After conceding early an early goal to Norwich’s Teemu Pukki, the Royals laboured hard and controlled the game – and finally got back on terms in the second half through Jón Daði Böðvarsson.
But that parity – which the Royals had worked towards for an hour – was wiped out within a minute as Mario Vucinic capitalised on a lapse in the Royals’ defence.
“In the first half, we weren’t good enough,” reflected John Swift after the match. “We were second to everything and it wasn’t the start we wanted in the game.
“In the first 25 minutes, we were very slow, but gradually towards half-time we were better and flew out of the traps at the start of the second.
“We were on top for the whole time until we scored – and then we got sloppy.
“It’s tough to take, especially after we equalised, because we could have gone on to win the game. It’s tough to walk away with zero points.
“I thought we did so well to come back into it in the second half and really put the pressure on.
“After scoring, we should have got back and been more compact to ride the storm. We all got sloppy and switched off – you’re always more vulnerable after you score.
“We need to learn from this and not let it happen again.
“All we can do is keep working at things. We need to recreate the chances that we had on the training pitch and put them away.”
No time to dwell on it. We’ll be back to action at Madejski Stadium as soon as Saturday, when we host Hull City.
Three more points will be up for grabs. Lessons will need to be learned, and put into practice this weekend.
“Hull is going to be another tough game. We have to go into it wanting to win,” he continued.
“Hopefully we can take what we did in the second-half tonight and turn it into a full 90 minutes on Saturday.
“We need to put this one behind us and go into Hull with full confidence so that we can hopefully get the win.”