Reading's U23 side were on the wrong side of a 2-0 result against PL2 leaders Blackburn Rovers on Friday night.
With Blackburn topping the table and the Royals sat just three points behind prior to the start of play, it was all set to be a tight affair between two teams flying high in the Premier League 2 standings.
Ben House, recently called up to represent Scotland for the first time at youth level, had the first chance of the game for the Royals, shooting across goal and wide from close range after capitalising on a defensive error.
A goalmouth scramble from a Rovers corner was blocked out several times by the Royals' defence, before Blackburn's Doyle blazed over the bar from close range.
The Royals almost went ahead after skipper Gabe Osho got on the end of a whipped free-kick into the area, but his header only found its way to the gloves of the Blackburn goalkeeper, before Tyler Frost saw his edge-of-the-area effort clear the crossbar soon after.
It was a nip-and-tuck first half that eventually finished goalless, but Rovers took the lead just five minutes into the second period with a stroke of luck - a shot from Dan Butterworth on the left took a wicked deflection and looped over Liam Driscoll's head to give the hosts the advantage.
While the Royals pushed for an equaliser in Lancashire, Rovers doubled their lead with the game in the balance, with Joe Nuttall gambling on a header back towards Driscoll and getting a foot in to round the goalkeeper and score.
It was a disappointing result on the night for the Royals, who go again against Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon.
Full-time | Blackburn Rovers U23 2-0 Reading U23
Reading U23: Driscoll, Howe, Osho (c), Holmes, Medford-Smith, East, Rollinson (Coleman 85), Holsgrove, House, Frost, Loader.
Subs not used: Green, Desbois, Shokunbi, Odimayo.
Yellow: Howe, House