Adam Le Fondre scored a late penalty as Reading marked their Premier League return after a four-season absence with a battling draw against Stoke.

Le Fondre calmly found the corner after Dean Whitehead was given a second yellow card for a foul on substitute Garath McCleary.

Royals keeper Adam Federici had gifted Stoke the lead when he made a terrible mess of a Michael Kightly shot.

Top-flight return phenomenal - McDermott

Reading's Ian Harte nearly stole the points but his free-kick went over.

A home winner would have been cruel on Stoke who were the better side for much of the game, but the Royals will feel they deserved a draw for a frantic finale that saw them pile forward in the last 10 minutes.

The most relieved man on the pitch was Federici, who somehow allowed Kightly's mis-kicked first-half shot to trickle through his stooping attempted save at the near-post.

For summer-signing Kightly it was a wonderful moment after two injury-blighted seasons.

But the normally reliable Federici, who kept 20 clean sheets for the Championship winners last season, will know it was his horrendous howler that almost ruined Reading's top-flight return.

With testing games at Chelsea and Sunderland next for Reading, the visit of a Stoke side who struggled at the end of the last campaign, and whose summer transfer activity had been limited, offered them a decent chance to get their season off to a winning start.

But the Potters showed just why they have become the benchmark for newly promoted teams with a solid, professional display.

Reading had the better of a cagey opening 25 minutes in which they edged both possession and territory, but they barely threatened the Stoke goal until the latter stages.

Shot-shy

Reading scored the fewest goals of any team in the top five in the Championship last season, notching just 69, while Stoke had the lowest-ranked attack of any Premier League team, scoring just 36 goals in 38 games.

Stoke defender Robert Huth, who played despite spending most of last week in hospital with viral meningitis, had a couple of nervy moments but both he and his team soon settled.

Maybe the visitors were even more mindful of the need to pick up early-season points with Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United to play in five of their next six games.

Huth and his fellow Stoke defenders kept Reading's big summer signing Pavel Pogrebnyak quiet, and the home side's only attempts on goal before the break saw Kaspars Gorkss send a header well wide and Le Fondre fail to connect with a teasing cross.

Visiting striker Jonathan Walters provided Stoke's greatest threat throughout and almost opened the scoring with a clever near-post header that went narrowly wide from a Kightly free-kick.

Kightly's strike then put Stoke in control and they started to get on top, creating several chances but nothing clearcut.

ANALYSIS

Tony Pulis saw his Stoke City side drop two points at the death, but Reading's Brian McDermott will have felt his side did enough to secure something on their return to the Premier League. Adam Le Fondre held his nerve from the penalty spot after Adam Federici's earlier error had given Stoke the lead. Reading kept on going until the end and have a point to show for their efforts.

But Reading, cheered on by wealthy new owner Anton Zingarevich, persevered and were lifted by the introduction of substitutes Noel Hunt and McCleary.

And they were rewarded for an energetic end to a match played in scorching heat when Le Fondre slotted his 89th-minute spot-kick past Asmir Begovic.

Reading manager Brian McDermott:

"Psychologically, it's important we got that result. We know we can compete and we've done that. There's no doubt about that so it's important to get a result and we have.

"We'd have been disappointed to have lost the game over the 90 minutes. Those of you who have seen Reading play over the last three years know that they keep going.

"We all make errors. I make errors most days. Adam Federici is a great character, who works really, really hard each and every day. He's a top professional and he's saved us many, many times, and he will do in the future.

"He was upset but that's part of life. You have to overcome your disappointments quickly and he'll do that."

Stoke stalemate disappoints Pulis

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:

"We are disappointed because we had opportunities to get another goal.

"It is always difficult coming to a newly promoted side but it was solid performance.

"It's lovely for Michael Kightly, and Robert Huth was excellent - I don't know what they feed them in Germany.

"His recovery was amazing. He has trained all week and was brilliant today. We're very, very pleased to have him back and he's got a heart the size of a lion."

Lineup, Bookings (8) & Substitutions (5)

Reading

  • 01 Federici
  • 02 Gunter
  • 05 Pearce
  • 17 Gorkss Booked
  • 23 Harte
  • 08 Leigertwood Booked
  • 11 McAnuff
  • 19 Robson-Kanu (McCleary - 67' )
  • 20 Guthrie
  • 07 Pogrebnyak (Hunt - 77' )
  • 09 Le Fondre

Substitutes

  • 21 McCarthy
  • 06 Mariappa
  • 24 Cummings
  • 16 Tabb
  • 10 Hunt
  • 12 McCleary
  • 18 Church

Stoke City

  • 01 Begovic Booked
  • 04 Huth
  • 12 Wilson
  • 17 Shawcross Booked
  • 28 Wilkinson Booked
  • 06 Whelan (Palacios - 86' )
  • 18 Whitehead Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 21 Kightly (Jerome - 75' )
  • 26 Etherington Booked (Delap - 80' )
  • 19 Walters
  • 25 Crouch

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 30 Shotton
  • 08 Palacios
  • 14 Ness
  • 24 Delap
  • 09 Jones
  • 33 Jerome
Ref: Friend
Att: 23,973

Match Stats

Shots

9 6

On target

3 3

Corners

4 3

Fouls

9 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:07 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +5:45

Defending throw-in by Rory Delap (Stoke).

90:00 +5:00

Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) on Noel Hunt (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Mikele Leigertwood (Reading) from left channel, passed.

90:00 +3:29

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

90:00 +2:23 Booking

Booking Asmir Begovic (Stoke) booked for time wasting.

90:00 +2:04

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

90:00 +0:49

Free kick taken left-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from right channel (20 yards), over the bar.

90:00 +0:49 Booking

Booking Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) booked for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +0:49

Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) on Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

89:29

Assist by Garath McCleary (Reading) from centre of penalty area.

89:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Reading 1 - 1 Stoke Placed penalty taken right-footed by Adam Le Fondre (Reading) (bottom-right of goal), scored.Reading 1-1 Stoke.

89:20 Booking

Booking Andy Wilkinson (Stoke) booked for unsporting behaviour.

88:05 Dismissal

Dismissal Dean Whitehead (Stoke) dismissed for second bookable offence.

87:52

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) on Noel Hunt (Reading).

87:00

Defending throw-in by Rory Delap (Stoke).

86:35

Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

86:03

Foul by Noel Hunt (Reading) on Ryan Shawcross (Stoke). Free kick taken right-footed by Asmir Begovic (Stoke) from own half, resulting in open play.

85:39 Substitution

Substitution Stoke substitution: Glenn Whelan replaced by Wilson Palacios (tactical).

83:36

Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

82:57

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

82:27

Attacking throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

81:47

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke). Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

80:22

Foul by Ian Harte (Reading) on Jonathan Walters (Stoke). Free kick taken right-footed by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) from right wing, resulting in open play.

79:16

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

79:16 Substitution

Substitution Stoke substitution: Matthew Etherington replaced by Rory Delap (tactical).

78:44

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Danny Guthrie (Reading) to far post, header by Alex Pearce (Reading) from right side of six-yard box (6 yards), missed right.

77:24

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington (Stoke) to far post, clearance by Mikele Leigertwood (Reading).

77:06

Attacking throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

76:31 Booking

Booking Matthew Etherington (Stoke) booked for dissent.

76:05 Substitution

Substitution Reading substitution: Pavel Pogrebnyak replaced by Noel Hunt (tactical).

74:02

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

74:02 Substitution

Substitution Stoke substitution: Michael Kightly replaced by Cameron Jerome (tactical).

72:18

Free kick taken right-footed by Asmir Begovic (Stoke) from own half, resulting in open play.

72:18 Booking

Booking Mikele Leigertwood (Reading) booked for unsporting behaviour.

71:42

Foul by Mikele Leigertwood (Reading) on Glenn Whelan (Stoke).

71:10

Defending throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

69:46

Shot by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Robert Huth (Stoke). Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Danny Guthrie (Reading) to far post, header by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) from centre of penalty area (6 yards), save (caught) by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

69:23

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

67:52

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Michael Kightly (Stoke) to near post, clearance by Danny Guthrie (Reading).

67:15

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

66:18

Free kick taken right-footed by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) from own half, resulting in open play.

66:18 Substitution

Substitution Reading substitution: Hal Robson-Kanu replaced by Garath McCleary (tactical).

65:55

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) on Michael Kightly (Stoke).

64:16

Header by Adam Le Fondre (Reading) from right side of penalty area (12 yards), over the bar.

62:40

Foul by Matthew Etherington (Stoke) on Chris Gunter (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Adam Federici (Reading) from own half, resulting in open play.

62:04

Defending throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

61:21

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

59:46

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) on Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading). Free kick taken left-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from right channel (20 yards), hit wall.

59:07

Defending throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

58:12

Attacking throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

57:45

Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) on Adam Le Fondre (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from left channel, resulting in open play.

57:21

Defending throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

57:11

Attacking throw-in by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

56:31

Foul by Robert Huth (Stoke) on Jobi McAnuff (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from left channel, resulting in open play.

55:55

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

55:14

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

54:12

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington (Stoke) to near post, clearance by Alex Pearce (Reading). Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

53:57

Attacking throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

52:53

Defending throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

50:52

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

50:02

Defending throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

49:48

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

49:07

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

48:36

Attacking throw-in by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).

48:14

Attacking throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

47:03

Attacking throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

46:39

Attacking throw-in by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke).

45:21

Defending throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +4:39 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +3:13

Centre by Hal Robson-Kanu, Header by Adam Le Fondre from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

45:00 +2:52

Attacking throw-in by Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

45:00 +1:25

Foul by Matthew Etherington (Stoke) on Kaspars Gorkss (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Danny Guthrie (Reading) from left channel, resulting in open play.

45:00 +0:49

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

44:56

Free kick taken right-footed by Matthew Etherington (Stoke) from left channel, resulting in open play.

44:56 Booking

Booking Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) booked for unsporting behaviour.

44:44

Foul by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) on Jonathan Walters (Stoke).

43:30

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

43:03

Defending throw-in by Michael Kightly (Stoke). Defending throw-in by Michael Kightly (Stoke).

42:26

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

41:04

Shot by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

40:26

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) on Robert Huth (Stoke). Free kick taken right-footed by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) from right channel, passed.

40:05

Attacking throw-in by Michael Kightly (Stoke).

38:34

Michael Kightly (Stoke) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Adam Federici (Reading) from own half, passed.

38:14

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

37:33

Shot by Adam Le Fondre (Reading) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), missed right.

36:55

Defending throw-in by Michael Kightly (Stoke).

36:35

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

36:15

Shot by Peter Crouch (Stoke) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), save (caught) by Adam Federici (Reading).

35:50

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Asmir Begovic (Stoke) from own half, resulting in open play.

33:29

Assist by Glenn Whelan.

33:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Kightly - Reading 0 - 1 Stoke Goal by Michael Kightly (Stoke) right-footed (bottom-right of goal) from centre of penalty area (12 yards).Reading 0-1 Stoke.

32:21

Shot by Jonathan Walters (Stoke) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Adam Federici (Reading).

31:59

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

30:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Hal Robson-Kanu on Michael Kightly. A cross is delivered by Michael Kightly, Jonathan Walters has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

29:51

Attacking throw-in by Michael Kightly (Stoke).

29:05

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

28:30

Attacking throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

27:35

Foul by Michael Kightly (Stoke) on Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading). Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from left wing, clearance by Michael Kightly (Stoke).

26:58

Foul by Michael Kightly (Stoke) on Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Mikele Leigertwood (Reading) from left channel, resulting in open play.

25:21

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Danny Guthrie (Reading) to far post, header by Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed right.

24:44

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

24:28

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

23:36

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

23:02

Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

22:12

Foul by Andy Wilkinson (Stoke) on Jobi McAnuff (Reading). Free kick crossed left-footed by Ian Harte (Reading) from left wing, clearance by Dean Whitehead (Stoke).

21:41

Goal kick taken long by Adam Federici (Reading).

19:04

Shot by Jonathan Walters (Stoke) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), over the bar.

18:02

Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Gunter (Reading) from right channel, passed.

18:02 Booking

Booking Dean Whitehead (Stoke) booked for unsporting behaviour.

17:31

Foul by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) on Jobi McAnuff (Reading).

16:24

Foul by Danny Guthrie (Reading) on Dean Whitehead (Stoke). Free kick taken right-footed by Dean Whitehead (Stoke) from right channel, passed.

15:07

Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Wilson on Jobi McAnuff. Alex Pearce restarts play with the free kick.

14:15

Attacking throw-in by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke).

13:49

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

11:57

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Danny Guthrie (Reading) to near post, clearance by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke).

11:16

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

10:36

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

9:44

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) on Glenn Whelan (Stoke). Free kick taken right-footed by Asmir Begovic (Stoke) from own half, resulting in open play.

9:32

Attacking throw-in by Chris Gunter (Reading).

9:02

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

8:18

Peter Crouch (Stoke) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Adam Federici (Reading) from own half, resulting in open play.

7:49

Goal kick taken long by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

7:07

Cross by Adam Le Fondre (Reading), resulting in ball out of play.

6:51

Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

5:27

Defending throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

4:41

Foul by Robert Huth (Stoke) on Adam Le Fondre (Reading). Free kick taken right-footed by Mikele Leigertwood (Reading) from left wing, resulting in open play.

4:22

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

3:35

Defending throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

3:08

Defending throw-in by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke).

2:48

Peter Crouch (Stoke) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Adam Federici (Reading) from own half, resulting in open play.

2:07

Cross by Ian Harte (Reading), save (caught) by Asmir Begovic (Stoke).

1:12

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

0:50

Attacking throw-in by Marc Wilson (Stoke).

0:07

Attacking throw-in by Ian Harte (Reading).

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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