Reading 2-0 Middlesbrough: Boro winning streak ended
Last Updated: 03/10/15 9:25pm
Second-placed Middlesbrough's run of five successive wins in the Sky Bet Championship came to an end after a 2-0 defeat at Reading.
Middlesbrough were largely outplayed by the hosts, who secured their fifth league win in six matches with a goal in each half.
Danny Williams opened the scoring with a header after only 15 seconds and a Nick Blackman penalty two minutes from time settled it.
Middlesbrough lay second in the table before kick-off on the back of five successive league victories - and seven wins in a row in all competitions.
Reading sat five points behind in fourth place, having lost third spot to Burnley after their 2-1 win at Rotherham on Friday evening. Victory sees them reclaim third position.
Middlesbrough went into the game at the Madejski Stadium as the highest scorers in the division, with 17 goals, and with the fewest conceded, just five.
But they were soon behind as Reading poured forward at pace as Hal Robson-Kanu dazzled on the left flank before crossing deep into the Middlesbrough area, where Williams powered in a header past goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.
It was the third fastest goal in Reading's history, being lead by winger Jimmy Kebe's goal after nine seconds against West Brom in 2010, while full-back Mark White scored after 12 seconds against York in 1984.
Although Middlesbrough might have been stunned, they did not show it and were soon searching for the equaliser.
Most of their best work came from left-back George Friend, who delivered a series of fine crosses, but no team-mate was able to get on the end of them.
Reading sat deep, protecting their early lead, yet gradually grew more adventurous as the first half went on and almost stretched their lead when Blackman crossed from the right and Konstantopoulos punched weakly to the edge of his area.
Orlando Sa volleyed goalwards but defender Daniel Ayala nodded the ball off the goalline.
Middlesbrough replied through a low free-kick from Stewart Downing, which home goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi did well to push aside. Then leading scorer Christian Stuani drove over when well positioned approaching half-time, but Reading regained control after the break.
Persistent pressure ended with a series of chances. Lucas Piazon had a shot blocked, after a good touch from Blackman, and Blackman headed over from an Oliver Norwood corner. Sa also nodded over from a Robson-Kanu cross.
Middlesbrough only threatened on the occasional counter-attack, with captain Grant Leadbitter going close with a 30-yard effort that flew just wide.
Norwood also went close with a 20-yard free kick that narrowly missed Konstantopoulos' right-hand post.
Middlesbrough finished strongly but Kike wasted a good opening when heading wide from substitute Emilio Nsue's fine cross.
But their late rally was ended in the 88th minute when Fernando Amorebieta clumsily pushed Blackman in the area, with Blackman coolly slotting in the resultant penalty for his ninth goal of the season.
"That doesn't really say anything at this stage of the season. We're only just into October and there's a hell of a long way to go. Eighteen points from 10 games is a good return, it's quite healthy. But there's no way you can get too carried away in this division because every game is difficult."
"The main thing we had to do was not concede a goal in the first minute but we did - within 20 seconds. Reading are a very organised team and we knew that if we conceded a goal, it would be difficult to equalise."