Reading 1 Hull City 1: Mallik Wilks helps maintain Tigers' unbeaten run

Reading denied Hull City a fifth successive Championship victory when they held them to a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the SCL Stadium.

It was Reading who shaded a mostly even first period and opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time through a spectacular overhead kick from centre-back Tom Holmes.

Mallik Wilks equalised 10 minutes into the second period when home goalkeeper Luke Southwood failed to stop his long-range effort.

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Reading had experienced mixed fortunes before and after the six-point deduction for breaching EFL financial rules that was imposed on them last month.

MATCH ACTION: Reading 1-1 Hull City. Picture: Getty Images.

The 3-2 victory at Swansea last Saturday was only their second win in eight matches. Hull had won four games in a row but – like their hosts – were still not clear of the relegation threat.

The Tigers were five points above the danger zone – and Reading four – going into their meeting in Berkshire. It was the in-form visitors who began the stronger, with skipper Richie Smallwood forcing Southwood into a solid save.

Reading replied with a strong run from left-back Baba Rahman, who crossed precisely into the area for Andy Carroll to latch on to. But the former England striker got his timing all wrong and completely missed the ball.

Hull hit back when Ryan Longman crossed from the right only for Wilks to head tamely over the crossbar. Reading then twice went close to breaking the deadlock – each time denied by Hull keeper Nathan Baxter.

MATCH ACTION: Reading 1-1 Hull City. Picture: Getty Images.

First, he reacted well to spread himself and save from John Swift as Reading’s eight-goal top scorer bore down on him one on one. He then did even better, tipping away a fierce 20-yard effort from Watford loanee Tom Dele-Bashiru.

But Baxter was unable to do anything about Holmes’ acrobatic effort in first-half stoppage time. Holmes had earlier been fortunate not to send a close-range volley into his own net and was grateful to Southwood for keeping it out.

But when Hull failed with two attempts to clear a Swift corner, Josh Laurent nodded back and Holmes pounced to score his first goal for the club. Hull, however, drew level in the 55th minute when Wilks tried a speculative yet well-struck drive from about 30 yards.

Southwood seemed to have it covered but, at the crucial moment, allowed the ball to squirm under his body and into the net. Reading responded positively to create three quick chances – all falling to Carroll.

But from those trio of openings, he blazed over on each occasion.

Reading felt they should have been awarded a late penalty when Di’Shon Bernard appeared to handle under pressure from Carroll but referee Steve Martin ignored their appeals.