- Wilson hands Cherries 4th minute lead
- Boruc denies Mackie with one-handed save
- Desperate defending in injury time from visitors
- Bournemouth stay top with narrow win
Reading fell to a narrow defeat against table-topping Bournemouth this evening despite a late rally against Eddie Howe's side.
Callum Wilson struck the 4th minute effort that was to decide it, turning home an Andrew Surman strike that had cannoned into the base of the post.
Artur Boruc produced an instinctive save to deny Jamie Mackie as Reading spent much of the rest of the first half pressing hard for an equaliser.
And that challenge for a point lasted into five minutes of injury time, but the Cherries clung on to a victory that keeps them top of the table and sees Reading's cushion ahead of the relegation zone reduce.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Ake, Hector, Pearce, Karacan (c) (Williams 59), Chalobah (Appiah 67),Robson-Kanu (Yakubu 81), Obita, McCleary, Mackie.
Subs: Andersen, Kelly, Norwood, Stacey.
Yellow: Hector, Pearce.
Bournemouth: Boruc, Daniels, Cook, Elphick, Francis, Pugh (Smith 69), Surman, Arter, Ritchie, Kermorgant (Pitman 75), Wilson (Jones 89)
Subs: Camp, Ward, Gosling, Fraser
, Francis, Boruc, Smith.
Att: 18,917 (4,259 away)
Bournemouth were on the front foot from the off, so much so that the kick-off had to be taken three times as Cherries' strikers encroached before the ball had been played.
And after only four minutes, the table-toppers took an early lead. Andrew Surman found the space to get a shot away from the edge of the area and, beating the dive of Federici it cannoned off the base of the post and Callum Wilson
was first to react, passing it under Federici's flailing dive and into the back of the net for 1-0.
Reading found their feet quickly though and an Obita cross from the left after 15 minutes was met by Jamie Mackie's outstretched leg at the near post but somehow Artur Boruc saved with an instinctive right glove when it seemed the Royals had an equaliser.
Five minutes later, Obita was creating another chance, this time an inswinging corner met by the head of Chalobah at the far post but a Bournemouth body blocked it away from danger before Boruc could be troubled.
And a cleared Robson-Kanu cross fell to Chalobah on the edge of the area who struck a first time effort off target. It arrowed in to Obita who chested it down well but arrowed a quickfire shot over the crossbar.
A Yann Kermorgant cross was intercepted by Alex Pearce before it could reach Wilson in the middle, but a Chalobah interception at the other end set up Hal for shot which he arced just over from the edge of the box.
McCleary then Chalobah threaded good throughballs into Mackie, but the striker could only win a corner with the first and was crowded out as he ran onto the second as the first half drew to a close.
Before the whistle could sound, Kermorgant placed a header back across Federici's goal and just wide, but Eddie Howe's men led by one goal at the break.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were well contested without either side creating an opportunity in front of goal.
But Matt Ritchie almost made it 2-0 just after the hour mark when a ball fell to him on the corner of the penalty area and he curled a first time effort inches over the crossbar.
Steve Clarke brought on Kwesi Appiah and Danny Williams returned from injury to slot into midfield, but the Cherries were defending their lead well.
A lovely move that started in midfield with Appiah almost ended with the substitute racing onto a Robson-Kanu through ball, but again Bournemouth snuffed out the danger and began to look for a second goal to kill the game.
Steve Cook hammered the ball goalwards after a corner had been cleared to him just outside the area, but Federici held onto it well before Eddie Howe introduced Brett Pitman.
With ten minutes gone, Mackie rolled his man down the left but his cut back was just intercepted and Hal Robson-Kanu skipped as he pulled the trigger from distance, firing high over the bar.
Yakubu was thrown on as Steve Clarke's last throw of the dice, and McCleary threaded a ball into Williams whose scuffed shot was shuffled behind for a corner by the Cherries defence.
Reading piled men forward and brilliant runs from McCleary then Mackie almost found a way through the league leaders' defence.
Five minutes of injury time were signalled and Bournemouth put all eleven men behind the ball as the Royals sought a fourth successive draw with a last gasp leveller.
And Bournemouth needed to scrap a clearance off the goalline and then block a McCleary drive in the dying embers. But it wasn't to be.