Reading striker Simon Church scored the game's only goal in the second minute as the Royals beat play-off rivals Leeds United at Elland Road.
The Wales international controlled Jobi McAnuff's pass and put an angled finish past Andy Lonergan from 12 yards.
McAnuff then pulled a shot wide and had an effort saved by Lonergan.
Leeds, who remain sixth despite the defeat, struggled in front of goal, but Danny Pugh's shot from inside the area was well saved by Adam Federici.
The Royals, who beat another promotion rival in West Ham a week ago, are now just one place behind.
Leeds had their fair share of possession but lacked bite in the penalty area and their first shot on goal did not come until first-half injury time, when Ross McCormack headed straight at Federici.
Just before the hour mark, the Royals goalkeeper then denied Pugh's angled drive before substitute Andy Keogh lashed a shot over the crossbar just seconds after coming off the bench.
Alex Pearce could have killed the game off but headed wide from six yards.
The defender later redeemed himself, though, by deflecting Pugh's goalbound shot wide from 25 yards.