Barnsley came from behind to claim a share of the spoils against play-off chasing Reading at Oakwell on Friday evening.
Alex Mowatt’s second half penalty cancelled out Ovie Ejaria’s first half strike, with both sides guilty of missing glorious opportunities to take all three points.
Reading had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock inside eight minutes when Yakou Meite won possession back and raced clear but could only blaze his wild effort high and wide when it looked harder to miss.
The Reds’ first real opening came from a free-kick just after the half hour mark as Mowatt floated a fine cross in for Michał Helik who headed straight at Rafael Cabral.
But shortly after, Ejaria latched onto Andy Rinomhota’s hopeful ball over the top and slotted low past Brad Collins to give the visitors an advantage ten minutes before the interval.
Moments later, Barnsley were almost level through what would have been a real slice of luck as Callum Brittain’s cross from the byline clipped the crossbar with Cabral stranded.
Stung into life by Reading’s goal, the Reds searched for an equaliser and when Callum Styles’ deep cross was only half-cleared, Brittain’s volley was deflected behind for a corner.
From the resulting set-piece, Romal Palmer rose highest but couldn’t keep his powerful header down.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Reading
After a slow start to the second half from both sides, Barnsley were awarded a penalty on the hour mark when Styles was hauled to the ground by former Reds skipper Andy Yiadom.
With regular taker Woodrow replaced at the break, cue current captain, Mowatt, to step up and casually place his spot kick down the middle and level the scores under pressure.
The visitors almost retook the lead when Styles’ backpass was intercepted by Meite, the ball fell to Lucas Joao but he somehow contrived to miss from close range as the Reds survived another scare of their own making.
In an open, end-to-end encounter, Barnsley had the next opportunity as Styles fizzed a half-volley over the bar with both sides pushing forward in search on an elusive winner.
From a deep free-kick, Cabral came to claim and spilled the ball and, in the ensuing melee that followed, Mad Andersen’s scrambled shot clipped the post.
Carlton Morris then surged down the left, burst into the area and cut onto his right foot but Cabral was equal to his low effort as the Reds finished strongly.
Up next to try his luck was Aapo Halme when he climbed above everyone to meet Mowatt’s corner, but headed over the bar.
With four minutes remaining, the Reds thought they had made the breakthrough when Mowatt’s inswinging corner was bundled over the line, but the referee adjudged there to have been a foul on Cabral.
It proved to be the last action of a breathless finale, as both sides settled for a point which leaves Barnsley fifth in the Sky Bet Championship.
REDS XI: Collins (GK), Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen, Brittain, Palmer (Halme, 57), Mowatt (C), Styles, Frieser, Woodrow (Dike, 46), Adeboyejo (Morris, 46).
Not used: Walton (GK), J Williams, Sibbick, Moon, Oduor, Chaplin.
READING XI: Cabral (GK), Morrison (Holmes, 42), Moore (C), Olise (Semedo, 84), Rinomhota, Meite, Ejaria, Gibson, Yiadom, Joao, Laurent.
Not used: Southwood (GK), Esteves, Richards, Baldock, Aluko, Tetek, Puskas.