Paddy Kenny saved a last-minute penalty from Dave Kitson to earn Sheffield United a precious point against promotion rivals Reading.
Bruce Dyer celebrates after putting Sheffield United ahead
Kitson had earlier levelled for Reading from close range after 12 minutes following Bruce Dyer's opener on his Blades' debut three minutes earlier.
And he had the chance to clinch a dramatic victory after Bobby Convey had been fouled by Blades' keeper Kenny.
Kitson's spot-kick was saved, but Reading stay on course for promotion.
Steve Coppell's runaway leaders will have been disappointed with the finale, but they took another giant stride towards promotion by surviving the trip to Bramall Lane unscathed.
A series of stoppages disrupted both side's attempts to create a winner and Blades' boss Neil Warnock tried to freshen things up by introducing Steve Kabba for Dyer.
Akinbiyi should have done better when he dug out a shot straight into Marcus Hahnemann's arms but United will be scratching their heads how a bout of goalmouth pinball did not end up in the net after Reading failed to clear Michael Tonge's corner.
And Kabba wasted a glorious chance when Tonge's free-kick broke to him, but he side-footed straight at Hahnemann.
Paul Ifill sent a drive over after losing his footing and with time running out Convey burst clear, Kenny looked to have thwarted him, but fouled American tried to get back to his feet and the referee pointed to the spot.
However, Kenny redeemed himself with a brilliant stop from Kitson's spot-kick.
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock:
"I thought it was a cracking match. I thought we deserved to win.
"When they got the penalty right at the end of the match, it looked like we were going to get beat 2-1 which would have been a travesty.
"Don't ask me how we missed those chances because I don't know. I'm glad they didn't get our chances."
Reading boss Steve Coppell:
"It would have been a psychological boost for whoever got the points but the conclusions can only be drawn at the end of the season.
"Us being away, to get the point, it neutralises it in our favour.
"Both teams in spells looked good going forward and looked vulnerable defensively."
Sheff Utd: Kenny, Bromby (Kozluk 24), Short (Flitcroft 88), Morgan, Armstrong, Montgomery, Jagielka, Ifill, Tonge, Akinbiyi, Dyer (Kabba 69).
Subs Not Used: Shipperley, Gillespie.
Goals: Dyer 9.
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Sidwell, Little, Harper, Convey, Doyle, Kitson.
Subs Not Used: Stack, Hunt, Oster, Makin, Long.
Goals: Kitson 12.
Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).