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Ten-man Sheffield Wednesday battle hard to secure draw with Reading

Swansea City v Sheffield Wednesday – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: David Davies)

Tony Pulis remains without a win as Sheffield Wednesday manager but his players held high-flying Reading to a 1-1 draw despite playing for an hour with 10 men.

After Callum Paterson gave the Owls an early lead at Hillsborough, teenage midfielder Liam Shaw became the club’s fifth player in nine games to be shown a red card following a crude challenge on Omar Richards.

Lucas Joao went on to level matters on the stroke of half-time with a 13th goal of the season against his old club, but a reorganised Wednesday refused to be breached during a determined second-half display.

Reading kept possession in confident fashion during the opening exchanges and Joao might have broken the deadlock in the sixth minute when he was released through the left channel after an incisive pass by Richards.

But the Portuguese striker dragged the opportunity across the face of Joe Wildsmith’s goal.

Instead, it was the hosts that forged in front from their first attack of the match in the 12th minute following an impressive flowing move.

Kadeem Harris’ sweeping diagonal pass sent Adam Reach charging down the left flank and his excellent cross to the far post was expertly headed back across goal by Paterson into the bottom corner.

It was the Scotland international’s second goal of the season and he almost claimed a third just two minutes later when he directed another header – from Liam Palmer’s right-wing cross – inches wide.

That scare seemed to galvanise the visitors back into action with Michael Olise’s curling 30-yard free-kick thumping against the base of an upright and, on the half-hour mark, the Royals gained their numerical advantage when Shaw clattered into Richards close to the halfway line.

The rest of the half was one-way traffic with Wildsmith displaying heroic reflexes to tip over a firmly-struck Alfa Semedo effort and a stretching Reach somehow diverting Richards’ powerful drive over his own crossbar on the goal line.

Wednesday managed to hold out until the 44th minute when Ovie Ejaria was fouled close to the left byline and then floated the resulting free-kick to the far post where Joao headed in.

Pulis made a triple substitution at the interval and also dropped Paterson back into midfield as the more energetic Harris pushed forward into the lone striker role instead, with his players containing the visitors much more effectively after the restart.

An Olise free-kick brushed the top of the net just past the hour, while Michael Morrison also headed wide and Ejaria fired off target from distance and had a second attempt from the edge of the box shovelled away by Wildsmith.

Reading then camped in the hosts’ half for the final 10 minutes but could not force a winner with Josh Laurent tumbling in the box but seeing his strong shout for a penalty turned down.