Well this was the big one - the one we’d all been waiting for. There were nerves and excitement in equal measure from the Loyal Royals in the run-up to Saturday, but most of all just sheer hope that we wouldn’t lose.
And we didn’t. It was another really hard-earned point. I know we aren’t going to stay in the league with just draws, and we need to start converting some into wins soon. However, it shows how far we’ve come in a short amount of time, considering how easy we were to beat earlier in the season.
Here’s what the fans had to say after our biggest game of the season...
A hard team to beat
Look, we all wanted a win. There would’ve been nothing sweeter than taking all three points back to Berkshire, but the most important thing is we didn’t lose and managed to fight back to earn a point.
The one thing the fans wanted to see in this game, more than anything else, was a fighting performance and 100% effort - and they got that.
The fans were certainly happy with the result, another that showed how we’ve become a much more difficult team to beat in recent weeks...
Another point thanks to a much needed equaliser - I'll take it! Magnificent support & passion on derby day from the #ReadingFC faithful, as always . We move on to the next game— Wayne (@Wazza1871) February 3, 2024
Since that late collapse v Shrewsbury we have come from behind 6 times to grab something from the game. Twice v Oxford, Posh, Cheltenham, Lincoln and Orient. Resilience is building. Big point today #readingfc— Mike (@MikePea73444529) February 3, 2024
A battling performance. Some of the lads out on their feet at the end. Thought Yiadom was superb. Cracking point. #readingfc— Shaun Berry (@sbezzzab1871) February 3, 2024
You have to give this team credit however bad we are in spells this team will always fight to the end important point up the ding #readingfc— Clarks1481 (@clarks1481) February 3, 2024
To have not been anywhere near our best for 70% of that game a point isn't the worst result. We're staying in games now & becoming much more difficult to beat. Only 1 defeat in 10, but we do need to convert some draws into wins to stay up but we're giving it a good go! #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) February 3, 2024
Our recent results showing we are becoming more difficult to beat. Unbeaten now in 10. We are no where near the finished article so will be nervy at times, but its progress and moving forward. If we can draw our away and mix with some wins we’ll be fine. #readingfc— Max (@Readingfan106) February 3, 2024
Remember when we used to concede in injury time every game? It's been 11 matches since we last conceded in the final quarter of a game (3-1 loss to Barnsley). We've also gained 6 points from losing positions since (6 draws), and lost 0 from winning positions #readingfc— Ben Morley (@BenS4G) February 3, 2024
Ruben Selles has got a fair few substitutions wrong this season, but he got them absolutely spot on against Oxford.
The introduction of Clinton Mola, Charlie Savage and, in particular, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan really changed the game for us. They came on at a time when the players were looking a little leggy and it appeared any kind of result was escaping us.
But they brought energy and quality that ended up earning us a point. Ehibhatiomhan in particular was really impressive and a real threat down the left-hand side.
Here's how the fans reacted to the three subs’ performances...
Poor first half from us. Wasn't expecting Savage and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan to turn it around, but they did!— Reading FC (@bluewhitewall) February 3, 2024
We failed to do the basics and lucky to get a point. I guess it shows how bad they are if they still can't beat us at our worst.
Do we now start Ehib and Savage?#ReadingFC
Kelvin and Savage changed that game, thought they looked absolutely superb when they came on #ReadingFC— William Owen Pond (@WilliamOwenPond) February 3, 2024
#readingfc who was that new LW signing that came off the bench! Kelvin E. Powerful runner dominant in competing for the ball has to start next game. Surely this may be the surprise of the season :) @ElmParkRoyals @TheTilehurstEnd @james_e1871— James (@James89349764) February 4, 2024
Kelvin becoming a winger was not on my bingo card but he’s been our best player since he’s come on #readingfc— Dan (@DanCleaver28) February 3, 2024
Great run by Kelvin and if you put the ball into a dangerous area, dangerous things happen.— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) February 3, 2024
Now to rob a famously undeserved winner and whisper it quietly…has a set of Ruben Selles substitutes actually worked? #readingfc
Not the win we were all craving, but definitely a point gained rather than two lost. We’re a difficult team to beat now, which is a really nice thing to be able to say considering how soft and flaky we were earlier in the season.
Now we just need to start converting some of these draws into wins and we should (emphasis on the should) be okay.
Fingers crossed we’ll have two more games and this lot to look forward to next season. URZ.