Reading 2 Newcastle 2: Ba robs Royals with lucky leveller

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Demba Ba stole a controversial point for Newcastle against luckless Reading with an equaliser just six minutes from time that went in off his hand.

Reading seemed on course for their first Barclays Premier League win of the season after goals from Jimmy Kebe and Noel Hunt in the space of four second-half minutes.

Ba had equalised in between the two Reading strikes with a magnificent volley but his contribution then veered from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The Senegal striker went to meet Shane Ferguson’s cross with his head but missed it and the ball deflected off his hand past the helpless Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Reading then threw everything they had Newcastle in vain search of the winner but Jason Roberts was denied by an excellent save from Steve Harper before Jobi McAnuff hit the post.

* Full report in tonight’s Football Echo