Reading manager Mark Bowen said his side should have had two penalties – and had the game sewn up long before Nick Powell swooped to score a 92nd-minute equaliser for Stoke City at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.
The teams shared the points as the Championship returned to action behind closed doors having been suspended for three months because of the coronavirus crisis.
The Royals looked the more likely to mark the re-start with a win when they took a seventh minute lead through Lucas Joao.
However, Stoke claimed a point when Lasse Sorensen’s corner was headed back across the area and headed home by Powell, much to Bowen’s frustration.
The former Stoke City assistant manager told the Reading official website: “I thought we played well for long periods of the game.
“We were a bit rusty in our decision-making at times when we were in good positions. But you get to the stage where it’s a case of seeing the game out and you hope we do.
“You’re playing a game against a team like Stoke, with the big centre half Batth and Vokes up front, maybe you’re not going to get the first contact when the ball comes into the box, but even more important therefore that the players organise themselves to get the second contact and clear the danger.”
Mind you, Bowen didn’t think the game should have been in the balance by that point.
He said: “I think the referee raised my blood pressure a few times. We had two stonewall penalties which weren’t given – he’s closer than most people in the stadium.
“John Swift was coming onto a shot on the edge of his box, his ankles were taken from him, nothing was given and they broke and nearly scored at the other end! I was smiling it was so comical.
“I’m not going to use it as an excuse for us switching off at the end, but the game should have been way beyond Stoke by the time they scored.”