark and he fed Scotland, making his 350th career league appearance, and his fierce drive was well held by McCarthy.

Scott Wiseman then flashed a dangerous ball across the six yard box as Barnsley continued to pile on the pressure.

Mellis and Scotland were both cautioned after clumsy tackles on Chris Gunter, with Reading forcing the Reds on the back foot.

The hosts nearly caught the Royals napping in the 27th minute after a rapid counter attack from Mellis.

He drove forward with pace and purpose and picked out Scotland, who dragged his effort well wide.

Barnsley could count themselves unlucky not to be ahead after dominating long spells of the first half. Another flowing move involving McCourt and Scotland led to David Fox, on his home debut, testing the reflexes of McCarthy.

O’Grady seized on a woeful kick from McCarthy just before the quarter of an hour mark and he fed Scotland, making his 350th career league appearance, and his fierce drive was well held by McCarthy.

Wiseman then flashed a dangerous ball across the six yard box as Barnsley continued to pile on the pressure.

McCourt almost opened the scoring on the stroke of half time. His shot, following a mazy run, deflected inches off target.

It didn’t take Barnsley long to get into their stride after the re-start, with Fox fizzing a shot narrowly wide.

Reading should have taken the lead in the 48th minute through Adam Le Fondre but the former Rotherham United striker was brilliantly denied by Jack Butland. He then blazed over his follow up effort.

Nigel Adkins side were not be denied and broke the deadlock courtesy of Hal Robson-Kanu, who, from long range, fired an unstoppable left foot shot past Butland.

Robson Kanu’s strike opened things up and McCarthy kept out McCourt’s drive.

It took a fine challenge from Alex Pearce to prevent Scotland from reaching the loose ball.

Flitcroft threw on Marcus Pedersen in place of Scotland with 25 minutes remaining and the Norwegian international nearly made an immediate impact. He turned smartly and unleashed a rasping right shot which McCarthy gathered at the second time of asking.

Moments later, Butland produced an acrobatic save to tip over Le Fondre’s piledriver. From the resulting corner, Sean Morrison rattled the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

They turned out to be crucial misses when O’Grady cooly slotted in his fifth goal of the season after Reading only half cleared Scott Wiseman’s cross.

In the dying minutes, Barnsley came close to claiming all three points with substitute Tomasz Cywka’s speculative strike forcing McCarthy into a fine save.

TEAMS:

Barnsley: Butland; Wiseman, Ramage, Cranie, Kennedy; McCourt, Perkins, Fox, McCourt; Scotland, O’Grady. Substitutes: Hassell, O’Brien, Dawson, Jennings, Cywka, Pedersen, Noble-Lazarus.

Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Kelly; Robson-Kanu, Guthrie, Baird, McCleary; Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak. Substitutes: Federici, McAnuff, Sharp, Akpan, Gorkss, Cummings, Obita.

Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire)