Reading followed up their midweek win over Fulham by beating Cardiff City at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, Yann Kermorgant and John Swift providing the goals either side of a Joe Ralls penalty.
There were plenty more changes to the side from Tuesday night, as Jaap Stam was forced to leave Tiago Ilori out due to a knock, bringing in Kermorgant alongside Roy Beerens up top with Chris Gunter and Garath McCleary playing as wing-backs. A rather drab opening saw little action of note, the visitors hitting the post before going a goal behind.
Coming via Swift after 42 minutes, Danny Williams took aim from distance but saw his shot parried to McCleary. The Jamaican winger produced a dazzling backheel that beat two men and found his teammate, the England U21 international rolling home from six yards.
However, Reading's defence was beaten having seen Joey van den Berg taken off with a muscle injury . A bouncing ball in the area led to Liam Moore swinging a high foot that came too close to a tumbling Sean Morrison for the referee's liking, Ralls beating Ali Al-Habsi despite the goalkeeper diving the right way.
The game opened up in the second-half, Kermorgant winning a free-kick just outside the area thanks to a shove. The Frenchman dusted himself down to whip the ball low and past the wall, hitting the bottom corner of the net after 61 minutes. It was the striker who almost levelled the scores with a calamitous own goal, but for Al-Habsi's great diving save. The keeper also denied Junior Hoilett's decent free-kick effort midway through the half.
In truth, the Royals threatened little as the game drifted on but will be satisfied with another three points, sending them third in the table and nine points clear of seventh-placed Derby.