Lex Immers' second-half equaliser earned the Bluebirds a 1-1 draw against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading had their first opportunity early on as Ola John stung Simon Moore’s palms from distance. The young stopper did well to keep the effort out though, before collecting the rebound.
After that half-chance, the Bluebirds managed to sustain a period of dominance over the Royals, and were unfortunate not to take the lead on several occasions. First, Lex Immers directed a header goalwards at the near post, but couldn’t quite get enough power on it to threaten Ali Al-Habsi inbetween the Reading sticks.
Then came the Bluebirds best chance, as Craig Noone stooped at the far post and looked set to head home the opener, only for his effort to cannon back off the underside of the bar.
THE ROYALS TAKE THE LEAD
As half-time approached, Reading swung momentum back in their favour and, after carving out a couple of chances, broke the deadlock on thirty-seven minutes. Garath McCleary, who had earlier replaced the injured Hal Robson-Kanu, got the goal - smashing into the top corner from inside the box.
After the break, City looked to get back on the front foot, and controlled the ball for spells in the Reading half. The Royals looked dangerous on the break though, particularly through the lively John.
Former City man Andrew Taylor went close as the ball broke to him thirty yards from goal. He let fly with a powerful effort which bounced just wide of Moore’s post.
Joe Ralls then went even closer for the Bluebirds as Pilkington latched onto Connolly’s through ball to win a free-kick just outside the box. Ralls’ deflected shot at one point looked set for the net, but resulted in a City corner.
LEX LEVELS IT UP
The defining moment for City came on sixty-five minutes though, as Russell Slade brought on Sammy Ameobi and Aron Gunnarsson for Craig Noone and Stuart O’Keefe. Ameobi instantly drove towards goal and let fly, and when the ball bounced back out, Immers was on hand to head home an equaliser.
The goal, in front of City’s superb travelling support, spurred the Bluebirds on, but they couldn’t quite find a winner as the game wore on. In fact, Reading had the best chance to steal it as Simon Cox arrived at the far post in injury time, but sliced his effort well wide of target.
FULL TIME: READING 1-1 CARDIFF CITYScorers: McCleary 37’ | Immers 65’ Reading:
Al-Habsi, Gunter, Taylor, Cooper, McShane (c), Hector, Williams, Quinn (Cox 79), John, Robson-Kanu (McCleary 22), Kermorgant (Vydra 62).
Subs not used:
Bond, Norwood, Obita, Ferdinand.
Moore, Peltier, Connolly, Manga, Malone, Ralls, O'Keefe (Gunnarsson 65), Noone (Ameobi 65), Lawrence, Immers, Pilkington (c).
Subs not used:
Wilson, Fábio, Morrison, Dikgacoi, Saadi.