Unstoppable strikes stun Royals
- Lascelles clears McCleary shot off the line
- Osborn opens scoring with pinpoint strike
- Fryatt doubles the lead in 70th minute
- Stunning Gardner thunderbolt makes it 3-0.
Even at the interval, Reading had enjoyed the better of the play and the best chanced in front of goal, but a curling effort from distance from Ben Osborn have Dougie Freedman's side the lead before the hour.
Soon after it was two when Matty Fryatt weaved his way into the box from the right and finished left-footed, and substitute Gary Gardner thundered a 25-yard drive into the top left corner to make it 3-0 late on.
The hosts had their chances, Simon Cox and Pavel Pogrebnyak both shooting just wide of the target and Garath McCleary saw a first half strike cleared off the line by Jamaal Lascelles, but it wasn't to be our afternoon.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Obita, Pearce (c), Hector, Chalobah, Williams, McCleary, Robson-Kanu (Guthrie 78), Cox (Yakubu 70), Pogrebnyak.
Substitutes: Andersen, Kelly, Travner, Norwood, Blackman.
Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Lascelles, Collins, Fox, Antonio (Blackstock 80), Mancienne, Lansbury (c), Osborn, Paterson (Burke HT), Fryatt (Gardner 77).
Substitutes: De Vries, Wilson, Veldwijk, Vaughan.
Att: 18,586 (2,042 away)
In the opening five minutes, Pavel Pogrebnyak headed a Jordan Obita corner just over at one end, while Ben Osborn dragged an effort wide at the other having won possession in midfield.
Danny Williams wriggled his way forward and played the ball into Simon Cox down the right and the former Forest forward chipped a cross into the box only for Karl Darlow to collect.
Darlow didn't have the same control over another McCleary cross soon after, his delivery finding Cox at the far post but the striker's volley whistled just wide of the right post.
With half an hour played, Cox got another chance in front of goal. A well placed aerial ball found the path of Chris Gunter sprinting into the box, and his low cross fell to the feet of Cox who skewed a first time effort over the crossbar.
Cox beat his man down the right, fizzed a low ball back to the edge of the area where Pogrebnyak connected first time with it and it needed and important block by Jamaal Lascelles to deflect it wide and behind for a corner.
McCleary had half an appeal for a penalty ignored and then a cross from the left floated all the way to McCleary at the far post who lined up a shot and rifled it goalwards only for Lascelles to clear off his goalline and somehow keep the game goalless.
Dougie Freedman made a change at the break, bringing Chris Burke on for Jamie Paterson, but the Royals almost scored moments after the resumption when Chalobah's corner floated over everyone to the far post where Pogrebnyak volleyed wide of the woodwork from close range.
Adam Federici was called into action five minutes into the second half, tipping a good Matty Fryatt header over his crossbar after Forest had built a recycled attack down the left and crossed dangerously into the home side's box.
The deadlock was broken by the visitors and it took a special goal to beat Federici from range. Ben Osborn got up off the ground after being barged over to collect a loose ball 25 yards out and he curled a magnificent left-footed effort past a statuesque Federici and into the top left corner.
Antonio surged forward, cutting in from the left and drilling a bobbling effort just wide of the bottom left corner, but Reading reacted with urgency, Cox almost closing down a Darlow clearance before McCleary won a corner with more good work out on the right.
Pogrebnyak forced Darlow into a fine save low to his right after the Russian had tried to dink the ball in to Robson-Kanu but the ball had ricocheted back to him on the edge of the box. His sweetly struck effort was well parried though.
With 22 minutes left on the clock, McCleary found Gunter on the overlap and the right-back's low cross fizzed across the six yard box without a Royals body able to get the decisive touch.
But Forest clinched the win when a second was scored soon after. Matty Fryatt skipped inside from the right, squeezed past two tackles and smashed home with his left foot on the stretch to make it 2-0.
Yakubu and Guthrie were introduced and Chalobah tested Darlow with a curling effort that forced a good save from the Newcastle loanee.
But with ten minutes left, substitute Gary Gardner thundered an unstoppable effort from more than 25 yards out that bulleted into the top left corner of Federici's goal to make it 3-0.
Yakubu teed up Chalobah on the edge of the box but the midfielder whistled a shot high over the bar. And in injury time Williams saw a scuffed effort charged down as it made its way goalwards from 10 yards out.
But this was not to be Reading's day.