Jordan Obita's first goal for Reading settled an absorbing Championship encounter at the City Ground as Nottingham Forest's opponents went above them in the table. Two goals inside the first 15 minutes from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Kaspars Gorkss were cancelled out by Simon Cox and Darius Henderson strikes either side of half time. Winger obita snached all three points for the visotors, however, and they hung on as Chris Gunter was sent off against his former club. Reds boss Billy Davies made one enforced changed to the team that started the battling draw with table toppers Burnley. Captain Chris Cohen picked up a serious knee ligament injury, so Dan Harding deputized at left back. Greg Halford and Andy Reid were fit only for the bench after injury Royals manager Nigel Adkins meanwhile made two changes after the goalless draw at Blackburn Rovers. Chris Baird missed out with an ankle problem whilst top scorer Adam Le Fondre dropped to substitute. Hal Robson-Kanu returned in attack and Daniel Williams made his first start for two months following an ankle problem. Forest fell behind in the eighth minute when former Reds favourite Garath McCleary drove infield off the right flank and found Pogrebnyak at the back post. Reading's Russian hitman tapped in his fifth of the season, sending 886 travelling supporters into raptures. The Royals continued to attack with young Obita seeing a shot deflected behind for a corner. That resulted in another goal. Latvia defender Gorkss nodded in Danny Guthrie's delivery and doubled the visitors' lead before a quarter of an hour. Hosts Forest took their time responding to these early shocks. Jamie Paterson looked to catch Reading on the break, but found all avenues shut by the defence. Jame Mackie then crossed for striker Cox, but another ex-Red Gunter blocked, and Henri Lansbury fired wide. Davies's side were so nearly undone again as McCleary hared in on goal, yet his fierce shot failed to trouble Karl Darlow. Forest then went up and the other end with Lansbury curling just off target with Alex McCarthy in the visiting goal scrambling. Five minutes before half time the Reds pulled one back through Republic of Ireland frontman Cox - his third in as many matches. He converted from a Mackie cross when the Scot got clear down the right and the City Ground crowd found their voices. A message of support for injured skipper Cohen accompanied the goal celebration. Davies then made two half time subs, throwing on Reid and Henderson in place of Paterson and Radoslaw Majewski. Target man Henderson lashed over when Cox cushioned the ball nicely for him and saw another effort also go wide within minutes of coming on. Mackie then bundled his way through the Royals defence and saw an effort blocked by Obita after referee Stuart Attwell played an advantage. Reading keeper McCarthy tipped a Mackie header over as Forest's threat to equalize grew and grew. They levelled on the hour mark with the front pair combining as Cox teed up Henderson and his low drive found the net. Mackie was then almost completed the turnaround, but hit the post as the Reds counterattacked. It proved pivotal as the Royals went back in front with 15 minutes left. McCleary found Obita and Darlow could not keep his shot out. The visitors were reduced to ten men for the closing stages, however, as Gunter saw red for a second booking when he brought down Cox. Reid had a curling effort deflected in stoppage time, so the hosts had nothing for their endeavours here. Reading managed to see out the last ten minutes though and climb to fourth with their first win in five. Forest were left to rue their lousy luck and could well end the weekend outside the playoff places.
Forest: 1 Karl Darlow, 2 Eric Lichaj, 25 Jack Hobbs (c), 16 Jamaal Lascelles, 3 Dan Harding (27 Matt Derbyshire 80'), 12 Jamie Mackie, 18 Gonzalo Jara, 10 Henri Lansbury, 28 Radoslaw Majewski (9 Darius Henderson 46'), 21 Jamie Paterson (11 Andy Reid 46'), 31 Simon Cox Goals: Simon Cox 40', Darius Henderson 60' Reading: 21 Alex McCarthy, 2 Chris Gunter, 5 Alex Pearce, 17 Kaspars Gorkss, 3 Stephen Kelly, 12 Garath McCleary, 20 Danny Guthrie (c), 23 Daniel Williams, 37 Jordan Obita (14 Billy Sharp 80'), 19 Hal Robson-Kanu (11 Jobi McAnuff 69'), 7 Pavel Pogrebnyak (22 Nick Blackman 80') Goals: Pavel Pogrebnyak 8', Kaspars Gorkss 13', Jordan Obita 74' Attendance: 21,199
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Jamie Clark is a qualified Web Journalist after undergoing professional training at the University of Sheffield. A prolific and accredited sports writer, he also enjoys classic comedy, historic fiction, 80s music and heritage.