Kelly struck deep into injury time to earn the Royals a point from their clash at home to Nottingham Forest and stop a run of three successive defeats.
"We've stopped the rot, we've stopped that losing trend," Adkins said.
"People can maybe now look at the positives and not the negatives. We've taken four points off a team who we expect to be at the top and challenging with us for promotion.
"We left it late but better late than never. We showed a lot of character to keep going, got back into it and were in the ascendancy at the end.
"We were peppering their goal. If we can stay in the play-off race and get most of our injured players fit again, we'll have better opportunities in March and April."