New signing Jason Roberts scored on his Reading debut to beat 10-man Bristol City, despite visiting goalkeeper David James saving two penalties.
Roberts, who signed from Blackburn, bundled home the rebound after James blocked his second-half spot-kick to secure a win for Reading.
City defender Louis Carey also saw red for bringing down Roberts to hand the striker the chance from the spot.
Albert Adomah hit a post for City while James saved a Jobi McAnuff penalty.
Reading also missed a hatful of chances in front of goal, with Jem Karacan, Noel Hunt and Michail Antonio at fault.
City started brightly and keeper Adam Federici had to be alert to tip Wood's header over the bar before keeping out Stephen Pearson's bobbling effort.
Reading rallied and Hunt picked out Antonio with a superb pass only for James to deny the winger, while Roberts's follow-up was blocked by Pearson.
McAnuff should have done better than head Hunt's cross over the crossbar before Hunt himself spurned a glorious opportunity when he failed to guide Antonio's whipped centre past James.
City seemed to be hanging on, but were unlucky not to go ahead when Adomah produced a sensational overhead kick which was superbly kept out by Federici.
Roberts, impressive throughout, went close when McAnuff's cross found the former Blackburn frontman and his flick drifted wide.
The key moment came when Carey fouled Roberts in the box and was dismissed by referee Patrick Miller.
Roberts's poor spot-kick was saved by James but the striker was on hand to slam home the rebound.
McAnuff had two further chances to put Reading out of sight before the Royals skipper saw his 89th-minute spot-kick pushed away.
Reading manager Brian McDermott: "Jason trained with us for the first time on Friday morning and he has done really well to last 70 minutes before coming off," said McDermott.
"He added something to us today and we can build off him because he has power and pace.
"I am really pleased with the signing and he gave the whole place a lift when he walked into the dressing room.
"We may bring more players in before the deadline if there is an opportunity but the players we have got here have done well for me.
"I am sure we feel we could do better and I am sure that will be the case, but if you are going to play well you still need to win and that's what we did."
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes: "On another day we might have pinched something from that.
"There were elements where we controlled the game and we had opportunities to score in the first half.
"I thought the first penalty decision was really harsh. Jason had his arm round our lad's neck.
"They then got a second which was more like a penalty. The Reading lad stood still and let our man run into him.
"David James did great to save the two penalties and even when Roberts scored from the rebound from the first he hasn't exactly rifled it in.
"The performance for me showed a lot to be pleased about. There was plenty of commitment and drive.
"Nicky Maynard didn't start because we won last week and I kept the same front three. But there may be bids for him before the deadline closes and if there are then we will deal with it."