On-the-whistle report: Reading 1 Rotherham United 1

ROTHERHAM United live to fight another day after their Championship survival showdown with Reading ended all square.
Delight for Will Vaulks after the equaliser. Picture by Trevor PriceDelight for Will Vaulks after the equaliser. Picture by Trevor Price
Delight for Will Vaulks after the equaliser. Picture by Trevor Price

The Millers were trailing to a first-half goal at the Madjeski Stadium with time running out, but Semi Ajayi was on hand in the 80th minute to bundle the ball home.

It wasn't pretty but the equaliser means Paul Warne's side are still in the thick of the battle to stay up.

They remain third from bottom of the table with 12 games to go after Ajayi's interventon stopped the 21st-placed Royals opening a three-point gap on them.

The holding midfielder forced the ball over the line after Clark Robertson had got his head to a Will Vaulks' cross, sending 763 travelling fans into raptures.

Rotherham fell behind in the 31st minute when a length-of-the-field move ended with Garath McCleary pulling back the ball on the left for Ovie Ejaria to guide the ball high into the far corner.

The Millers' most threatening moment of the opening period had come in the eighth minute but Anthony Forde, with far more time and space than he thought, fluffed his connection in front of goal from Michael Smith's cross.

They pressed hard after the break to restore parity and then had to hold out as the home side came again in search of a winner.

The visitors might even had snatched their first away triumph of the campaign but substitute Joe Newell shot wide with the goal gaping in added time.

Warne was adamant in the build up to the contest that it wasn't a "must-win" encounter. However, the match was certainly bordering on "must not lose".

The push for safety rumbles on.

Reading (4-2-3-1): Emi Martinez; Andy Yiadom, Matt Miazga, Liam Moore, Tyler Blackett; Lewis Baker, John Swift; Yakou Meite, Ovie Ejaria, Garath McCleary; Nelson Oliveira. Unused: Chris Gunter, Paul McShane, Sam Walker, Danny Loader.

Subs: John O'Shea (for Meite, 72), Mo Barrow (for McCleary, 86), Callum Harriott (for Blackett, 86).

Rotherham (4-1-4-1): Marek Rodak; Billy Jones, Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Semi Ajayi; Jon Taylor, Richie Towell, Will Vaulks, Anthony Forde; Michael Smith. Unused: Lewis Price, Zak Vyner, Richard Wood, Jerry Yates.

Subs: Ryan Williams (for Taylor, 58), Newell (for Ihiekwe, 70), Matt Crooks (for Towell, 89).

Goals: Ejaria 31 (Reading); Ajayi 80 (Rotherham).

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

Attendance: 15,958 (763).