Late George Evans strike earns Reading draw against Derby

Late George Evans strike earns Reading draw against Derby

Managerless Derby were denied a second successive Sky Bet Championship victory when they conceded a late goal at Reading and were held to a 1-1 draw.

Without boss Nigel Pearson, who was suspended by the club in midweek, Derby went ahead through a second-half goal from Matej Vydra.

The Czech Republic striker, a former Reading loanee, struck from close range after poor home defending.

But Reading equalised in the 90th minute, when George Evans touched the ball home after a scramble in the Derby area.

Pearson, appointed in May, was suspended on Tuesday after a heated disagreement with club chairman and owner Mel Morris.

Assistant Chris Powell stepped into the breach at short notice, with Derby going on to win 2-0 at Cardiff.

Under Pearson this season, Derby had won only once in nine games and scored just three goals.

Reading's unbeaten eight-match run in all competitions came to a halt at Brentford on Tuesday when they were beaten 4-1.

Derby were slow out of the blocks and offered little going forward in the opening stages.

Jacob Butterfield tried to release Vydra but his pass carried too much pace and the chance went begging.

Tom Ince ventured forward and cut in from his position on the right wing but his fierce shot was blocked by the covering home defence.

Reading were little more creative, preferring the patient approach, but Yann Kermorgant went close when a curling effort drifted just wide of a post.

And they could have gone ahead in first-half stoppage time from a Garath McCleary corner only for Kermorgant to send a free header straight at Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson.

Kermorgant had another opportunity in the early stages of the second half after he had been released by McCleary.

But with an obvious chance to test Carson, he chose to pass instead of shoot and the Derby defence easily cleared the danger.

Reading soon paid for the error, with Derby going in front in the 62nd minute.

Cyrus Christie slung over a free-kick from the left, which took a deflection in the home penalty box and fell nicely for Vydra to jab past Ali Al Habsi.

It was Vydra's second goal for Derby after an B£8 million move from Watford during the summer.

He had a disappointing loan spell at Reading last season, scoring nine goals in 36 appearances.

Vydra could have had a second goal, when he met Ikechi Anya's cross with a firm header.

However, Al Habsi produced a flying point-blank save to keep it out.

And Reading then levelled in the last minute, when Roy Beerens' corner caused havoc in the Derby area and Evans poked in his first goal for the club.