- Jota opens the scoring with close range finish
- Pritchard slots home a second after Pearce'sslip
- Half time subs combine for Cox to halve the deficit
- Douglas' far post header seals the win for the hosts
The Royals were made to pay for some sloppy defending as they came away from Griffin Park with nothing to show for their efforts this afternoon.
Jota broke the deadlock in only the 11th minute, reacting quickest to a cross from the right that wasn't cleared, then on the half hour mark Alex Pritchard capitalised on a slip at the back to sidefoot home a second.
Cox and Mackie were brought off the bench at the break, and the pair combined early after the restart to pull one back, Mackie's low drive flicked past David Button by Cox.
And Reading had chances to level before Jonathan Douglas headed home at the far post to make it 3-1 and ensure the points would stay in London.
Brentford: Button, Bidwell, Craig, Douglas, Odubajo, McCormack, Judge, Gray (Proschwitz 59), Pritchard (Toral 83), Jota (Diagouraga 65), Tarkowski
Subs: Bonham, Dean, Tebar, Betinho
Yellow: Diagouraga, Craig
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Obita, Hector, Pearce, Norwood, Kuhl (Pogrebnyak 78), Robson-Kanu (Mackie HT), Blackman, Edwards (Cox HT), Murray.
Subs: Andersen, Long, Cooper, Taylor.
Yellow: Kuhl, Cox, Mackie.
Referee: Mr R East
In only the second minute, the Royals received an early warning of Brentford's intentions, Alex Pritchard cutting in from the left and unleashing a well-struck effort from the edge of the box that skimmed the left post as it flew wide of Federici's goal.
It wasn't long before the Royals were testing the keeper at the other end, Nick Blackman jinking past his man to rifle a right-footed effort at goal only to see David Button parry with his body. Ryan Edwards recycled it and received a one-two from Aaron Kuhl but scuffed his effort well wide.
But with little more then ten minutes played, Brentford opened the scoring. A cross from the right fell loose inside the Royals box and Jota
reacted fastest to slide the ball into the bottom corner from only six yards out.
Reading reacted positively, Edwards testing Button's handling in slippery conditions with an effort from the edge of the box that lacked enough power to trouble the Bees stopper.
Federici was in action to cut out a low Jota cross at full stretch, then Hal Robson-Kanu came close with a near post header and both sides looked to attack.
On the half hour mark, Hector found Obita in some space out on the left and his floated cross found the head of Blackman, but the winger couldn't keep his effort down.
Blackman, though, was proving Reading's best attacking outlet, running at the Bees' back line and fizzing a left-footed effort just wide of the left post soon after.
But Pritchard doubled the hosts' advantage when he took full advantage of a couple of defensive lapses from the Royals. Kuhl lost possession in midfield, Pearce slipped and the ball rolled to the feet of Pritchard
who sidefooted the ball low past Federici for 2-0.
Robson-Kanu's cross from the left took a wicked deflection and almost beat Button at his near post, but the Royals were struggling to make an impression in the final third as the half drew near to a close.
The manager made a double change at the break, and it proved an inspired introduction. Aaron Kuhl set Gunter away down the right who turned it inside to Mackie. Driving forward, the substitute drilled an effort into the box and Cox
was lurking to get a vital touch to turn it past Button and in.
With the hosts rattled, moments later Murray headed wide from Gunter's cross and Reading were looking to take advantage of their momentum, Mackie so desperate to get the ball back quickly he climbed into the stands to retrieve the ball for a throw-in.
Mackie was in the right place at the right time minutes later though when he cleared a header off the line at the near post, Brentford threatening to restore their two-goal cushion with a towering header from a corner.
On the hour, Mackie won a corner with a deflected shot and Blackman's inswinger was headed just over by Murray at the near post, a difficult chance going begging.
With 20 minutes remaining, a Blackman cross was cut out and put behind for a corner just before it could reach Murray racing into the box, but Brentford were defending their lead in numbers now and Reading were running out of time.
Cox dinked a cross to the far post and Blackman looped a header goalwards, only for a Brentford defender to nod it behind as it sailed towards the target.
Federici had to force Alan Judge wide as he scurried in on goal with only the Aussie to beat. The midfielder eventually got a shot away but Federici was back in position and equal to it.
Mackie cut in from the wing and forced a good save from Button, the ball falling kindly for a Brentford foot to clear instead of Murray bursting into the box searching for the scraps.
Gaps were opening up at the other end as Reading piled men forward and Diagouraga forced Federici into a fine near post save. But from the subsequent corner, Jonathan Douglas
climbed over his marker and headed home off the underside of the bar at the far post to put the result beyond doubt. Appeals for a foul were ignored and Brentford had secured the win.
Mackie tried his luck from a tight angle to no avail, then Norwood swept an effort just over the bar from the edge of the box.
In the final throes, superb footwork from Cox saw him slide the ball into Pogrebnyak who chose to cross instead of shoot and Brentford cleared the danger. Blackman whistled an effort inches wide, but there was no way back for the Royals.