Match ends, Reading 1, Wigan Athletic 2.
Wigan earned their second successive win under new boss Uwe Rosler with a gutsy display at Reading.
Midfielder Chris McCann gave the Latics an early lead when he gathered a loose ball and beat keeper Alex McCarthy.
Nick Powell then added a second with a low shot after Reading central defender Alex Pearce misread a punt downfield.
Russian forward Pavel Pogrebnyak pulled one back for the Royals when his looping header arced in over Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.
The result moved Wigan up to 12th in the Championship table. Reading, on the other hand, slip down to sixth after a second defeat in seven games, with a tough match at third-placed Leicester coming up.
The Lancashire side went in front in the 10th minute when James McArthur released James McClean on the left. His attempted cross was blocked, but McCann collected and kept his head to guide the ball past the stranded McCarthy.
It got worse two minutes later, when defender Pearce inexplicably allowed a hopeful punt to evade him and Powell scampered through to beat McCarthy with a low shot.
Reading fought back with Pogrebnyak forcing Al-Habsi into a fine save at his near post, before Kaspars Gorkss headed over from a Danny Guthrie corner.
The Latics held firm until the 68th minute when Pogrebnyak scored with brilliantly guided header.
Wigan were rattled as Reading poured forward for the equaliser - Guthrie went close from a free-kick, Pogrebnyak narrowly failed to reach an Adam Le Fondre cross-shot before the Russian was denied by the post.
The visitors, however, held on for a deserved win.
Wigan boss Uwe Rosler:
"I came here to make the play-offs but, for the moment, I just focus on the next game.
"We have the possibility, with a good run, to sneak into the play-offs.
"All the teams I have had always have a strong end to the season. I think that will happen here as well. I'm confident that it is achievable.
"We've started the last few games in similar fashion. Reading had massive problems, lost their confidence and had the crowd on their backs."
Reading manager Nigel Adkins:
"That poor start cost us dearly.
"We tried to control the game but there was a bit of nervousness. And you just can't legislate for giving away goals like that, they were shocking."
- 24CummingsSubstituted forObitaat 45'minutes
- 5PearceSubstituted forMcClearyat 59'minutes
- 10DrentheSubstituted forLe Fondreat 72'minutes
- 23WilliamsBooked at 74mins
- 9Le Fondre
- 15McManamanSubstituted forGómez García-Pencheat 45'minutesBooked at 82mins
- 22BeausejourBooked at 58minsSubstituted forCraineyat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 24PerchBooked at 77mins
- 8WatsonBooked at 74mins
- 19PowellSubstituted forKeaneat 45'minutes
- 14Gómez García-Penche
- Gary Sutton
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 1, Wigan Athletic 2.
Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).
Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by James McClean (Wigan Athletic).
Foul by Billy Sharp (Reading).
Thomas Rogne (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Adam Le Fondre (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak with a headed pass.
Attempt blocked. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by William Keane.
Foul by Jordan Obita (Reading).
James Perch (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Guthrie with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Chris McCann.
Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Alex McCarthy.
Offside, Wigan Athletic. Chris McCann tries a through ball, but James McClean is caught offside.
Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Reading).
Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Chris McCann (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Jordi Gómez.