Just three days after beating Charlton at the Madejski Stadium, the Royals were on their travels as a busy month got into full throttle. The strength in depth of the Reading squad was shown as Andrew Taylor came in for Jordan Obita at left back, Danny Williams replaced Aaron Tshibola and Garath McCleary was brought in to replace Ola John. There was also the welcome return of Matěj Vydra on the bench.
The Royals broke the deadlock midway through the first half with a goal that words can't really do justice, but here goes... Oliver Norwood pinged a ball between the Rotherham centre-backs which Nick Blackman took on his chest in full flight, then absolutely smacked into the top corner on the half-volley. Seriously, it has to be seen to be believed, so go find it on social media! But then, we know Blackman has special moments like that in his locker, so perhaps it's just par for the course now...
All good until half-time, but then from the sublime to the ridiculous two minutes into the second 45. Anthony Andreu's drilled corner found a completely unmarked Danny Collins at the back post, who volleyed past Ali Al Habsi from nine yards. The Omani had to be alert to stop a complete turnaround a few moments later, making an important stop from Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Steve Clarke brought on Matej Vydra, back from injury, and Paolo Hurtado to try and find the winner but unfortunately neither had the desired impact on the match and the Royals had to settle for a point. Not a disastrous result, but one which you feel Reading should be winning if they do hold ambitions of automatic promotion.
We'll have a full report as well as the usual post-match analysis over the coming days.
Reading: Al-Habsi; Gunter, Hector, McShane, Taylor; McCleary, Williams, Norwood, Piazon; Sa, Blackman.