Nottingham Forest 1 (Tudgay 75)
A late Marcus Tudgay strike was enough to see Forest edge to a 1-0 home win against the Royals this evening.
Brian McDermott's men bossed a first half which saw Jobi McAnuff curl and inswinging cross over Lee Camp and against the crossbar.
But Forest came into the game after the interval and it just took one moment of brilliance in front of goal to separate the sides; Tudgay controlling a good cross from the right, pivoting on a sixpence and lashing in off the left post from 12 yards out.
Reading pressed for an equaliser and threw three strikers onto the pitch, and Camp had to produce a stunning one-handed reaction save to push Noel Hunt's late header wide.
But the Royals' unbeaten run of eight came to an end at the City Ground thanks to Tudgay's late winner.
Forest (4-4-2): Camp; Chambers (c), Cunningham, Lynch, Morgan; Majewski (Reid HT), Moussi, Gunter, McGugan; Findley (Molooney 87), Tudgay.
Subs: Smith, Greening, Derbyshire.
Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings (Church 81), Mills, Gorkss, Pearce; Karacan, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu (Kebe 67), McAnuff; Manset (Hunt 67), Le Fondre.
Subs: McCarthy, Harte.
Yellow: Le Fondre (foul), Cummings (foul)
Attendance: 18,506 (446 away)
Referee: D Webb
Starting XI team news:
Brian McDermott made one change to the side that earned a point at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Mathieu Manset was handed a start in place of Simon Church. who dropped to the bench.
Reading began brightly, but Forest fans leapt to their feet when they had the ball in the back of the net after only 11 minutes. An inswinging cross from the left wasn't cleared and the ball fell fortuitously for Marcus Todgay, who lashed home from close range. But the Forest striker was offside when the ball bounces his way so, without too many protests, the referee signalled for a Reading free kick.
Then minutes later, the Royals came within a whisker of opening the scoring. Good work from Hal Robson-Kanu won Reading a corner and after McAnuff's first delivery was hacked clear at the near post the ball was worked back to the Royals skipper, who delivered a deep swirling inswinger this time.
It flew over everyone and caught Lee Camp out completely to cannon into the stanchion. Gorkss tried to recycle it from a tight angle but a relieved Camp leapt on the centre-half's low effort.
McAnuff almost found Le Fondre moments later as the visitors continued to press and impress in the early stages, and Le Fondre had a tough chance just after the quarter hour mark. Leigertwood headed Alfie's up and under ball back across the face of goal and from a tight angle Le Fondre tried to smash it home left-footed, only to skew it over the crossbar.
Forest, meanwhile, had to make do with a couple of Lewis McGugan free kicks - one which was headed away confidently by Pearce, the second smashed straight into the Royals wall and the third, five minutes before half time, drilled low into a crowded box but lashed over Adam Federici's crossbar from eight yards out.
Just before half time, Mills did brilliantly to nutmeg his man and race into the box along the byline, but the red-faced defender recovered to slide in and prevent the Royals left back from whipping the ball across the box.
The first drama in front of goal after the interval saw Adam Federici forced to save an inswinging free kick at the second attempt. The dangerous set piece semeed to take a deflection on its way through to Federici the first time but the Aussie recovered well to pounce on the loose ball.
The game enetered a scrappier spell with defences on top and on the hour Tudgay tried to capitalise on a slip from Pearce but only found the safe frame of Federici with a shot from the edge of the area.
Brian McDermott made a double substitution in search of the breakthrough - Kebe and Hunt come on for Robson-Kanu and Manset. And Reading found more impetus immediately, Karacan's drive from the edge of the area charged down before Cummings had a snapshot that flew over the crossbar and into the Reading fans behind the goal.
But Forest broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes left on the clock. A good cross from the right was controlled by Tudgay, who turned beautifully and swept home a left-footed effort in off the base of the left post for 1-0.
The Royals threw a third striker on in Simon Church, but MgGugan lashed a left-footed effort wide as Forest looked to put a comeback beyond Reading's reach.
In the final minute of normal time, Joseph Mills delivered a testing cross which Alfie could only head high over the bar and Camp had to produce a stunning right-handed save to prevent Hunt from directing a low header home in injury time.
But despite Reading's best efforts in four minutes of injury time, there was no way back into this one.