READING FC threw away a precious win over Brentford after failing to close the deal at Griffin Park.

Royals came from behind to lead through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and John Swift after Neal Maupay put Bees ahead.

A second successive Championship win looked certain when Said Benrahma was sent off for the hosts four minutes from time for a second booking.

But Paul Clement’s men couldn’t make their numerical advantage count as Yoann Barbet snatched an unlikely equaliser during 10 minutes of times added on.

It was a cruel finish for the Royals who were minutes away from becoming the first team to win at Brentford in the league this season.

The visitors showed plenty of character and fight, and no little skill – but ultimately a lack of belief at the end saw them drop two points.

Reading Chronicle:

Paul Clement encourages his team from the Griffin Park sidelines.

Clement made four changes from the side that beat Hull City a week earlier.

Chris Gunter returned in defence in place of the suspended John O’Shea, while Yakou Meite, Mo Barrow and Swift also came in.

Liam Kelly and Josh Sims were dropped to the bench while Sam Baldock was left out after picking up a knock.

Royals reaped the rewards of a fast start against Hull, but they were on the back foot as Brentford bossed the early exchanges.

Clement breathed a sigh of relief in the fifth minute when Benrahma fizzed the ball across the six-yard box but an inch too far in front of Romaine Sawyers, who was waiting to tap in.

Then a defining period followed that ended with Brentford taking an 11th minute lead just seconds after Reading had almost scored at the other end.

Saeid Ezatolahi went close when his header from Leandro Bacuna’s cross deflected behind for a corner.

Reading Chronicle:

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson bundles home Reading's equaliser.

Barrow’s expert-flag kick was flicked on at the near post before the hosts somehow scrambled the ball off the line.

Royals were punished just moments later when Benrhama got free down the right and his pass caught out Reading’s defence, allowing Maupay to nip in and roll the ball past Sam Walker.

Bees threatened again midway through the first half when Lewis Macleod’s right-wing cross found Ollie Watkins lurking on the back post, only for his shot to miss to target.

That, too, was a costly miss as Reading equalised in the 25th minute.

Bacuna showed great skill to beat his marker before finding Swift, whose speculative drive from 20 yards should have been routine for Daniel Bentley.

However, the Brentford keeper parried the ball which then spun towards goal, with Bodvarsson following in to help it over the line for his sixth of the season.

The visitors had to dig deep and weather some Brentford pressure at that stage. Barbet stung Walker’s hands from distance and Benrahma also blazed over, but Clement’s men went in on level terms.

Tensions grew after the restart as Bacuna and Josh McEachran were booked for their part in a melee before Benrahma’s free-kick drifted wide.

Royals responded through the impressive Ezatolahi, whose header flew narrowly wide from Barrow’s teasing centre.

Reading Chronicle:

Mo Barrow looks for a way through.

And as Bees began to lose their discipline Reading managed to go in front thanks to another goalkeeping blunder.

Bentley got his body behind Swift’s dipping free-kick, but the ball slipped through his hands and into the net to the delight of the away fans.

The visitors rode their luck soon after when Maupay’s header from a Macleod corner hit the post with Walker beaten.

Maupay and substitute Sergi Canos both skied efforts over the crossbar from a long way out as Brentford desperately searched for a way back.

But their chances were dented when Benrahma fouled Sims for his second booking and a red card four minutes from the end.

However, the home side were boosted by 10 minutes of time added on and began to press Reading, despite playing with 10 men.

Their never-say-die spirit paid off as they grabbed an unlikely equaliser in the 92nd minute.

Bees won a corner which Mepham flicked on and Barbet rose highest to nod in from close range.

Clement’s men struggled to make their extra man count in the closing stages and were left to rue a sloppy spell immediately after Benrahma’s dismissal.

Swift, Meite and Barrow all appeared to pick up knocks and will be tested before Tuesday night’s home fixture against QPR (8pm ko).

Brentford: Bentley, Macleod, McEachran (Mokotjo 71), Barbet, Watkins (Canos 69), Dalsgaard, Konsa, Benrahma, Sawyers (Judge 80), Maupay, Mepham. Subs not used: Daniels, Odubajo, Yennaris, Jeanvier. Booked: McEachran 52, Watkins 55, Benrahma 63 & 86, Maupay 78, Judge 90+6. Red card: Benrahma 86.

Reading: Walker; Gunter, Ilori, Moore (c), Yiadom; Ezatolahi, Bacuna, Swift (Kelly 90), Barrow (Sims 71), Meite (Aluko 82), Bodvarsson. Subs not used: Jaakkola, Blackett, Rinomhota, McNulty. Booked: Bacuna 52.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 10,046 (Reading 1,600).