Lucas Joao struck a second-half equaliser as Reading ended a run of four straight defeats with a 1-1 draw against Millwall at the Den.
Jed Wallace’s free-kick before the interval had given the Lions the lead, and it was their fourth consecutive draw.
Millwall had the better of the opening exchanges and their first chance came after three minutes when Ryan Woods received the ball and played in Murray Wallace, who advanced from left midfield, but his shot from 25 yards out was saved comfortably by Rafael.
Reading had their first chance on 10 minutes, Ovie Ejaria delivered a free-kick to the far post which Tom Holmes rose to meet, but his mistimed header sailed over the crossbar.
Yakou Meite looked dangerous and threatened to open the scoring on 23 minutes, driving from the right into a central position and hitting a low shot from 25 yards that deflected towards the bottom right corner, but Bartosz Bialkowski kept it out.
Millwall pressed more towards the end of the first half but a few wayward passes prevented them from finding the final ball to unlock Reading’s defence.
Jed Wallace opened the scoring seconds before half-time after Troy Parrott was fouled in a central area 20 yards from goal, stepping up and curling unstoppably past Rafael.
Reading started the second half brightly and looked to get forward with more urgency. Ejaria tested Bialkowski on 50 minutes with a low, curling shot from the edge of the area towards the bottom corner but the keeper held on well.
Joao then equalised for Reading after 53 minutes as the Royals worked the ball through midfield to substitute Michael Olise on the edge of the box.
He released Joao with a flicked through-ball and the striker beat the offside trap and shot through the legs of Bialkowski and into the bottom corner from a tight angle just inside the six-yard box.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson almost restored Millwall’s lead on 68 minutes after Jed Wallace played in the substitute with a first-time pass on the edge of the area. Bodvarsson hit a first-time shot towards the top of the net but Rafael tipped the ball over with a fingertip save.
With 10 minutes left, Ryan Leonard ran from deep and was unmarked inside the six-yard area after Matt Smith knocked down Jed Wallace’s cross to the far post but Leonard could not test the keeper and his attempt went over the bar.
Jed Wallace almost scored his second of the evening in added time when Smith ran down the right wing, pulled back from the byline across the penalty box to a sliding Wallace who shot straight at Rafael.
What the managers said…
Millwall’s Gary Rowett: “We’ve had a couple of excellent chances where we should go and win the game. I felt tonight’s performance overall was better than Saturday, I felt we played a lot better. Reading, although they’ve lost the last four games, showed early in the season they’re a really difficult team to play against.
“I thought first half we played really well. Troy gives you that extra bit of movement and link off the front and I think we looked really bright, controlled the first half and really gave them absolutely nothing, without creating enough good chances.”
Reading’s Veljko Paunovic: “From the perspective of the competitor, I’m not happy with a point. But from the perspective of a manager and having to see a long-term picture and moving from that enchanted number 22, getting a point is positive. We also applied a couple of lessons in today’s game that we learnt in the past. We’re not a team that has many draws.
“In the Coventry game (last month) we had a very similar situation where we were level but then, because we wanted to win, we emphasised going for the win. We conceded and lost so that didn’t happen this time, and that helped us to at least get the point that can serve as a catalyst for the future.”