Ipswich Town 2 (Murphy 62, Anderson 90)
The Royals were edged out by a determined Ipswich side at a soggy Portman Road this afternoon, as Daryl Murphy struck the decisive goal on the hour before Paul Anderson made sure of Town's victory.
Reading were by far the better side in the first half, three Ipswich defenders charging down a Pogrebnyak drive, Dean Gerken saving well from Danny Williams and Jobi McAnuff denied what seemed a certain clear cut penalty when he was tripped by Ryan Tunnicliffe inside the box.
But after the interval, the home side wrestled their way back into the game, former Royal Stephen Hunt's direct dribble towards the box setting up Daryl Murphy who slammed a right-footed effort high past McCarthy for the lead.
The Royals pressed hard for a deserved equaliser, Nick Blackman twice coming close, Williams again thwarted by a flying Gerken save and Le Fondre and Pogrebnyak so close to turning home Obita's low cross, but Paul Anderson made sure of the points in injury time.
Ipswich: Gerken, Chambers, Cresswell, Berra, Smith, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Edwards (c) (Anderson HT), Hunt (Tabb 66), McGoldrick (Mings 90), Murphy.
Subs: Loach, Wordsworth, Taylor, Nouble.
Yellow: Hunt, Anderson
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Obita, Pearce, Gorkss, Williams , Akpan, McCleary (Blackman 71), McAnuff (C), Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre.
Subs: Federici, Kelly, Hector, Cummings, Drenthe, J Taylor, Blackman.
Referee: Mr Madley
Att: 15,323 (568 away)
Reading were on the front foot from the first kick, breaking at pace through McCleary who scurried towards the Ipswich area but lashed an opening minute effort wide of the right post.
Then Adam Le Fondre linked up beautifully with Pogrebnyak, finding the Russian with a floated ball into the box but Pogrebnyak opted to try to bring it down instead of heading towards target and he couldn't cushion the header enough to create an opportunity.
But Ipswich earned a great chance ten minutes in, and of course it fell to former Royal Stephen Hunt. A cross from the right was nodded back across goal by Murphy and Hunt tried to hook it goalwards from 8 yards out, only for his scuffed effort to be blocked by a Royals body.
Five minutes later, Reading had what looked to be a stonewall penalty appeal turned down. Jobi McAnuff scuttled past Ryan Tunnicliffe down the left and was clipped as he headed to the byline. Referee Andrew Madley gave nothing to everyone's disbelief and pointed for a goal kick instead.
Reading were looking dangerous and McCleary's clever cross was headed against Pogrebnyak by Tommy Smith and the ball rebounded just wide of the right post to Town's relief.
Ipswich then failed to clear a McAnuff corner and after Adam Le Fondre tried to wind up an overhead unsuccessfully, Gorkss stabbed an effort towards goal which was similarly cut out and nervously hacked clear.
And the Royals continued to boss matter, Alex McCarthy only having to punch a cross clear and calmly gather a long range McGoldrick effort into his chest.
Just before the break, McAnuff got to the byline on the right side and his low cross was cleared only as far as Pogrebnyak. He took a touch to take the sting out of the clearance and then fired left-footed, but three Ipswich bodies dived in to charge it down before Gerken had to make a save.
He did have to produce a flying fingertip stop to deny Danny Williams before the half time whistle could sound though, the midfielder driving powerfullt from 25 yards towards the bottom right corner only for the Town stopper to turn it round his post.
Ipswich began the second half with more zip. Cresswell's free kick was floated into the box and Smith rose high but couldn't keep his header down.
Then McCarthy had to get a hand to a faint McGoldrick header and pounce on the loose ball before Stephen Hunt flew in on the Royals keeper in search of a decisive touch. The former Royal was booked.
And just after the hour, Town took the lead. Hunt won possession in midfield and scurried forward, driving towards the edge of the box before laying the ball off to his left. McGoldrick got a touch to toe it into Murphy's path and the striker hammered a stunning strike high past McCarthy from a tight angle, in off the underside of the crossbar.
Ipswich almost had a second soon after, a good throughball found McGoldrick and McCarthy did well to save with his legs as the striker tried to pass it wide of the Royals stopper in a one on one situation.
With 18 minutes left, Obit created Reading#s best opportunity of the game, collecting the ball from McAnuff on the left, running at his man and fizzing a low cross into the six yard box where both Le Fondre's slide and Pogrebnyak at the far post failed by inches to get the decisive touch.
Reading were pressing for an equaliser, Le Fondre swivelled and chipped a cross into the box but McAnuff couldn't bundle it past Gerken arriving late at the far post.
An soon after Reading came close again, Williams' ball into Gunter unlocking the Ipswich defence and the right-back's pull back picking out Blackman, whose first shot was charged down and second shot skied high over the bar.
Gorkss expertly cut out a Murphy cross towards McGoldrick as Ipswich aimed to put the game beyond the Royals' reach. At the other end McAnuff's run down the left caused panic in the Ipswich box but Gerken eventually clung on to a flick goalwards.
But it was to be Ipswich's day. In the final minute of normal time, substitute Anderson wriggled into the Royals box from the right and lashed home a second to make sure of the points.
Another rasping effort from Williams was well saved by Gerken in injury time but in the pouring rain Reading could find no way through.