FULL-TIME: Crystal Palace 3 Reading FC 3
February 26, 2011
Goals from Shane Long, Jimmy Kebe and Noel Hunt earned Reading a 3-3 draw at a drenched Selhurst Park.
Royals got off to a nightmare start when Palace took the lead after only 40 seconds. Darren Ambrose cut in from the right, beat Ivar Ingimarsson and fired a left footed shot low past McCarthy.
It could have got even worse for Reading, but McCarthy somehow kept out Neil Danns’ effort after Royals failed to clear their lines.
Noel Hunt should have levelled for Brian McDermott’s side, but he missed the ball when just two yards out after Julian Speroni had failed to deal with a deflection.
Palace almost made Royals pay a minute later, but Ambrose sidefooted wide when it looked easier to score.
The hosts soon did double their lead, though, as Ingimarsson failed to deal with a long ball and James Vaughan’s deflected cross fell to Neil Danns who sidefooted home.
Long gave Reading a lifeline when he was brought down by Paddy McCarthy in the area and dispatched the penalty.
However, Palace were awarded a spot-kick of their own less than 60 seconds later after McCarthy brought down Steffen Iversen.
The young keeper redeemed himself by superbly keeping out Ambrose’s effort low to his left.
It took Reading just four minutes of the second half to draw level when Kebe expertly found the bottom right corner after fine work from Long on the left.
The visitors were the better side, but yet more poor defending allowed substitute Jermaine Easter to hook in Palace’s third after 68 minutes.
It was a clinical finish from Easter, but Ingimarsson should have been tighter on his man.
Again Royals hit back and Hunt headed in Kebe’s cross five minutes later to ensure McDermott’s side left with a deserved point.
Palace (4-4-2): Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy (c), Gardner, Moxey, Ambrose, Dikgacoi, Wright, Danns, Iversen, Vaughan.
Subs: Price, Davis, Garvan, Scanell, Zaha, Easter, Counago
Reading: (4-4-2): McCarthy, Cummings, Mills (c), Ingimarsson, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Hunt, Long.
Subs: Andersen, Karacan, Khizanishvili, Antonio, Church, Robson-Kanu, Howard
Referee: Anthony Bates (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 13,845 (1,253 Royals)