A stoppage-time winner from Nick Blackman helped Reading move into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship following a 1-0 win over struggling Bristol City.
Blackman ran on to a Danny Williams pass and beat City goalkeeper Frank Fielding with a low shot for his 13th goal of the season.
It ensured Reading, who had lost six of their seven previous matches, sit 12th in the standings while the Robins remain in the bottom three on goal difference alone.
City had won just once in their previous nine matches - and lost 4-0 at Burnley on Monday - but they threatened first, with Luke Freeman lashing a loose ball into the side netting.
Reading replied quickly and a searching 30-yard pass found Matej Vydra free on the City goal, but he snatched at his shot and Fielding was not even forced to make a save.
Jonathan Kodjia then drove across the face of the home goal but no team-mate was on hand to get the vital touch.
Reading controlled much of the game approaching half-time but failed to make dominance count.
Jake Cooper saw a close-range effort blocked, Vydra squandered a far-post opportunity from an Oliver Norwood cross and a Norwood free-kick flew just over Fielding's crossbar.
Vydra should also have done better when latching on to a loose ball in the City area but he drove towards the diving Fielding.
Reading opened the second half more brightly, with Orlando Sa and Williams having efforts blocked and Norwood blazing high and wide.
Vydra was again in the thick of the action but once more failed to convert another good opening.
Chris Gunter's cross fell invitingly for the Czech Republic striker but he nodded it straight at Fielding.
City, without a clean sheet in eight matches, defended stubbornly and broke forward only sporadically. Midfielder Elliott Bennett did have a rare chance to break the deadlock on the break but drove wide of Ali Al Habsi's goal.
Kodjia also took advantage of a Norwood error but, after bursting to the byline, his dangerous cross was cleared by Stephen Quinn.
Reading retaliated with vigour but could still not break down the solid City rearguard. Blackman nodded over from a Garath McCleary cross and both McCleary and Blackman were denied by last-ditch City blocks.
But Blackman finally struck in the first minute of added-on time to secure the much-needed win.
"Matej could have scored two or three goals today. He worked his socks off, he kept putting himself on the line, which was really important. He never hid. I'm delighted for Matej and the whole group. It's all about belief and confidence."
"We played very well today. Collectively, we've got a lot of young lads who are learning the hard way at this level.n The players are giving me everything they can possibly give me. Today was just one of those painful defeats."