Royals fan Jacob Hawley gives his verdict from the away end as Reading secure a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at The City Ground.

The Royals showed signs of improvement following the abysmal performance against Millwall just 4 days prior; the majority of Reading fans would have gladly taken a point away to promotion-chasing Forest.

Reading came out of the blocks firing, with the hosts struggling to cope with us for the first 20 minutes.

The Forest defence was forced into action as a result of our early pressure and struggled to get out of their own half early on.

The home side were forced into long-range efforts, unable to break through the Royals’ resilient defence; Joe Lolley was denied by Rafael from distance.

Shortly after, a nail-biting moment for the away fans as a Forest set-piece was missed by everyone and flew just wide of the far post.

However, Reading grew into the game again, with Ejaria pivotal to most of our attacking flow: the last chance of the first half came when he drove forward, shielding the ball from surrounding Forest players before linking up with Swifty.

Swift laid it off for Obita on the edge who’s drilled effort was matched with a good save by the hosts’ keeper, Brice Samba.

Reading struggled to cope with the Reds’ passing and as a result, the game shifted in Forests’ favour around the hour mark.

The inevitable goal was difficult to watch: some slick one-twos helped the home side pass around Reading’s backline with ease; a Sammy Ameobi scuffed effort was turned home by former Royal, Lewis Grabban, at the back post.

However, Forest fans will know that it’s never over until it’s over against Reading.

With 10 minutes on the clock, the Royals decided to wake up. Efforts from Baldock and Olise respectively were both blocked, but there was nothing Samba could do to keep out Baldock’s cheeky, back-to-goal effort that came just three minutes after Forest’s opening goal.

Some slick footwork helped the 30 year-old find just enough space to get his shot away and, much to the away fans’ delight, Samba fumbled it (again).

Following some confusion, the goal was given despite the Reds’ argument that it hadn’t crossed the line.

Baldock has scored some vital goals this season and has undoubtedly shown that he is still more than capable at this level: his goal last night from the bench was further proof of his impressive finishing ability.

Jordan Obita also put in a solid performance last night, causing the Reds’ problems both going forward and defensively.

He forced Samba into a save on more than one occasion and was one of our most threatening assets offensively, including providing the assist for the equaliser,

Reading weren’t ‘lucky’ as such last night, however, a Forest win would not have been unjust - the hosts outplayed the Royals for large parts of the game and will be disappointed to have come away with just a point.

On the other hand, the travelling fans will go home pleased, having successfully held the Championship’s fourth best side to just one point.