The result seemed harsh on a Royals side that dominated for large periods, created opportunities but ended up on the wrong side of a game against second placed Watford - who capitalised on two first half opportunities with two fine finishes from Ismaila Sarr. And Royals boss Veljko Paunovic was disappointed that the outcome didn't reflect the performance from his team which he was proud of.
"The tough part of tonight's game is the result. Everything else...we were a fantastic team, fantastic competitor, played great football against one of the best teams in the league. But unfortunately the outcome is not what we wanted.
"I can't say that we didn't start the game well. I would just give credit to Sarr and his team for their start and two astonishing goals - although perhaps we could have done better with the second one. But you have to applaud those finishes.
"We were waiting, playing, running, creating chances and putting in a lot of effort out there and we had a lot of the possession.
"We were chasing that goal which would have given us that boost of confidence and our physical output we had was exceptional - we kept chasing and chasing that goal that would have given us the momentum. But the goal didn't come.
"Eventually that drained us. We rushed our final pass too often in the second half, although we still kept getting into our opponents box and we looked to play and to fight until the very end. But in the end we ran out of power.
"When you lose a game and you don't convert your opportunities you can't complain. But football, which I love, was cruel to us today."