READING FC boss Jose Gomes bemoaned his side’s finishing after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rotherham United in a relegation six-pointer.

Royals were on course to move three points clear of the Championship drop zone on Saturday with a second successive home victory thanks to Ovie Ejaria’s 31st minute opener.

But the hosts squandered a series of chances to increase their lead before Semi Ajayi bundled home an 80th minute equaliser for the Millers.

It was undoubtedly a case of two points dropped by Gomes' men as John Swift, Yakou Meite, Matt Miazga and Ejaria failed to capitalise on decent opportunities when Royals were in the lead.

Masked striker Nelson Oliveira also butchered a three-on-two chance when he slipped just moments before Rotherham levelled.

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Reading captain Liam Moore lets his frustration show.

It was not the on-loan Norwich City forward's finest game as he somehow missed an open goal from two yards out with five minutes to go.

And in the closing moments Lewis Baker headed straight at Marek Rodak before substitute Mo Barrow went around the Millers keeper but couldn’t find the net from a difficult angle.

Gomes groaned: “It was like all games in the Championship, very tough and difficult against a Rotherham team we knew would play direct football. Even when there was a foul in their half their keeper kicked direct and the ball was in the air a lot of the time.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to get the ball on the ground and play, but when we did we created some good goal situations. We scored first but then gave Rotherham too much time to put the ball in our box.

“We controlled the game again and with John O’Shea in the middle we expected to have more time with the ball. Then there was an opportunity where Nelson Oliveira slipped and they equalised.”

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Ovie Ejaria celebrates after giving Reading the lead.

He stressed: “The big lesson is when you are winning 1-0 you must try and find a way to score a second goal. Against teams with a direct style of football anything can happen.

“My players fought and tried, they showed the wanted to win the game. They completely changed the picture after the previous game (4-0 defeat at Sheffield United), but I am not happy with the result and nor are the players.

“In my opinion we didn’t deserve this result because of the chances we created. I think we deserved to win, but we must put the ball in the net. The clear goal situations we had were amazing, but we didn’t score a second goal.

“It’s a big lesson for the players that when you are winning 1-0 you cannot reduce your speed, you must keep playing and playing to get a second one. We tried but not with the same intensity and Rotherham play direct football so anything can happen.”

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Jose Gomes chats to the fourth official on Saturday.

The draw means Reading remain 21st in the table and above the relegation places on goal difference from Rotherham below.

Gomes’s men now face a trip to improving basement boys Ipswich Town this Saturday (3pm) followed by another crucial game near the bottom against Wigan Athletic at home a week later.

And Gomes believes a number of teams above could end up being sucked into a relegation battle over the run in.

“Before the kick off I said it was the most important game of the season. It could have been if one of the teams had won. With the draw we still have the same points as Rotherham. However, I think that in a couple of weeks there will be more teams down there fighting, even those above us, there are surprises every week.”

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