Reading (Cox 79) 1-2 Huddersfield (Butterfield 10, Bunn 38)
- Goals from Jacob Butterfield and Marc Bun seal Terriers win
- Simon Cox pulls one back late on
- Aaron Kuhl & Jamie Mackie make Reading debuts
The Terriers raced into a two goal lead in the first half, with Jacob Butterfield and Marc Bunn both finishing well, before Simon Cox set up a nervy finish for the visitors with a daisy cutter from 20 yards.
Alex Pearce hit the bar with, of all things, a left footed chip as Nigel Adkins' men desparately searched for an equaliser - but it didn't come, and this young Reading squad must now pick themselves up for three tough away trips in the space of seven days.
Royals: Federici; Gunter (C), Cummings (Kuhl HT), Pearce, Hector; Akpan, Obita, Taylor (Tanner 69), Blackman (Mackie 65), Cox, Pogrebnyak
Subs: McCarthy, Cooper, Kuhl, Tshibola, Edwards, Mackie, Tanner
Booked: Pearce (foul 42), Pogrebnyak (foul 76)
Huddersfield: Smithies; Dixon, Lynch (c), Wallace, Smith, Butterfield (Majewski 90), Hogg, Coady, Scannell, Wells (Stead 82), Bunn (Sinnot 90)
Subs: Murphy, Hammill, Stead, Holmes, Sinnott, Crooks, Majewski
Booked: Coady (time wasting 25), Smithies (time wasting 90)
Referee: Mr S Atwell
Attendance: 15,035 (481)
In a relatively lively opening spell, Huddersfield fired the first warning shot, as Sean Scannell's cross-come-shot from the edge of the box zipped wide, just away from the toe of Nakhi Wells.
If that was a warning, the real thing came with ten minutes on the clock. Michael Hector's ball to Hope Akpan ended in the midfielder being robbed of possession under pressure outside his own area, before Jacob Butterfield expertly curled home the opening goal.
The Royals created their first real chance ten minutes later. A poor Terriers free-kick set Reading away from the halfway line before Simon Cox fed Nick Blackman, who could only fire over the bar from the edge of the box.
It was the home side dominating possession from that point on - what a blow it was then when the visitors doubled their lead seven minutes before the break. Gunter appeared to be bundled off the ball outside his own box, but no foul was given, as Harry Bunn scampered in on goal for the second goal of the night.
At the other end Hector saw his shot cleared off the line after goalkeeper Alex Smithies found himself stranded punching away a set piece, but Nigel Adkins was forced to contend with a two goal defecit at the break.
18-year-old Aaron Kuhl was introduced at the break, a professional debut for the central midfielder - with Shaun Cummings making way and Jordan Obita reverting to left back.
Wells fired in another warning shot three minutes in, easily gathered by Federici, before Bunn also forced save out of the Australian stopper.
Moments later some neat interplay ended in Aaron Kuhl floating a delightful cross into the area, which was header over by Cox.
Spaces were appearing at the back as the Royals pushed forward, Bunn again almost took advantage, but fired wide after cutting in from the left.
Reading responded with an excellent move, Obita's cross dinked back by Cox before Pogrebnyak's shot was deflected wide.
Jamie Mackie was introduced for his Royals debut with 27 minutes remaining, replacing Nick Blackman.
Pogrebnyak fired over shortly afterwards after Kuhl and Cox had combined to send the Russian into space on the left of the box, as teenager Craig Tanner was also introduced in an effort to reduce the arrears.
Cox then forced a smart stop from Smithies with a volley, though time was ultimately running out for the Royals to claw anything out of the game.
Then a glimmer of hope....Cox reduced the deficit, finding space on the edge of the box before slamming a low drive into the bottom left hand corner.
Alex Pearce almost provided an equaliser with what would have been one of Madejski Stadium's most memorable strikes, the big centre half driving forward before lofting a lef footed chip from 25 yards, which bounced off the top of the crossbar.
The home side gave it a good go in over four minutes of additional time, but Tanner's long range effort floating wide was as close as they came, as Huddersfield took all three points on the night.