10-man Reading hold on to draw at Fulham
Championship Play-Off semi-final, Craven Cottage - Fulham 1 (Cairney 65') Reading 1 (Obita 54')
Reading held on to a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage after Paul McShane was sent off late in the second half.
Fulham dominated the first half, with chances for Cairney, Aluko and Ayite, but they couldn't find their way through an obdurate Reading defence.
Reading were so intent on a draw, it seemed, that they were booked for timewasting even before the first half ended.
In the second half, Reading took the lead when Obita lashed a drive past the 'keeper, but Fulham hit back when Al-Habsi palmed a cross into the path of Cairney.
Fulham were reduced to 10 men when Paul McShane produced a wild, studs-up lunge on Kevin McDonald, but will be happy to take an away goal and level scoreline to Reading for the second leg.
Will Fulham rue their missed chances? Fulham created chance after chance in the first half, but they wasted all of their opportunities. Then, when McShane saw red, they through on another striker but couldn't find their way to a second. When they have to face Reading away, they may regret their profligacy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Scott Malone (Fulham): Malone was at the heart of Fulham's equaliser, and he was a useful presence in defence. In a game when others were wasteful, Malone was an inventive presence for Fulham on the left wing and kept his side threatening throughout.
11' - CAIRNEY SHOT - Fulham keep the pressure on after losing the ball, the ball comes to Cairney, and his shot from distance whistles just over the bar.
20' - ALUKO CHANCE - Ayite plays a one-two, slipped to the touchline by Malone. He scuffs a pullback to Aluko, and he drags his shot just a foot wide of the post. The best chance of the half so far.
54' - GOAL! Fulham 0-1 Reading. Obita scores - Williams falls to the ground and tries to grab the ball. It's not clear if he handles it, but the ball runs to McShane, who advances down the left, fouls, and the ball is played to Obita. He looks up, and smashes a fierce drive past Bettinelli.
57' - AL-HABSI SAVE - Malone closes down a clearance and it runs to Johansen, to his right. He blasts a shot at goal from the edge of the box, and it's straight at Al-Habsi.
65' - GOAL! Fulham 1-1 Reading. Cairney scores - Evans finally takes control of the situation after two crosses from the left by McDonald. Fulham win it back, spread play to the left for Malone, and his cross is spilled by Al-Habsi, allowing Cairney to thunder in from close range.
80' - RED CARD! Paul McShane is sent off. McShane lunges for the ball, studs up, into McDonald's shin, and gets his marching order.
This was the first card for Paul McShane since April 2011.