Reading's under 21s went down 2-0 away to Stoke City on Friday evening.
A goal from American international Brek Shea set the Potters on their way midway through the first half, then Adam Thomas made it two just before the break.
Martin Kuhl's side improved after the break break could not find a breakthrough, Daniel Bachmann making some good saves in the City goal, while captain Lawson D'Ath had a penalty appeal waved away.
Shea was sent off in the dying moments for kicking out at a defender but the home side held out for three points.
Academy star Liam Kelly, scorer of a half-way line goal
for Ireland U19s, came off the bench, while Academy striker Harry Cardwell tasted u21 action for the first time. Skipper D'Ath hobbled off with an injury, while striker Dominic Samuel is in the treatment room at the moment.
Reading: Henly; Long (Kelly 82) , Griffin, Cooper, Keown; Tshibola, Kuhl, Stacey, D'Ath (c) (Murombedzi 82), Fosu; Ugwu (Cardwell 68).
Subs: Moore, Sweeney.