Reading's Under-23s were narrowly beaten 3-2 away at Norwich City on Monday afternoon, having gone down to 10 men in the second half.
Following their success in the Premier League International Cup on Friday night, manager Scott Marshall made nine changes as a younger squad took to the turf at Colney.
Only Luke Southwood and Danny Loader remained in the side following Friday's victory, and it was the latter who opened the scoring after just eight minutes in East Anglia - getting slotted through on goal, rounding the goalkeeper and calmly sliding the ball in to give the Royals an early lead.
Not content with one goal, Loader had secured his brace with just 15 minutes on the clock as the young Royals dominated the early exchanges. The 17-year-old powered an effort into the net for his second, after having struck the woodwork moments before.
The Canaries pulled one back on the half-hour mark, with Simon Power living up to his surname by rocketing in from distance, his effort bouncing in off the crossbar.
After Joel Rollinson saw his strike bend around the post, the Canaries equalised early on in the second half, Power crossing in from the right and striker Adam Uche applying the finishing touch.
With Norwich in the ascendancy, the Royals went down to 10 men as Akinwale Odimayo saw red for an ill-timed challenge in midfield after 80 minutes.
The Canaries seized the initiative and made the advantage count with four minutes left on the clock, Anthony Spyrou was played through on goal and slotted past Southwood to hand the hosts all three points in the Premier League 2.
Scott Marshall's side are back in action this weekend, walking out at Madejski Stadium as Sunderland visit RG2 on Saturday lunchtime, 1pm kick-off.
Entry is free for Season Ticket holders who aren't making the trip up to Aston Villa at the weekend, with a ticket costing just £3 for Adults and £1 for Concessions (65+, 24 & Under), for anyone without a Season Ticket.
Reading U23: Southwood, Elva-Fountaine, Odimayo, Burley, Green, Omolabi, Rollinson, Sidoel (Coleman 57), Liddle (House 78), Loader (Frost 65), Nolan.
Subs: Hillson, Osho.
Goals: Loader 8, 16