Hal Robson-Kanu eventually scored in the 74th minute when Reading were awarded an astonishing third spot kick, but by that time Stephen Foster and Matt Done had Barnsley two goals to the good.
One-time Manchester United youngster Steele had already completed a trio of fine stops to keep the hosts at bay before he kept out Ian Harte and Noel Hunt from 12 yard - both penalties coming via fouls from Barnsley full-back Jay McEveley.
“I am really pleased with our first win. I deserve it and the players deserve it although I know that in the second half Reading could have won it” said Barnsley manager Keith Hill.
“I think the win is just reward for the hard work we have put in so I will accept it. We have come a long way to get that result.”
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