In the battle of the two Thai-owned Championship clubs, Wednesday snatched an unlikely, undeserved point in the closing stages.
Danny Williams’ well taken 49th minute strike appeared to have sentenced the Owls to back-to-back league defeats.
But substitute Modou Sougou rescued Carlos Carvalhal’s side in added on time, firing home after Jonathan Bond made a hash of dealing with Rhoys Wiggins’ high, looping delivery.
Watched on by Milan Mandaric for the first time since he stepped down as chairman in March, Wednesday produced a lacklustre performance and can count themselves fortunate to have earned a share of the spoils. Had Reading been more precise with their finishing, they could have been out of sight.
Owls chief Dejphon Chansiri said he wanted attacking, aggressive and entertaining football after appointing Carlos Carvalhal. On this evidence, there is a still a lot more work to be done to turn Wednesday into genuine promotion candidates.
Just as they did at Ipswich Town, Wednesday had plenty of possession but struggled to break down a well organised Reading defence, marshalled superbly by the oustanding Paul McShane.
Without the injured Keiren Westwood, who took a blow to his kidney area in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town, Carvalhal preferred experience over youth in between the sticks, giving Lewis Price his Owls debut. The Welsh international recently resumed first-team training, having had his appendix removed. So promising shot-stopper Joe Wildsmith had to settle for a place on the bench.
Carvalhal also tinkered with his back four, bringing in Wiggins at left-back at the expense of Jeremy Helan.
The hosts made a bright start, with Marco Matias, chasing his first goal in Owls colours, seeing his volley deflected over after a good run and cross by Jack Hunt.
Right-back Hunt, on a season long-loan deal from Crystal Palace, featured prominently as the majority of the hosts best attacking moves came down the right.
Since moving to Hillsborough over the summer, Hunt and Ross Wallace have linked up well together, forming a promising partnership. Wallace who fed Lewis McGugan in the sixth minute but the midfielder’s weak left foot drive was comfortably gathered by Jonathan Bond.
As the first half wore on and the rain started to fall more heavily, Reading grew in confidence and enjoyed a good spell. Oliver Norwood’s ambitious free-kick f flew inches off target after Sam Hutchinson clumsily bundled over Danny Williams before Chris Gunter blazed over.
Aaron Tshibola, one of two changes made by Royals manager Steve Clarke, was brandished the first yellow card after tripping McGugan but Wednesday lacked ideas and penetration in the final third.
The Owls were forced to rejig their backline just after the half hour mark, with skipper Glenn Loovens taken off after picking an injury, believed to be an ankle problem. It was a blow Wednesday could have done without and the Dutchman was replaced by Vincent Sasso while the captain’s armband passed to Tom Lees.
Lucas Joao cut an isolated, forlorn figure up front. Paul McShane and Anton Ferdinand dominated the aerial duels and far too many of Wednesday’s moves were predictable and broke down.
There were some moans and groans from the home contingent when referee Paul Tierney blew for half-time.
After the re-start, Reading took control and Hal Robson-Kanu nearly pounced after Price spilled Orlando Sa’s fierce low strike. Under pressure from Sasso, Robson-Kanu drilled over the rebound.
And the visitors took the lead in the 49th minute when Daniel Williams scored after being set up by Orlando Sa.
Wednesday survived another scare after good persistant play by former Sheffield United player Stephen Quinn but Norwood’s venemous shot drifted harmlessly over.
Following Williams’ fine finish, Reading ought to have doubled their advantage when Sa, a £1m capture from Legia Warsaw, rose unmarked to meet Norwood’s corner but he failed to test the reflexes of Price and Wednesday desperately scrambled the ball away.
It was no surprise when Carvalhal threw on Modou Sougou to try and spark them into life, Matias moving into a more central position.
Reading continued to dominate and carve out the opportunities. Norwood, a calming presence in the middle of the Royals midfield, curled a free-kick into the arms of Price. Sougou’s second goal in as many outings late on spared Wednesday’s blushes and lifted them up to 10th in the embryonic table.
But it was a desperately disappointing display by Carvalhal’s men and the Portuguese will be hoping for a positive response when they head to Leeds this Saturday.
Wednesday: Price; Hunt, Loovens (Sasso 35), Lees, Wiggins; Hutchinson, McGugan (Sougou 57), Lopez; Matias (Bus 81), Wallace, Joao. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Helan, Semedo, Lee.
Reading: Bond; Gunter, McShane, Ferdinand, Taylor (Obita 76); Williams, Norwood, Tshibola, Quinn; Robson-Kanu (Hector 84), Sa (Blackman 84). Substitutes: Al-Habsi, Cox, Fosu, Stacey.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).