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Reading FC 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion: Instant Reaction

Reading's fourth Championship game of the season ended with a deserved point in a 2-2 with league leaders Brighton. Here's our initial thoughts.

Harry Trump/Getty Images

Jaap Stam maintained his unbeaten record at the Madejski Stadium as Reading earned a deserved draw with League leaders Brighton.

Stam kept faith with the team that lost at Newcastle and his loyalty was rewarded within two minutes as Roy Beerens won a free-kick on the left just outside the box, before John Swift's curling delivery beat everyone to squeeze in at the far post. That goal woke up Brighton who put Reading under intense pressure, which ultimately ended in Joey van den Berg nodding past his own keeper while under pressure from Glenn Murray.

But just as at Newcastle on Wednesday, this Reading team showed they've got some fight in them and after soaking up a bit more pressure, finished the first half firmly the stronger of the two teams, with Williams and Yann Kermorgant both going close.

Sadly they'd make the worst possible start to the second period, as a ball knocked down the flank saw Paul McShane isolated and out-paced one-on-one. The delivery from the Reading right found a lurking Anthony Knockaert, with the Brighton number 11 getting a goal he fully deserved for an outstanding performance.

But once again Reading refused to die and got themselves level again when McCleary found Paul McShane from a cutback, with the Reading captain slotting home from inside the box.

Brighton sacrificed a striker for Oliver Norwood in a telling sign of who was on top and aside from some hairy moments late on including a Van den Berg red card, Reading were fully deserving of a point.

Defensively there's still a lot to be done but going forward Reading looked very impressive against a team who came to the Mad Stad having not conceded this season and top of the league. Liam Moore will be a big help to the defence and if one of the strikers can get on the goal trial, this team could surprise a few.

Sophie will be along with plenty more details in a full report and player ratings so stay tuned for those later this weekend.

Reading: Al-Habsi, Obita, McShane, Van den Berg, Gunter, Evans, Swift (Quinn), Williams, Beerens (Cooper), McCleary (Mendes), Kermorgant