Blackpool will welcome Reading back to Bloomfield Road for an FA Cup third round replay, after a lively 2-2 draw at the Madejski Stadium.
Nathan Delfouneso and Armand Gnanduillet scored for the Seasiders, with Reading pegging them back twice through Sam Baldock and his substitute, Danny Loader.
Sam Baldock tried his luck from distance in the opening ten minutes, but Mark Howard was equal to it and saved well down to his left.
With 19 minutes gone, Blackpool had a good half chance to find the back of the net. Jay Spearing won possession back in the middle of the park and played the ball to Nathan Delfouneso who galloped forward and found Matty Virtue 25 yards from goal. Despite calls for him to shoot from the away supporters, the midfielder played the ball wide to Liam Feeney who was in acres of space to cross the ball to Armand Gnanduillet, but Reading’s Sam Walker rushed out to claim the ball before Gnanduillet could get there.
Five minutes later, Sam Baldock had a golden opportunity to score, but for the palm of Mark Howard to expertly tip his poachers effort onto the post from just four yards away.
Reading’s Lucas Boye then hit the side netting from 20 yards out with a first time effort, just moments later.
The Seasiders sprung into life on the half hour mark and took an unlikely lead through Nathan Delfouneso. A ball into the box on the left from Matty Virtue found Armand Gnanduillet at the back post, who headed across goal to Delfouneso who was able to bundle the ball home.
The tables turned after the goal and Blackpool were the dominant side. With two minutes of the first half to go, Callum Guy tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area, but Sam Walker was able to tip it behind with his legs, despite diving the opposite way. Blackpool were more than worthy of their lead, even with their shakey start, and took the slender lead into half time.
Half Time: Reading 0 Blackpool 1
It was an end-to-end start to the second 45 minutes, with Reading applying a good deal of pressure and Blackpool finding plenty of space to go at the home side through the counter attack.
Curtis Tilt, who was impressive all afternoon, temporarily had his heart in his mouth on 48 minutes as his chested clearance from a cross headed towards goal, but Mark Howard was alert enough to tip the ball behind for a corner kick to Reading.
Reading equalised ten minutes into the second half through Sam Baldock. The lively forward gained possession on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a powerful effort into the top of Mark Howard’s net, despite the goalkeeper getting a slight touch to the ball on it’s way past him.
The hosts weren’t level for long though, as Armand Gnanduillet hit the back of the net with a wonderful strike from the edge of the area. The forward outmuscled his marker, ran at goal and smashed the ball past Walker right in front of the travelling supporters to make it 2-1 to the Seasiders with 30 minutes to play.
The scores were level again just five minutes later as substitute Danny Loader flicked the ball beyond Mark Howard as the ball bundled over the line, flicking off the far post.
Incredibly, Blackpool were given another golden opportunity to retake the lead for a third time when Armand Gnanduillet was pushed over in the penalty area just 90 seconds after Reading’s equaliser. The referee awarded a penalty and up stepped Gnanduillet, who opted to chip the ball past Walker, but the ball agonisingly hit the bar and was eventually cleared away by the Reading defence.
Both sides had opportunites to find a late winner and safe passage into round four, but had to settle for the draw and will now face a replay on Tuesday week.
Full Time: Reading 2 Blackpool 2
Team: Howard, Heneghan, Delfouneso, Spearing, Feeney (Ward, 89’), Tilt, Virtue, Turton, Gnanduillet, Guy, Macdonald (Husband, 71’).
Subs: Edwards, Hardie, Kaikai, Nuttall, Sims.