Huddersfield grab late equaliser at Reading
Reading had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Huddersfield at the Madejski Stadium after the visitors grabbed a last-gasp equaliser.
Josh Koroma fired Huddersfield in front on the quarter-hour mark but Michael Olise levelled with a penalty three minutes later and Yakou Meite headed Reading in front in an eventful first half.
Although Reading dominated the second period, they squandered a series of half-chances – allowing Rarmani Edmonds-Green to equalise in the third minute of stoppage time.
Reading had led the Championship by seven points in late October, after an excellent start to the season, and were still eight points clear of seventh place in January.
But a glut of injuries to key players and inconsistent form thereafter resulted in them losing their long-held top-six spot – and ultimately a play-off berth – in the middle of last month.
Veljko Paunovic’s side had won only one of their previous 10 matches before the visit of Huddersfield – with the visitors in not much better shape after just one victory in nine games.
Town’s poor record actually extended to only two wins in 14 but they at least managed to secure second-tier safety with a 1-1 home draw against Coventry last Saturday.
Reading started brightly, John Swift forcing a fine save from goalkeeper Ryan Schofield with a 20-yard shot.
But Huddersfield responded quickly, with Scott High striking a post from just outside the home area.
Town then went ahead in the 15th minute, with Koroma guiding in an elegant free kick that keeper Luke Southwood – on his league debut for Reading – was unable to reach.
However, the hosts hit back to score twice before the break.
Olise slotted home confidently from the spot, after Jonathan Hogg had clumsily fouled Alfa Semedo in the box, for his seventh goal of the season.
Meite then took his tally for the campaign to 12 in the 26th minute, looping a fine header over Schofield from a hanging Olise cross.
Town opened with intent at the start of the second but, after a slick move down the right flank, Duane Holmes’ subsequent cross was gathered comfortably by Southwood.
Reading soon regained control, with Swift seeing a well-struck effort blocked and Schofield having to save from Omar Richards.
Olise continued to prove a big influence on the left flank but, after a tricky run towards the Town area, he centred tamely into the arms of Schofield.
The 19-year-old Frenchman, voted the EFL’s Young Player of the Season, then contributed twice more.
He drilled a shot over from 25 yards and then his corner was headed over by substitute Lucas Joao.
Huddersfield started to threaten near the end, with Kieran Phillips shooting narrowly wide.
And they grabbed a point when fellow substitute Edmonds-Green fired in from a tight angle.