Barnsley were thwarted late on by Reading here at Oakwell this afternoon.
Despite Carlton Morris firing the Reds ahead inside the opening stages, Poya Asbaghi’s side were unable to hold on for what would have been a huge victory in the battle to stay in the Sky Bet Championship.
The visitors started brightly with Ovie Ejaria denied early on by Brad Collins, but straight up the other end, Barnsley took the lead against the run of play. Some great play in the build-up eventually saw Morris released on the right of the box by Amine Bassi and the big man finished low and hard into the opposite corner of the net.
Despite that perfect start, the Reds never got a grip of the game, or the ball for long spells as the away side dominated possession and always looked the more threatening team.
But the Royals were struggling to carve out clear chances. It wasn’t until late in the first half that Collins again had to be called into action as he parried behind a John Swift effort from close-range.
And right on half time, the Reds were indebted to Rémy Vita whose last gasp challenge prevented the lively Tom Ince from scoring what looked a certain goal.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-0 Reading
There was little in the way of change as far as the pattern of the game went, as we entered the second period. It was Reading with the ball, doing the probing, trying to find a way back into the game.
Ince was cautioned by referee, Keith Stroud for a theatrical dive inside the penalty area, before an outstanding block from Callum Brittain saw a Royals shot that looked destined for the net, skew wide for a set piece instead.
But the dominance paid off for the Berkshire outfit, as they levelled the contest on 82 minutes, with Josh Laurent slamming home from a few yards out, despite desperate defending from the men in Red.
There was an injury time moment for Barnsley as a deep cross landed at the far post but Britain’s effort cannoned off a defender rather than off him and into the net.
A deeply disappointing result for the Reds, as they remain five points adrift of the Royals after this one, with just seven games remaining of the 21/22 campaign.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1-1 Reading
Collins, Brittain, Andersen, Kitching, Vita, Wolfe (Adeboyejo), Gomes, Bassi, Quina, Styles (Oduor), Morris.
Unused: Walton, Moon, Benson, Palmer, Leya Iseka.