Adam Le Fondre scored a last-minute penalty to earn Reading a 1-1 draw against Stoke on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
The Royals looked set to be taught a harsh lesson in the realities of top-flight football after Adam Federici's humiliating howler gifted Michael Kightly a debut goal and Dean Whitehead avoided what appeared a certain red card.
But new signing Garath McCleary came off the bench to turn the game, winning the penalty that finally saw Whitehead sent off and sent the Reading fans home happy from what was their first Premier League outing for four years.
It could so easily have been otherwise and Royals boss Brian McDermott will be worried how badly out of their depth his side had looked before McCleary's intervention, his three other debutants all disappointing.
So gushing had Reading been about Stoke in the build-up to today's game, it was hard to tell whether they wanted to beat them or be them.
They certainly could not have been handed a ...