Championship
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Reading 1-1 Rotherham United: Semi Ajayi goal rescues point for Millers

Semi Ajayi
Semi Ajayi popped up to score his fourth goal of the season

Rotherham salvaged a late point away to fellow Championship strugglers Reading in a closely fought draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Ovie Ejaria looked to have made the decisive contribution after rounding off a flowing Reading move in the 31st minute.

The midfielder, on loan from Liverpool, looped a fine finish into the far corner after getting on the end of Garath McCleary's cutback.

But Semi Ajayi turned home a vital Rotherham equaliser in the 79th minute after Will Vaulks' cross was flicked on by Clark Robertson.

Reading pressed hard for a winner in the closing stages, but Nelson Oliveira and Ejaria both missed chances from close range and Lewis Baker headed straight at Marek Rodak in the Rotherham goal.

Rodak was then almost caught out when Reading substitute Mo Barrow beat him to the ball outside of the penalty area, but the goalkeeper recovered to smother at the feet of Oliveira.

Rotherham's fifth consecutive draw left them one place below Reading in the relegation zone, but only goal difference separates the two sides.

Reading, who have now won only one of their last seven matches, had defended well prior to Ajayi's later equaliser, and will rue a missed opportunity to move clear of the relegation zone.

Reading manager Jose Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"I'm frustrated to get just one point. We created a lot of situations we could have finished another way.

"Against a team playing direct football, you can never think you have the three points in your pocket. The lesson for the future is, even when you're winning, you must play to score. I understand that the players want to keep the points, but it's not enough. We must play all games to win.

"Today the fans made a lot of noise supporting us - they deserved the three points. But nobody can say the players didn't want to fight. They were brave. They worked well. In the end, we have one point more. We need to rest and start to prepare for the next match."

Rotherham manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"I said to the lads at half-time, it doesn't feel like you believe you're going to score.

"We did have a bit of the play, but we didn't look like we were getting on the second balls. In the second half, we had a much better threat. They nearly scored at the death after a mix-up with our keeper. That would have been very a hard pill to swallow.

"It's a good point for us. There are still twelve games left. A loss would have ruined the little run we're on, but I think our lads will take more from the game than them.

"I've just told the lads how proud I was of their second-half performance. Most of their individuals are faster and stronger than ours, so we had to really dig in, and we looked fitter and stronger at the end of the game. We're giving ourselves a good chance [to stay up]."

Line-ups

Reading

  • 26Martínez
  • 3Yiadom
  • 19Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 24Blackett
  • 18EjariaSubstituted forHarriottat 86'minutes
  • 16Baker
  • 10SwiftBooked at 54mins
  • 21MeiteSubstituted forO'Sheaat 72'minutes
  • 22Oliveira
  • 12McClearySubstituted forBarrowat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5McShane
  • 15Harriott
  • 17Barrow
  • 28Walker
  • 43Loader

Rotherham

  • 1Rodák
  • 28Jones
  • 20IhiekweSubstituted forNewellat 70'minutes
  • 15Robertson
  • 3MattockBooked at 50mins
  • 5Ajayi
  • 11TaylorSubstituted forWilliamsat 58'minutesBooked at 59mins
  • 13TowellSubstituted forCrooksat 89'minutes
  • 4VaulksBooked at 89mins
  • 7Forde
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 2Vyner
  • 6Wood
  • 12Price
  • 17Crooks
  • 21Yates
  • 22Newell
  • 23Williams
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
15,958

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamRotherham
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home15
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Reading 1, Rotherham United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Reading 1, Rotherham United 1.

Attempt saved. Michael Smith (Rotherham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

Attempt missed. Joe Newell (Rotherham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Modou Barrow (Reading) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the left.

Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Lewis Baker (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nélson Oliveira with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Matt Crooks replaces Richard Towell.

Booking

Will Vaulks (Rotherham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

John Swift (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Will Vaulks (Rotherham United).

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Callum Harriott replaces Ovie Ejaria.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Modou Barrow replaces Garath McCleary.

Attempt missed. Matt Miazga (Reading) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Garath McCleary with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Marek Rodák.

Attempt saved. Ovie Ejaria (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Swift.

Attempt saved. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Swift.

Attempt blocked. Will Vaulks (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Anthony Forde.

Foul by Nélson Oliveira (Reading).

Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Reading 1, Rotherham United 1. Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Clark Robertson with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Andy Yiadom.

Garath McCleary (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Billy Jones (Rotherham United).

Attempt saved. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by John Swift.

Attempt missed. Richard Towell (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Michael Smith (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Will Vaulks (Rotherham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Anthony Forde.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. John O'Shea replaces Yakou Meite.

Attempt missed. Ovie Ejaria (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Moore with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Joe Newell replaces Michael Ihiekwe.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by John Swift.

Matt Miazga (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Smith (Rotherham United).

Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richard Towell (Rotherham United).

Offside, Rotherham United. Billy Jones tries a through ball, but Ryan Williams is caught offside.

Booking

Ryan Williams (Rotherham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich34199668442466
2Sheff Utd34197859342564
3Leeds33197755371864
4West Brom34179867432460
5Middlesbrough331512638241457
6Bristol City3215894233953
7Derby3214994337651
8Birmingham33111485142947
9Nottm Forest33111484638847
10Preston341211115348547
11Aston Villa34101595753445
12Swansea33128134342144
13Hull33128134647-144
14Blackburn341111124552-744
15Sheff Wed331111113948-944
16Brentford3211101155441143
17Stoke34914113542-741
18QPR33116164152-1139
19Wigan3398163347-1435
20Millwall33810153648-1234
21Reading34612163550-1530
22Rotherham34515143454-2030
23Bolton3468202253-3126
24Ipswich34312192657-3121
View full Championship table

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