Royals hit back for share of spoils
- Leigh Doughty
Tom Ince grabbed a late leveller as Reading came from behind to earn a share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.
Ince, son of interim Royals manager Paul Ince, rifled home an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box seven minutes from time.
His effort cancelled out Dominic Solanke’s eighth-minute opener, his fourth goal in as many games against his hometown club.
Jordan Zemura was restored to the Cherries starting line-up as head coach Scott Parker made one change following the 2-0 win over Derby County on Saturday.
Zemura was drafted in for Leif Davis who suffered a hip injury during the first half against the Rams and was replaced by the Zimbabwe international.
His place on the Cherries bench was taken by Ethan Laird, the Manchester United loan man having made two appearances since signing in January.
Former Cherries goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, who joined the Royals last week, was handed his debut by interim manager Paul Ince.
Jaidon Anthony nicked the ball off Andy Yiadom and set up Todd Cantwell for the Cherries’ first shooting chance but Nyland saved comfortably.
However, the Norway international was powerless to prevent the hosts from drawing first blood in the eighth minute.
Solanke side-footed the ball past Nyland from around 12 yards after a superb exchange of passes with Jefferson Lerma had carved open the Reading defence.
The move started with Zemura picking out Solanke, the striker sweeping home his 23rd goal of the season following a one-two with the Colombia international.
Mark Travers was then called upon to make an important block from Lucas Joao after the Royals frontman had stretched to meet Tom Ince’s centre.
Nyland saved at his near post after Jack Stacey and been sent free down the right by Ryan Christie, the former Reading defender’s shot striking the goalkeeper on the chest.
A top-drawer stop from Nyland prevented the Cherries from doubling their lead, the goalkeeper diving full length to his left to parry Christie’s effort following good work by Solanke and Cantwell.
Andy Rinomhota, teed up perfectly by Yiadom’s layoff, blasted his effort straight at Travers, the Cherries goalkeeper in the right place at the right time in the 31st minute.
A substitution at the break saw in-form frontman Jamal Lowe – who netted against the Royals in November – replace Cantwell.
Lowe almost turned provider just seconds after coming on, his delicate pass freeing Christie who rifled straight into the grateful arms of Nyland.
Travers got down smartly to snaffle Josh Laurent’s speculative effort before Christie drew applause from home fans for some excellent defending to prevent Yiadom from crossing.
Nat Phillips did superbly to cut out Ince’s dangerous cross as Joao prepared to pounce, while Danny Drinkwater fired well wide from the edge of the box.
Reading appealed in vain for a penalty after Ovie Ejaria had gone to ground under a Stacey challenge before Christie’s shot deflected off Yiadom for a corner.
Reading levelled seven minutes from time when Ince seized on the loose ball following an Ejaria corner and drilled an unstoppable shot past Travers from the edge of the box.
As the Cherries looked for a quick response, Lerma's header was saved by Nyland in the closing stages.
AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Stacey, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura, Lerma, Cook (Pearson, 75), Cantwell (Lowe, h/t), Christie, Solanke, Anthony (Dembele, 86).
Unused subs: Cahill, Marcondes, Laird, Woodman (g/k).
Reading: Nyland, Yiadom, Morrison, Holmes, McIntyre, Rinomhota, Laurent, Ince, Drinkwater, Ejaria (Hoilett, 90), Joao (Meite, 75).
Unused subs: Dele-Bashiru, Dann, Barker, Hoilett, Abrefa, Southwood (g/k).
Referee: Leigh Doughty.