Royals late fightback earns a point
6th August 2011
Attendance: 18,531 (2,235 away)
A Matheiu Manset double in the last 5 minutes earnt Reading a share of the spoils against Millwall at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a lively start at the Madejski, with Reading have the better of the opening affairs as Noel Hunt almost scored in the opening seconds after he ran through from an Alex Pearce header, only for David Forde to intervene.
Malian winger Jimmy Kebe then had a fantastic opportunity to open the socring but could only side foot his volley into the side netting.
Reading continued to knock on the door with new captain Jobi McAnuff having his goal bound shot blocked but Millwall found their feet in the last few minutes of the first half as both teams went in level at the break.
The away side started the second half as they ended the first as they came close through Reading born winger James Henry, whose stinging effort was kept out by Federici.
Kenny Jackett`s side did take the lead minutes later though as the lively Henry put a ball in the box that former Royals striker Darius Henderson headed in for his debut goal for the Lions.
The Royals responded well as their sought-after talisman Shane Long turned his man and smacked a 20-yard effort against the bar, as Hunt went close minutes after.
Brian McDermott`s men would then rue these misses as a ball from the right wing would cause Federici to palm away but only into the path of John Marquis who headed in at the back post.
Millwall should have put the game to bed as a Reading defensive misunderstanding let forward Marquis clean through but could only hit his shot at Federici`s right boot. McAnuff was then close to reducing the deficit but his rasping effort rebounded off the post.
Then was to come the game changing moment as Mathieu Manset came on in place of Noel Hunt and turned Millwall`s back line and hit a fine 25-yard effort past David Forde in the Lions goal, to make it 2-1.
Just minutes later Reading were level as good work from Kebe and Griffin lead to a cross that allowed to Manset plant a solid header past Forde to put the Royals on level terms on 89 minutes.
Both teams pushed for the win at the Madejski stadium with the Royals bogey player Henderson coming close again then Federici saving Scott Barons arrowing effort, which meant a share of the points, in what was a fanatic opening game for both teams.
Reading: Federici, Griffin, Khumalo, Pearce, Harte, Kebe, Karacan (Robson-Kanu 68) Leigertwood, McAnuff ©, Long, Hunt (Manset 68)
Subs: McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Obita, Robson-Kanu, Manset
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson ©, Ward, Craig, Henry (Hackett 79), Mkandawire, Trotter (Barron 68), Bouazza, Marquis (Abdou 86), Henderson
Subs: Mildenhall, Racon, Hackett, Barron, Abdou