The Royals attracted just under 24,000 expectant fans to the Madejski Stadium and it appeared as they would go away empty-handed but for a last-minute penalty from Adam Le Fondre.
Tony Pulis' Potters took the lead in the 34th minute when summer signing Michael Kightly was the recipient of some good fortune thanks to Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici's blunder when the deflected shot slipped through his arms and into the back of the net.
Thankfully for the Australian, Brian McDermott's Royals outfit plugged away and were awarded a late spot-kick when Dean Whitehead was sent off for his tackle on Garath McCleary with Le Fondre stepping up and calmly slotting past Asmir Begovic to rescue a point at the death.
Madejski Stadium, Reading - 23,973
Red card:STO - Dean Whitehead 89' Match notes: - Adam Federici, Kaspars Gorkss, Alex Pearce, Jobi McAnuff, Hal Robson-Kanu, Adam Le Fondre, Garath McCleary, Noel Hunt (Premier League debut), Michael Kightly (STO debut)