Reading were comfortably out-thought and out-played at the City Ground as Nottingham Forest kept up their impressive home record in 2022 with a 4-0 win.

Paul Ince surprised many when team news was announced, with Yakou Meite starting and playing the 90 minutes, despite the interim manager stating that he was ‘not ready’ during the week.

Josh Laurent and Scott Dann also returned for their first starts since their respective injury spells.

Just 17 seconds were on the clock when Nottingham Forest striker Keinan Davis put the ball past Luke Southwood in the Reading net, giving the Royals a mountain to climb.

Straight from kick-off right-back Djed Spence received the ball in the Reading half and a smart cut-back finish found Davis in the box, who tapped home after a clever turn.

The hosts continued to press for the second throughout the first half, dominating possession and forcing the Royals into mistakes.

Reading Chronicle:

However, in the way of chances, it was Paul Ince’s side who created the better opportunities.

Meite and Tom Ince were both regularly involved, with the winger’s corner cleared off of the line after Michael Morrison attempted to scramble it in.

Meite, who received his first start under Ince today, created a chance on his own when he got on the end of his own flick on before firing a shot at the near post.

The best opportunity fell to returning midfielder Laurent, who was found was a clever cross after Ince had embarked on a mazy run which had started on the halfway line.

The former Shrewsbury Town midfielder was unmarked at the back post but could only steer his header wide of the post.

Despite an early lead, the Forest supporters were getting increasingly restless as the half wore on, with Reading beginning to find their way back into the game as it progressed.

The second half started, and played out, exactly how the first half began.

Reading Chronicle:

The hosts dominated from start to finish, with Danny Drinkwater forcing Ethan Horvath into his first save of the period from a long-range strike.

It took until past the hour mark for Steve Cooper’s side to double their advantage when Davis rolled into space on the edge of the box and thundered home his second of the game.

Just over 10 minutes later Ryan Yates tried his luck from distance and beat Southwood to make it three, before substitute Sam Surridge swept home the fourth after he was set free one-on-one with the Academy graduate in the Royals net.

The win ensures the Reds have failed to lose at home since the turn of the year and go nine games unbeaten in all competitions.

For Reading, it is a third straight defeat and a second successive away match in which the side have conceded four.

It does not get any easier for Ince, with high-flying Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers coming up on Tuesday and next Saturday as they hover dangerously above the drop zone.