Reading 2-2 Stoke: Modou Barrow scores late leveller to deny Potters win
Benik Afobe and Tom Ince had given visitors the lead at Madejski Stadium
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 01/12/18 6:42pm
Modou Barrow scored a 94th-minute equaliser to deny play-off hopefuls Stoke victory in an entertaining 2-2 draw at struggling Reading.
Reading made the breakthrough in the 42nd minute, when striker Marc McNulty was allowed to nod in from close range.
But Stoke improved after a sluggish first-half display, with Benik Afobe guiding home a 48th-minute equaliser.
Tom Ince gave Stoke the lead in the 69th minute with a superb volley that thundered in via the crossbar, but home substitute Barrow slid in Reading's leveller deep into stoppage time.
Reading began brightly, with John Swift collecting a half-clearance only to send his subsequent effort high over the bar.
However, Stoke were quick to reply and should have gone ahead. Joe Allen cut the ball back from the right-hand byline but Afobe, with the goal at his mercy, headed carelessly wide.
Afobe forced home goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola into a smart save from close range soon after and, from the rebound, Sam Clucas blazed over.
Reading responded positively, as a 20-yard shot from Swift deflected safely into the arms of Stoke 'keeper Jack Butland. He then tried again from a similar distance but, this time, was wide of the target.
Stoke were rather laborious in their build-up play, with Ince eventually firing a tame shot at Jaakkola.
Reading twice worked good openings, with McNulty narrowly missing a clever near-post cross from Andy Yiadom and 18-year-old forward Danny Loader shooting wide.
But the hosts went in front three minutes before the break. Andy Rinomhota's deflected cross from the right fell nicely for an unmarked McNulty to head in his first goal for the club at the far post.
Stoke regrouped during the interval and were back level within three minutes of the restart.
Clucas lifted a precise pass over the home defence and Afobe ran onto it to coolly slot past Jaakkola for his sixth goal of the season.
Stoke swarmed forward in droves thereafter, with left-back Erik Pieters forcing a fine save from Jaakkola from his 30-yard piledriver.
Allen and Afobe also had chances to edge Stoke in front but Ince got it spot on in the 69th minute, with a spectacular volley from James McClean's excellent cross.
Reading refused to give up, however, and after an intricate move on the edge of the Stoke area late on, Barrow pounced to salvage the draw.
Paul Clement: "It's a good point right at the end of the game. To score that late, I thought it might have got away from us. I'm glad the players didn't think that. That's the most important thing. We pushed really strongly at the end. I got as many attacking players on as I could.
"I'm not telling the players to come out and play rubbish. Of course I'm not. But why it's happening regularly, I just don't know. It's certainly not something that I'm saying to them. If we can string together some good performances, the results will come. I'm convinced of that."
Gary Rowett: "I'm disappointed. We created lots and lots of chances, probably more today than we have in any other game. We were dominant in the first half in terms of the clear-cut opportunities.At times, our game management is not as good as we'd like it to be.
"We've just got to be more clinical with taking our chances and we have to make better decisions about seeing the game out late on. We should've been going away with all three points. It's almost criminal that we aren't."