Last Updated: 29/09/12 4:52pm
After a dreadful, goalless first half, the game exploded into life following the interval in what was a superb second half. Ba's stunning equaliser will be overshadowed by the use of his hand in Newcastle's second equaliser. Reading will feel hard done by after twice going in front through Kebe and Hunt. Stay with us for all the post-match reaction.
Newcastle, though, are not sitting back and Ben Arfa sends a cross into the box. McCarthy is able to just beat Ba to the ball.
Newcastle have been so insecure at the back since the reshuffle which followed Taylor's substation. They are on the ropes in added time.
It is still Reading on the front foot. McAnuff sends a rocketing effort from 25 yards which rattles the post after cutting in from the right. Harper was beaten.
Reading are not happy with a point and their fans are screaming for them to go forward and keep looking for a first win in the Premier League.
Another brilliant save from Harper as he denies Roberts, who span and shot. Reading keep the pressure on and another shot is deflected wide for a corner. It is an action-packed end to the game.
Le Fondre comes on for Hunt and almost immediately has the chance for the winner. But Williamson just blocks and manages to convince the officials it was not a corner.
Ba equalises for Newcastle but it is surrounded by controversy. He meets Ferguson's cross from the left but he misses it with his head and it strikes his hand before going into the back of the net. It is not intentional and none of the officials see it. Newcastle are level.
Gorkss thinks about a maverick charge forward after tackling Ba. But he knows he needs to be responsible and he decides on a pass.
Pardew is gesticulating in his technical area. He thinks Reading are now time-wasting at set-pieces.
Newcastle think they have penalty when Ba is brought down by McCarthy from Ameobi's knock down. But a flag was correctly up for offside against Ba.
Roberts makes his return from injury as he comes on in place of Pogrebnyak. Roberts is given a warm welcome by the Madejski Stadium.
Corner to Newcastle won by Ferguson. Tiote is down with cramp. Newcastle waste the corner as it is taken short before Ben Arfa is tackled.
Santon is very lucky Shorey wastes a chance to cross having been gifted the ball by the Newcastle full-back.
From the free-kick, Shorey stands the ball up to the back post and Gorkss beats Williamson in the air but cannot direct his header on target.
McAnuff dances past Tavernier before being chopped down on the byline by Tiote. Newcastle players are shouting at each other.
Great chance for Ben Arfa to close from inside the penalty area. But his pass is poor and he is lucky to get a corner via a deflection off McCarthy. The set-piece then comes to nothing. That was a waste by Newcastle.
At a break in play for Pogrebnyak's head injury, Newcastle make their changes. Cisse is off and replaced by Shola Ameobi. Ferguson comes on for Bigirimana.
Newcastle look like they are getting ready to make a double change. Ferguson is one of the players who appears to be coming on.
Reading fans are not happy with referee Andre Marriner as he stops play when they are counter-attacking. But Hunt had clearly fouled Gutierrez.
McDermott will now be desperate for Reading to get hold of the ball and make sure Newcastle do not produce any sort of quick reply again.
Reading are back in the lead. This game has come to life in incredible fashion. McAnuff does very well down the left before then producing a cross. Hunt gets in front of his marker, Perch, whose move to centre-back has coincided with the goals, to head past Harper.
Reading's lead lasts just seconds as Ba scores a stunning equaliser. Almost straight from kick-off, Tiote chips a long ball into the path of Ba. The striker produced a breath-taking first-time volley from just inside the box with his right foot. No chance for McCarthy.
Did the defensive reshuffle disorganise Newcastle? Kebe cuts inside Perch and, despite slipping, hits a finish from close to the edge of the box past a flat-footed Harper.
Tavernier has gone to right-back and Perch has moved to centre-back. Let's hope Taylor's injury is not too serious after his long lay-off last season.
Taylor is coming off as a result of that earlier injury. Tavernier is ready on for his Premier League debut.
Cisse finally has the ball at his feet inside the penalty area after being found by a pass from Santon. He turns and manages to get away a shot. But a combination of Shorey and Gorkss slide in to make vital blocks.
Kebe does well on this occasion to get away from Santon and dig out a cross from the byline. But Harper can catch the delivery with ease.
Williamson is booked by referee Andre Marriner after pulling back Pogrebnyak, who had won a header and then spun for a return pass.
Harper's distribution is then terrible as he only punts the ball straight up field and into the hands of McCarthy.
Corner to Reading after Taylor defends against Pogrebnyak. Shorey keeps this one away from Harper but the ball eventually ends up in the hands of the Newcastle goalkeeper after Gorkss' follow-up.
Having both had to go off the field after treatment, Taylor and Hunt are back on and seem to be okay.
Another break in play as Hunt appears to have hurt his shoulder after falling awkwardly after a challenge with Taylor. Taylor is also receiving treatment.
Pogrebnyak shows good strength against Taylor to turn the centre-back and burst into the penalty area. But his next touch is poor and his lack of pace is exposed as Williamson steps in to tackle.
The second half begins in the same fashion as the first ended. A long ball from Reading rolls out for a throw-in.
A forgettable half ends with no goals. Perch denied Pogrebnyak with a good challenge just on the stroke of the interval and the Russian had earlier seen a header expertly saved by Harper. Newcastle have offered very little going forward and both sides have been guilty of some dreadful set-pieces. Things can only get better, as they say.
The free-kick sees Hunt and Leigertwood get in the way of each other and the ball goes out of the far side of the box.
The first booking of the match goes to Perch for a very poor challenge from behind on McAnuff, who was sprinting down the left close to the corner flag.
Ironic cheers from the Reading fans as Cisse cuts inside Mariappa and rifles a wild, 25-yard effort on his right foot well wide of the goal. Reading move up the field and Williamson's toe-punt clearance goes backwards, over his own crossbar and for a corner.
It is a chance for Reading to break from Santon's poor cross. However, they go long and give away the ball. This has not been a classic match.
Poor crossing has been a theme for this half. Santon is on the attack but sends his delivery high over the heads of Ba and Cisse.
Kebe is having a tough afternoon against Santon. The Reading man has been tackled on almost every occasion.
Shorey whips the free-kick into the box but it is a relatively straightforward header clear for Williamson.
Bigirimana takes the corner. But it is loopy and tame and clipped to the back post. It is an easy catch for McCarthy.
Poor effort from Gutierrez from around 25 yards on his right foot. The Argentine sends the ball well over the crossbar. There is an accusation against the wide-man that he sometimes lacks an end product.
With just more than 10 minutes to half-time, there has been very little to get excited about. Both sides seem more focused on avoiding conceding a goal than scoring.
Newcastle pass the ball about on the edge of the Reading penalty area but Bigirimana then gives away possession. Not sure this 4-4-2 is working for Newcastle today.
Hunt is back on the field and plays a pass down the right for Pogrebnyak. Pace, though, is not the Russian's strong point and Newcastle can defend.
Hunt is getting treatment for a bleeding nose after being caught in a sandwich between Tiote and Perch when challenging for a header.
Excellent save from Harper as he tips Pogrebnyak's header over the crossbar from McAnuff's cross from the left. That was easily the best moment of the match so far. From the resulting corner, Harper catches Shorey's delivery.
Tiote and Bigirimana are dropping very deep in the centre of midfield. Newcastle therefore do not have an short out ball.
Newcastle are really struggling to get their forwards into the game. Ba's touches have been poor and Cisse has hardly had a touch.
The home side have enjoyed a good few minutes of possession. They are passing the ball quite nicely and have Newcastle pinned inside their own half.
Reading are building up a bit of pressure. But Pogrebnyak's effort from inside the penalty area after being set up by Leigertwood is high, wide and pretty horrible.
Reading remain on the attack and Williamson's header clear is poor and the centre-back is relieved to see Shorey's attempt at an audacious volley goes closer to the far corner flag.
Throw-in to Reading deep in Newcastle territory. A cross goes in for Hunt, who can attack the ball. He does not get a clear connection but his nod down almost finds Pogrebnyak before Harper gathers.
Before kick-off, only Sunderland (6) had fired in fewer shots on target than Reading (9) in this season's Premier League. It is easy to see why. They are lacking a cutting edge today.
Ben Arfa dinks the free-kick into the box and there is a bit of a scramble as Reading aim to keep the ball away from Ba. But there is an offside flag up against Ba.
At the end of their counter-attack, Gutierrez's cross is a disappointment. Newcastle keep the pressure on and win a free-kick within crossing range of the penalty area.
Reading win their second corner of the game. Shorey again takes and looks for Gorkss. Newcastle, though, defend quite comfortably and break forward.
After going off to receive treatment, Tiote is back on the field. Leigertwood could be a marked man for Tiote after that challenge.
We have a break in play as Reading put the ball out. Tiote is down after a very nasty challenge from Leigertwood on his ankle. That could easily have been a booking for Leigertwood. Tiote is back on his feet.
Nice build-up from Newcastle allows Gutierrez to cross from the left. But his delivery hangs in the air for a bit and so McCarthy can catch the ball ahead of Cisse at the back post.
Ben Arfa switches the ball from right to left with a cross-field ball. But Santon misreads the bounce and it is a throw-in to Reading deep in their own half.
Free-kick to Newcastle close to the centre circle in their own half. Harper has come a long way out of goal to take the set-piece. He hits it up field towards Williamson on the edge of the Reading box. But Leigertwood wins the header.
Pogrebnyak is not getting much change out of Williamson. The tall centre-back is winning everything in the air.
It looks like this could be quite a tight match, as many of you expected. Reading are not being too caviller when they attack and Newcastle are set up to break on the counter.
Newcastle break from the clearance and Ba is clear down the right. He has Cisse in the middle but his cross is wretched and sails behind the goal.
Reading have a throw-in close to the corner flag on the left. The cross eventually comes in and is sent towards Hunt. But Bigirimana hits the ball clear up field.
Lovely bit of skill from Ben Arfa as he drops a shoulder to then beat two Reading defenders. But he is then stopped in his tracks.
This time it is Harper who thumps the ball up field. Gutierrez, though, misjudges the flight and possession is back with Reading on the halfway line. Both sides have been guilty of giving the ball away.
Newcastle are now trying to get the ball down and pass the ball out of defence. They move up field but Mariappa is able to intercept the attack close to the edge of his penalty area.
Shorey takes the set-piece and sends it to the back post. But Harper is able to punch away the delivery.
Newcastle manage to get the ball up field through Ben Arfa. But the attack comes to nothing. This has not been a great start.
It has been a very scrappy opening two minutes. Both teams are lined up as 4-4-2. That is unusual for a Premier League match in the modern day.
Reading immediately look for a couple of long balls down the left channel. Let's hope that is not a sign of things to come.
Reading and Newcastle, who are captained today by Gutierrez, emerge from the tunnel at the Madejski Stadium. Kick-off is just a few minutes away.
OPTA FACT: Newcastle have only won one of their five away visits to Reading (W1 D1 L3), but that was their last away game at the Madejski in April 2010 (2-1).
With less than 10 minutes to kick-off, do not forget you can get in touch throughout the afternoon with your thoughts and opinions on today's match. Drop me a line at email@example.com or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. I will publish a selection of the best comments.
Here is a round-up of the full team news. Reading captain McAnuff and Leigertwood both return to the starting line-up after missing the Capital One Cup win at QPR. Newcastle give a first Premier League start to Bigirimana ahead of Anita while Cheick Tiote retains his place after his midweek cup performance against Manchester United. Pardew, whose touchline ban expires today on his return to the Madejski Stadium, is without injured captain Fabricio Coloccini and Yohan Cabaye.
Gabriel Sutton says: "Whilst Reading fans won't enjoy reading the table at this time sitting bottom, they've not actually had an atrocious start to the season. They do need that first win soon but with Demba Ba in form for Newcastle, they might just have to settle for a draw. I'll say one apiece."
OPTA FACT: Jonas Gutierrez has been fouled more often than any other player this season (16 times). Only Sunderland (6) have fired in fewer shots on target than Reading (9) in this season's Premier League.
Sophie Isaac says: "I support both Newcastle and Reading so I wish the best of luck to both teams. I do think Newcastle will win but good luck to both teams!!"
OPTA FACT: Reading have won just one of their last 11 matches in the Premier League (W1 D3 L7). Newcastle have drawn 99 games away from home in the Premier League era.
Reading, though, will have some confidence after a 3-2 win at QPR in the Capital One Cup in midweek. Newcastle lost at Manchester United. This is Newcastle's 10th game of the season already and we are only in late September.
Michael Ewart says: "Tough fixture for the Toon today. Good to see young Bigirimana starting. I think a tight 2-0 win Ben Arfa and Ba to score!"
Brian McDermott's Reading are of course still looking for their first win in the Premier League this season after earning promotion via promotion as Championship winners in the last campaign. Newcastle are on an unbeaten three-game run in the league, although they were not overly impressive against Norwich in their last outing.
It looks like it could be a fierce battle in midfield, with Newcastle preferring Bigirimana over Anita to partner Tiote in midfield. There will be a few Reading players with sore shins tomorrow morning.
Richard Scorgie says: "With that midfield, no way Reading will get past Bigi and Tiote. 3-1 to the Toon - Cisse 2 BA 1."
Reading team: McCarthy, Cummings, Shorey, Mariappa, Gorkss, Karacan, Leigertwood, Kebe, McAnuff, Hunt, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Guthrie, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Roberts.
Reading team news is confirmed. First Premier League starts for Mariappa, Kebe, Hunt & Cummings. Jason Roberts is back from injury and on the bench. Stay with us for the full line-up.
Newcastle team: Harper, Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Bigirimana, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse. Subs: Elliot, Tavernier, Ferguson, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is of course going back to Reading - the club where he began his managerial career. His return coincides with his signing of an eight-year contract with Newcastle. Pardew has taken a team to the Madejski twice and suffered two defeats (with West Ham). Can he celebrate his new deal in style today? You can get in touch throughout the afternoon at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. I will publish a selection of the best comments.