Preston North End head to the Madejski Stadium this weekend looking to level up the head-to-head record between the sides.
The Royals currently lead with 23 wins to North End’s 22 in the 56 league encounters between the teams, although the Lilywhites’ record at Reading’s current and previous homes is not the best.
In fact, in the previous 28 games played in Reading, North End have only come away with the points on four occasions, the last of which was our final away game of the 2015/16 season, when Daniel Johnson scored an injury time winner… more of that shortly.
Our first trip to Reading for a league game came back in April 1927, when the hosts ran our 3-0 winners. We have to wait until September 1930 for our first win in the Royal county, our biggest success, a 4-1 win.
However, after that we had to wait 40 years before we even visited Reading again, in 1971! Our last league win at Elm Park came in October 1982, a 3-2 victory, but since our hosts moved to their current home, we have won one in 12, plus an FA Cup success in 2004.
The win back in 2016 was a late one, as Simon Grayson’s side ended their on the road campaign with three points against Brian McDermott’s Royals.
It was the Lilywhites’ first victory in six Championship games as Johnson's winner sealed the three points in injury time. Jermaine Beckford had given North End the lead, lobbing in following a mix-up between Paul McShane and Ali Al-Habsi.
Stephen Quinn's long-range drive drew Reading level with his first goal for the club, but Johnson wrapped up PNE's first win since the 2-1 victory over Blackburn on 2nd April with a 91st-minute finish.
Reading boss McDermott said post-match: “If you get back to 1-1, you don't expect to lose that late in the game. Walking round that pitch (on a lap of honour) is never good when you've just lost a game that late and also where we've ended up in the league.
“But I've been in this situation before in 2004/05, when we walked around the pitch at Wigan. The following season, we won the league. So that's what I hang on to.”
Whilst then PNE manager Grayson added: “The lads showed today that they're not on their holidays. We're making sure we finish the season in a positive manner and get as many points as possible.
“A lot of teams would maybe have settled for a 1-1 draw here, but we keep challenging the players and they've shown again that they've got a fantastic spirit for each other and the club.”