Forest: Smith, Mancienne, Worrall, Fox (Pinillos, '77), Lichaj, Vaughan, Cohen, Osborn, Carayol (Cash, '82), Brereton (Ward, '70), Assombalonga
Subs: Pinillos, Tshibola, Clough, Ward, Evtimov, Vellios, Cash
Reading: Al Habsi; Gunter, Moore, Blackett, Obita; Williams (Evans, '52), Kelly; Popa (Beerens, '52), Swift (Mendes, '84), Grabban; Kermorgant
Subs: Evans, Beerens, Mendes, Meite, Ilori, Jaakkola, Oxford.
Despite a spirited comeback attempt, Reading once again missed out on the chance to confirm their spot in the Championship play-offs after a 3-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Having already claimed home wins over high-flying Brighton, Newcastle and Huddersfield at the City Ground this season, it was unsurprising to see the hosts start confidently against the play-off chasing Royals.
After dominating much of the early proceedings, the hosts were eventually rewarded for their first half endeavour on the half-hour mark, when record signing Britt Assombalonga latched on to Ben Brereton's through ball before coolly dispatching an effort past Ali Al Habsi to give Forest the lead.
Going behind did spring some life into the Royals' front line, with Yann Kermorgant linking up well with Lewis Grabban to force a good save out of Jordan Smith in the Forest net. The Frenchman went close again with after 41 minutes, but his ambitious scissor kick was blocked from close range, meaning Reading went into the break 1-0 down.
Yet for all their improvement towards the end of the first half, a sluggish start to the second period saw Reading find themselves 2-0 down almost immediately after the restart. Once again it was Assombalonga who found the back of the net, leaping to meet Ben Osborn's cross and sending a powerful header past the beaten Al Habsi.
Jaap Stam reacted instantly, ringing the changes with the introductions of Roy Beerens and George Evans for Adrian Popa and Danny Williams respectively. However just two minutes later, Forest bagged a third, with Mustapha Carayol reacting quickest to slot home from inside the box and seemingly put the game out of site.
Yet Reading were not quite finished and the team began to display the fighting spirit that has seen them mount many an impressive comeback this season. Firstly on 58 minutes, Kermorgant rose highest to meet Jordan Obita's cross from the right-hand side, with his powerful header bouncing off the crossbar to give the visitors hope at 3-1. Twelve minutes later and the Royals had two. Again it was Kermorgant who found the back of the net, this time drilling a left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the Forest net to give the Royals hope of what appeared to be a hugely improbable point.
Searching for the leveller, John Swift went agonisingly close as his shot edged just wide. Stam's final roll of the dice came with the replacement of Swift for Joseph Mendes with six minutes left on the clock. Yet the two-goal hero from the victory at Aston Villa was unable to find a dramatic third goal for the visitors, meaning that the Royals still require points from the upcoming games against Wigan and Burton to be sure of a top-six finish.