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Report: Reading 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

23 January 2016

Wednesday posted another valuable point in the race for promotion, drawing 1-1 at Reading.

Gary Hooper, who became a full time Owl 24 hours earlier, gave his new employers a first half lead and after the Royals missed a penalty, they eventually equalised through Jake Cooper.

But early on, the Owls took the game to Reading, enjoying all the possession, and came within a lick of paint of scoring on seven minutes.

A well-worked set piece saw the ball land at the feet of Barry Bannan, whose thunderous drive from distance cannoned back into play off the post.

The Owls pressed on regardless and deservedly hit the front three minutes later.

Ross Wallace fed Kieran Lee on the overlap who crossed for Hooper to mark his first game as a permanent Wednesday player with a calculated finish from six yards.

Hooper – busting with confidence with seven goals in as many games – then forced Ali Al Habsi into a diving save from an improvised half-volley.

The Owls were looking favourites to register next but midway through the first half, Reading missed a golden opportunity to hit back.

Glenn Loovens felled Matej Vydra in the box, the referee pointed to the spot and the Czech striker stepped up – only to strike the post and not the target.

It was a let-off for the Owls, who went on to show shades of threat for the remainder of the opening period, with Fernando Forestieri going close on the angle having raced clear from the halfway line.

Wednesday started the second half as they did the first and came close to a second on the hour.

Trademark trickery from Wallace created an opening for Forestieri, whose goal-bound shot was deflected over in the nick of time.

But from that point on, Reading upped the ante and began to dominate the contest.

Although Keiren Westwood was rarely called upon, the home side asked more of the questions – and duly drew level on 74 minutes.

Oliver Norwood swung an accurate corner into the danger zone and Cooper climbed high to bury into the corner of the net.

Reading getting back on terms led to a nervy ending, with both teams going for a win that might have gone the hosts’ way as debutant Yann Kermorgant headed wide on 89 minutes with the goal at his mercy from an Oliver Norwood cross.

Wednesday: Westwood, Hutchinson, Loovens, Hooper (Nuhiu 75), Lee, Sasso, Hunt, Wallace (Helan 78), Pudil, Bannan, Forestieri (Joao 70)

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