Leaders Brighton preserve unbeaten start with Reading draw
Brighton stretched their unbeaten Sky Bet Championship run to 14 matches by picking up a hard-earned point in a 1-1 draw at Reading.
Jamie Murphy eased the league leaders ahead shortly after half-time when he slotted home after good work by Tomer Hemed.
But Reading levelled in the 78th minute when Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale fumbled a Nick Blackman drive and Matej Vydra prodded in the rebound.
Brighton went into the match as the only undefeated team in the top five tiers of English football, with a record of eight wins and five draws.
They had failed to score in only two of their matches this season, including the 0-0 home draw with Preston last time out.
Reading had won six out of seven matches but their bubble burst when they successively drew 1-1 at Rotherham and lost 4-2 at Fulham.
At Craven Cottage, they had led 2-0 before conceding three Fulham goals in six minutes on their way to an emphatic defeat.
Brighton looked the livelier team in the early stages at a sun-drenched Madejski Stadium, with home defender Paul McShane having to be alert to clear a dangerous cross from Murphy.
As Reading responded, Lewis Dunk also did well with a firm challenge after Blackman had been released by Vydra.
Stockdale then saved spectacularly from a well-struck Oliver Norwood free-kick from 25 yards.
Blackman also had little luck from a similarly placed set-piece, his powerful effort striking Beram Kayal, who was positioned in the defensive wall, full in the face and deflecting to safety.
The game had a smooth ebb and flow to it, with both sides appearing confident when moving forward.
Sam Baldock should have done better for Brighton when slicing wide a volley from a Murphy cross.
Hemed also narrowly failed to reach a fine cross from Liam Rosenior but then forced home keeper Ali Al Habsi into an agile save from his flicked header.
Reading's best chance before the break was a glancing header from Blackman, which drifted into the side-netting.
Six minutes into the second half, Brighton broke the deadlock. Hemed escaped on the right flank and his low cross was easily converted by the unmarked Murphy at the far post.
It signalled an immediate response from the home side, with former Reading full-back Liam Rosenior having to clear off the line from Michael Hector's goal-bound shot.
Vydra wasted a clear opening after a lightning fast Reading counter-attack, and Blackman was denied by a sprawling save from Stockdale.
Brighton, though, could have increased their lead when Hector's intended back pass missed Al Habsi and was heading for the net. However, the goalkeeper scrambled back to hack the ball clear.
Reading rallied strongly near the end and were rewarded 12 minutes from time when Stockdale spilled Blackman's shot and Vydra tucked in his first goal for the club.