Subs not used: De Vries, Halford, Chalobah, Abdoun
Booked: Harding (Foul 68), Lascelles (Foul 89), Lansbury (foul 90)
Attendance: 21,199 (886)
The Royals travelled to the City Ground for an unusual Friday night fixture, not televised - but moved due to a fixture clash for the home side with Notts County.
That mattered little to the travelling fans though, as they saw their side take the lead in the flesh after just eight minutes. Wonderful work by former Forest man Garath McCleary on the right wing saw the wideman weave into the box before sending a deadly ball into the area - which Pavel Pogrebnyak dutifully bundled home. McCleary had heard a smattering of boos ring out across the stadium as the ball first fell to his feet, but soon silenced the critics at his one time paymasters.
It was a bright start from Nigel Adkins' men. A brilliant turn and pass from Hal Robson-Kanu set Obita away down the left moments later, before the youngster saw his shot deflected wide for a corner. And from that set piece - Reading made it two. Danny Guthrie's delivery was superb, and Kaspars Gorkss thundered an unstoppable header past the helpless Karl Darlow.
The away side continued to frustrate the opposition in the opening exchanges, though Forest eventually came to life shortly after the half hour mark. Chris Gunter superbly blocked a Simon Cox shot, whilst Henri Lansbury curled inches wide from the edge of the area.
At the other end McCleary showed another dazzling side to his game - putting on the after burners to latch onto Robson-Kanu's through ball, but firing wide after an exhibition of electric pace.
Lansbury again then sprung into life for Davies' side - whipping past the post from long range. The net would soon ripple for the home side however - as they grabbed a goal back shortly before the break through former Royal Simon Cox.
A swift break down the right from Jamie Mackie caught the Royals napping, and a clinical ball across the area allowed the frontman to tap home at the far post.
There was a double substitution for Forest at the break; Andy Reid and another former Royal Darius Henderson introduced, and it wasn't long until the latter was in on the action - firing a rasping drive over the bar from 25 yards.
The Royals barely had a chance to catch their breath before Henderson was involved again - sliding a shot on the turn narrowly past McCarthy's post.
Adkins' men tried to stem the flow but Nottm Forest looked bright - as Mackie was only denied from eight yards by a combination of superb defending from Obita and a smart McCarthy reaction save.
There was a repeat minutes later, Mackie this time with a looping header which the Reading stopper did well to tip away from danger.
The attacks were relentless and perhaps it wasn't a surprise when the equaliser on the hour mark. Henderson was slide through on the left of the box, and made no mistake in sliding the ball smoothly into the far corner.
The men from Berkshire were on the ropes at this stage. Williams was bundled to the floor in midfield as Forest found themselves with a golden chance to go ahead, but as Mackie chipped McCarthy at the end of the breakaway - the Royals were saved by the crossbar.
But, football is a funny old game - and perhaps like the Royals had suffered a goal conceded against the run of play in the first half, so Forest did in the second.
Danny Williams did well to dummy a cross from the right and flummox his marker, allowing Jordan Obita to bundle home from the left for his first ever Reading goal.