PAUL Clement hailed Reading FC supporters for the role they played in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Royals were backed by a 1,000-strong crowd during Saturday’s clash at Villa Park.

They got their rewards when Sam Baldock’s injury-time penalty rescued a draw from the jaws of defeat after Ahmed Elmohamady had given Steve Bruce’s hosts a 51st minute lead.

Clement, whose side had given away two second-half penalties in a 2-2 draw at Blackburn a few days earlier, beamed: "I’m really pleased for the players, and proud of them.

"They put a lot of effort into the game. If we had lost by that narrow margin of 1-0 I’d be really feeling for them because they put so much into it.

"The travelling fans could see that. And I want to mention the fans, because what a fantastic turnout.

"They packed that corner, they were full of enthusiasm and really got behind the players. That was absolutely brilliant.

"So it was nice to go over to them at the end and share that point with them.

“It’s not a win, it’s just a point but a valuable point from a difficult place to come."

Reading Chronicle:

Sam Baldock celebrates after scoring an injury-time penalty at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Reading trailed to El Mohamady’s header from Alan Hutton’s cross six minutes after the break.

But Clement’s men finished strongly and were denied an 82nd minute equaliser when Villa keeper Orjan Nyland tipped Baldock’s shot onto the crowbar then saved Yakou Meite’s follow-up to keep his side in front.

However, Royals refused to lie down and earned a 91st minute penalty when new loan signing Josh Sims was brought down by James Chester allowing Baldock to convert from the spot to salvage a draw.

Clement added: "Having been on the end of some really fine margins in the first four games, it was looking like it was going to be the case again. Then you’re talking to the players about how disappointed you are for them.

"But in the end they were resolute in the way they attacked right to the very end.

“We had a fantastic double chance in the last 10 minutes when the goalkeeper made an amazing first save and was there for the second one as well.

"The players could have stopped there and thought that that was the chance that got away. But instead they went to the very end, put them under pressure, and got the penalty.”

Reading Chronicle:

Royals fans were in full voice at Villa Park.

Reading remain 23rd in the Championship table, while Villa moved up to fourth.

And Bruce argued his side should have won the game given the chances they created.

“Who would want to do my flaming job?” he fumed. “I've had Chester for the best part of six years and I've never seen him make a challenge like that.

"The cardinal error when you're a defender - you never go to the ground, not in the penalty area.

"We've got to eradicate the individual errors that are starting to creep in and cost us, and the basics of the Championship are we've done enough to win two games there.

"We didn't get the second one, but look like we're going around the right route. We've had a decent start, it could've been a great start."