Match ends, Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 3.
Reading 0-3 Nottingham Forest
Resurgent Nottingham Forest eased past Reading to earn a fifth victory in six Championship games under manager Dougie Freedman and move to within nine points of the play-off places.
The Royals, who have now lost three successive home games, edged a tight first period.
But Forest dominated after Ben Osborn's superb long-range strike on 56 minutes.
Matty Fryatt turned in a simple second and substitute Gary Gardner sealed the win with another shot from distance.
The victory means the Reds remain unbeaten since Freedman replaced Stuart Pearce as manager, with their only dropped points coming in an astonishing 4-4 draw away against Blackpool.
But, as with their performance at Bloomfield Road, Freedman's side struggled to find their fluency before the break.
Pavel Pogrebnyak headed over for the hosts early on while the impressive Michael Antonio teed up chances for Osborn and Jamie Paterson.
But Reading looked the more threatening and former Forest striker Simon Cox twice missed good chances, the first a volley that went wide and the second an even better opportunity he sent off target.
Royals winger Garath McCleary, another ex-Reds man, also had a shot cleared off the line by Jamaal Lascelles.
However, Forest improved on the resumption and, after Fryatt went close with a header, Osborn's stunning 25-yard effort made it 1-0.
Pogrebnyak did test away goalkeeper Karl Darlow with a decent strike.
|Forest fighting back|
|Forest scored five goals in the last six games while Stuart Pearce was manager, but have scored 19 in the six games under Dougie Freedman.|
But Antonio teed up Fryatt to slide in number two and the scoring was completed 10 minutes from time when Gardner crashed the ball home via the underside of the bar.
FA Cup quarter-finalists Reading slip to 18th in the table, nine points above the relegation zone, while Forest remain ninth, but close the gap on the top six.
Reading manager Steve Clarke: "The players are aware of the position they are in the table and they're aware of their responsibilities to the club and the supporters to make sure we get away from the bottom of the table as soon as possible.
"It's not an easy time for the team but everyone has to dig in and make sure we get the required points tally to make the league table look a lot better for us.
"It's a really disappointing result for us today. I thought we were really good in the first half, that's as well as we've played for a long time.
"We were in control of the game and created two good chances to score but didn't take them and suffered for that in the second half."
Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman: "I thought that we were worthy winners, because we defended when we had to and we scored when we had to."
On his 18-month contract at the City Ground he added: "The contract is designed with an opportunity for me and the chairman to have a look at it during the summer.
"There's a small window, just a few days, in which either of us can shake each other's hands and go away. It was a gentleman's agreement.
"I wanted to see if I was ready to step back into management and the chairman wanted to see if it would work out."
- 12McClearyBooked at 60mins
- 9Robson-KanuSubstituted forGuthrieat 80'minutes
- 10CoxSubstituted forAiyegbeniat 71'minutes
- 18AntonioSubstituted forBlackstockat 82'minutes
- 21PatersonSubstituted forBurkeat 45'minutes
- 7FryattSubstituted forGardnerat 77'minutes
- 29de Vries
- Mick Russell
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 3.
Foul by Michael Hector (Reading).
Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Gunter with a cross.
Daniel Williams (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest).
Attempt missed. Nathaniel Chalobah (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Yakubu.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Dexter Blackstock replaces Michail Antonio.
Goal! Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 3. Gary Gardner (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Daniel Fox.
Substitution, Reading. Danny Guthrie replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.
Attempt blocked. Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Offside, Reading. Michael Hector tries a through ball, but Pavel Pogrebnyak is caught offside.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Gary Gardner replaces Matty Fryatt.
Attempt saved. Nathaniel Chalobah (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jordan Obita.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading).
Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Reading. Yakubu replaces Simon Cox.
Goal! Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 2. Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Michail Antonio.
Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest).
Foul by Nathaniel Chalobah (Reading).
Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Nathaniel Chalobah (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest).
Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
Simon Cox (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest).
Garath McCleary (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Garath McCleary (Reading).
Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Daniel Fox.
Attempt missed. Michail Antonio (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Henri Lansbury.
Goal! Reading 0, Nottingham Forest 1. Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Daniel Fox.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Adam Federici.
Attempt saved. Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Burke with a cross.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Garath McCleary.
Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).
Michael Mancienne (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.