Royals held by Boro at Madejski
Madejski draw sends Middlesbrough into the relegation zone
By Laura Slatcher. Last Updated: December 1, 2007 5:46pm
Tuncay: Grabbed equaliser
Reading bounced back from their last three defeats to share the points with Middlesbrough at the Madejski Stadium.
The Royals had gone ahead on 54 minutes after Dave Kitson timed a lob over approaching goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.
They looked like they were taking all three points before Boro finally created a clear-cut chance. Substitute Tuncay Sanli met Luke Young's perfectly timed cross and powered a header past Marcus Hahnemann.
Both sides had needed a win to move them up the table but the draw sees Gareth Southgate's men slip into the relegation zone.
Jeremie Aliadiere, after 10 minutes of bluster from both teams, had the first meaningful effort with a turn and shot straight at Hahnemann.
Carbon copies followed from Bobby Convey at the other end and Aliadiere again before the Frenchman capped a fine run by going down too easily under Ibrahima Sonko's challenge for referee Alan Wiley's liking.
Midway through the first half, Kevin Doyle's flick played in Kitson, who cut inside David Wheater and blasted the ball against Turnbull.
Moments later, Boro rightly had a goal disallowed when Reading failed to clear a corner and the ball reached George Boateng, whose fine finish arrived from an offside position.
Kitson then tried his luck from long range but Turnbull, making his first Premier League appearance for 18 months, maintained his faultless display.
The lively Aliadiere almost provided the perfect knock-down for strike partner Lee, the Frenchman coming off worse in a clash of heads with the towering Sonko.
Boro really should have been ahead five minutes before half-time when Hahnemann failed to hold Aliadiere's cross-shot and the recalled Lee Dong-Guk turned the rebound back to Adam Johnson six yards out.
Johnson's finish went straight through Hahnemann, hit the post and bounced straight into the arms of the fortunate American.
The rain had abated by the time the second half got under way and the drama briefly followed suit.
Aliadiere did his best to inject some excitement with another thrilling run eight minutes in but he lacked any support from his timid team-mates.
Moments later, Reading went ahead through the most straightforward of goals.
A monster clearance from Hahnemann saw Doyle out-jump Wheater and flick the ball to Kitson.
Faced with the onrushing Turnbull, the striker produced the coolest of lobbed volleys over the goalkeeper and into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Going ahead inspired the home team and Doyle's low shot appeared to have been turned behind by Turnbull only for Wiley to award a goal-kick.
Hahnemann then directed a tirade at team-mate Sonko moments later after the defender simply stopped playing when a cross was whipped in, which Aliadiere almost glanced in. The Royals pair almost came to blows over the issue.
Southgate then made a double substitution, bringing on Robert Huth and Tuncay for Jonathan Woodgate and Lee.
Dereliction of duty
Tuncay was involved in creating Aliadiere's latest shot, on which Sonko got a crucial deflection to make amends for his earlier dereliction of duty.
The substitute proved his worth when he thwarted a burst into the area by Tuncay, who was also making a real impact from the bench.
And it was the Turk who netted the equaliser six minutes from time.
After a spell of severe pressure from the visitors, Tuncay rose highest to nod Luke Young's pinpoint cross past the helpless Hahnemann.
Coppell introduced Shane Long for Brynjar Gunnarsson but it was Kitson who should have snatched a stoppage-time winner when he headed Nicky Shorey's cross over the top.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||8|
|6||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|19||West Bromwich Albion||0||0|
|20||West Ham United||0||0|