Football - Royals get Adkins thumbs-up

Reading manager Nigel Adkins was pleased at the reaction from his side following last week's 5-2 debacle at Sheffield Wednesday as they drew 1-1 at home against promotion-chasers QPR.

PA Sport Report

Reading took a 62nd-minute lead through Garath McCleary but midfielder Barton equalised 12 minutes from time with a well-flighted free-kick to earn Rangers a point.

"I anticipated a good response and no one let me down," Adkins said.

"It was a good game with a lot of energy from both sides. We went in front and wanted to see it out, but they got back into it with a good goal.

"We keep getting on the scorecard and keep ticking over.

"As long as we stay in the race, that's the main thing. Every game in this division is a challenge, every game is competitive.

"We drew a line under the Sheffield Wednesday game and we're just now striving to improve."

QPR tore into Reading from the off, with Junior Hoilett striking the bar from 25 yards and Charlie Austin twice being denied by athletic saves from McCarthy.

Reading gradually got into contention, with Pavel Pogrebnyak jabbing a shot just wide from a McCleary cross and also nodding over from a Chris Gunter centre. QPR keeper Robert Green also had to make a fine stop to keep out a glancing header from Chris Baird from a Guthrie free-kick.

QPR responded swiftly, with McCarthy again in action and having to make fine saves from an Austin header and an angled drive from Hoilett.

But Reading, hammered 5-2 at Sheffield Wednesday in their previous outing, went ahead just after the hour when McCleary unleashed a dipping 25-yard shot that deceived Green and bounced in off a post.

Reading could have doubled their lead, with Green saving smartly from Jordan Obita, but QPR stole a point when Kaspars Gorkss clumsily fouled Austin on the edge of the area and Barton clipped home the free-kick through a gap in the defensive wall. McCarthy got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

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