WALSALL 1-1 READING
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Nicky Shorey curled in a delightful free-kick to salvage a point for Reading at Walsall and bring an end to their dismal run over the festive period.
Steve Coppell's side had been beaten 3-0 in each of their previous three outings and looked to be heading for a fourth consecutive defeat after Jorge Leitao fired Walsall ahead.
But substitute Scott Murray's surge towards the Saddlers' penalty area was crudely ended by Ian Roper's challenge and Shorey scored with a left-footed shot from 25 yards.
Nicky Forster then could have snatched all three points for the Royals but was adjudged to have been in an offside position before he beat Jimmy Walker with a crisp finish.
Walsall had gone ahead after half an hour, when former Reading midfielder Simon Osborn swung in a corner for Leitao to head in from six yards.
Leitao then almost added a second, but although he got his header on target Marcus Hahnemann was able to make a smart save.