Reading: Al Habsi; Gunter, Ilori, McShane, Moore; Obita, Williams, Kelly, Swift, McCleary; Kermorgant
Subs: Jaakkola, van den Berg, Evans, Samuel, Meite, Blackett, Watson
It is now three consecutive defeats in all competitions for Reading, who found themselves on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at Pride Park.
The visitors dominated much of the opening stages, and were rewarded for their pressure after 16 minutes. A surging midfield run from Liam Kelly saw the academy graduate shrug off several challenges before delivering a cross from the byline to a waiting John Swift, who was able to coolly slot the ball home from six yards.
As the Royals continued to push, both Garath McCleary and Swift went close before the half hour mark as the home side struggled to make any sort of impression upon the game. Indeed it took until the 36th minute for the Rams to record their first shot on target, but with it they were able to announce themselves upon the game. Darren Bent rose above the rest of the Reading defence to nudge Richard Keogh's drilled corner past Ali Al-Habsi and claim an equaliser for the home side that sent the teams in level at the break.
The home side continued to grow into the game as the second half began, and the Royals soon found themselves behind at Pride Park. Former Blackpool and Hull midfielder Tom Ince was the beneficiary of some neat interplay amongst the Derby attack, as he completed a good team move by drilling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the Reading net. Soon it was three for the hosts, as an unfortunate deflection saw the ball break free for Will Hughes, who took full advantage as he slotted past Al Habsi to double the Rams' lead with just over a quarter of an hour left.
Jaap Stam moved immediately to try and get his side back in the game, bringing on Yakou Meite and Dominic Samuel for Swift and Liam Moore. It proved an inspired move, as with ten minutes left on the clock, Meite climbed highest to meet Kelly's corner, which he headed powerfully into the back of Scott Carson's net.
But unfortunately the visitors were unable to add another to their tally for the day, with frustration getting the better of Jordan Obita, who was sent off for a second bookable offence in the sixth minute of added time. A second league defeat on the spin meant that the Royals left Derbyshire pointless, having slipped to fifth in the Championship table.