First half goals from Daniel Akindayini and Anton Walkes put us in a commanding position – and we could have been further in front had Royals goalkeeper Lewis Ward not made a handful of fine saves just after the restart.
But back came Reading, the hosts claiming the victory thanks to three goals in a 15-minute spell mid-way through the second period.
It didn’t take long for us to take the upper hand, as Akindayini finished off a fine move to put us into a third minute lead. Walkes picked a pass to Emmanuel Sonupe who in turn released Kyle Walker-Peters down the right, his eventual cross being turned in off the far post by Akindayini.
Reading left-back Nana Owusu got forward a couple of times in the moments that followed but our defence stood firm while, in the time in between, the industrious Joe Pritchard squeezed a shot just the wrong side of the upright with keeper Ward beaten.
Luke Amos tricked his way into the box close to the byline on 16 minutes but his cross was beyond everybody in the packed Reading area, before Pritchard again tried his luck from a central position, forcing a low save from Ward.
At the other end, we struggled to cope with the set pieces of Liam Kelly and were lucky not to concede on a couple of occasions. Rob Dickie hooked a shot over the bar after goalkeeper Harry Voss failed to hold Kelly’s lofted free kick, before Dominick Hyam’s close range effort was smothered by the stopper after Dickie’s corner wasn’t cleared.
After withstanding a spell of Royals pressure, we struck gold four minutes before half-time as Walkes crashed a shot into the top corner from 20 yards out to double our lead.
Walker-Peters got the assist with his run and cross from the right, and the right-back was on the charge again a couple of minutes later. This time, though, his cross was swept over the bar by Sonupe.
It was to prove a frustrating afternoon for Sonupe, who would be denied a goal on a couple more occasions shortly after the restart.
Kelly curled a free-kick over the bar on 47 minutes as Reading sought to reduce the arrears, but it was at the other end where the better chances would be spurned.
After being played through by Shayon Harrison, Akindayini was denied by keeper Ward before Sonupe’s effort from the rebound was blocked on the line by Hyam.
Sonupe was sprung in behind the defence again a few seconds later but Ward was again at his best to make a close-range save. A goalmouth scramble ensued in the next passage of play, but somehow the ball stayed out of the net and trickled wide of the upright.
Five minutes later Sonupe had another sight of goal after latching onto Akindayini’s through ball, but that man Ward stood firm again.
We were made to pay for our missed chances by the hosts, who pulled a goal back on 55 minutes when Conor Shaughnessy bundled home after Dickie rose highest to head down Kelly’s corner.
Voss had to remain alert to make a couple of important saves in the ensuing moments but it was all water under the bridge as the Royals drew level on 67 minutes. Hyam rifled in from an acute angle after Dickie’s powerful header from another Kelly flag kick was blocked on the line by Walker-Peters and the ball ran loose to him.
Anthony Georgiou shot high and wide as we attempted to get ourselves back in front, but the home side’s comeback was completed in the 70th minute when Hamed Lawal raced onto Jammi Fridjonsson’s through ball and clipped beyond Voss to put the Royals 3-2 in front.
Voss punched away a rising Fridjonsson shot a minute later as the hosts continued to attack – and it was the midfielder who had the last real chance of the game when he worked himself into a shooting position outside the box and curled an effort against the far post.
Spurs: Voss, Walker-Peters, Amos (Vincent-Young 71), Lesniak, Carter-Vickers, Walkes, Sonupe (Oduwa 60), Pritchard, Akindayini, Harrison, Georgiou (Goddard 71). Sub (not used): Priestly (GK).