READING FC will meet Fulham in the Championship play-off semi-finals after clinching third place in the table with a 4-2 win at Burton Albion.

Royals scored four goals in a match for the first time this season as Joseph Mendes, Jordan Obita, Yann Kermorgant and Lewis Grabban all found the net.

Burton had threatened an unlikely comeback when Ben Turner and Cauley Woodrow netted in a three-minute spell in the second-half, but Grabban's fourth settled matters and secured three points on Reading's first visit to the Pirelli Stadium.

While Jaap Stam will not have been too happy with some of Reading's defending, he will have been pleased with their attacking display against the gritty Brewers.

It means Royals head into the play-off brimming with confidence and will now travel to Fulham next Saturday before the home leg at Madejski Stadium the following Tuesday night.

Stam knew a victory here would seal third position regardless of results elsewhere.

As it was, Huddersfield's challenge blew up in a 3-0 loss at Cardiff, while Fulham emerged with a 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday in a clash between the other top-six teams.

Stam made three changes from the side that defeated Wigan 1-0 including a welcome return for skipper Paul McShane, with Tyler Blackett dropping to the bench.

Tiago Ilori and Mendes also got the nod, while Garath McCleary missed out with a groin strain and John Swift was named among the subs who also included fit-again Joey van den Berg.

Stam had stressed the importance of ending the regular season with a victory even though his side were assured of a top-five finish before kick off.

And within two minutes they were well on their way thanks to a third goal in as many games by the in-form Mendes.

Royals put a string of slick passes together before Mendes controlled a Roy Beerens cross on his chest and slammed the ball past Stephen Bywater from close range.

And the visiting fans, some dressed in orange in honour of Royals' Dutch contingent and others carrying inflatables, were on their feet again in the 21st minute after Obita notched the second.

Liam Kelly got things going by releasing his team-mate down the left and Obita's cross-shot looped over Bywater and in off the far post.

The Brewers recovered from the double blow and threatened to pull one back when Turner headed wide from a Michael Kightly cross before Woodrow stung Ali Al-Habsi's hands.

Reading, though, were in control so Stam took off McShane at the interval as a precaution and threw on Van den Berg for some much-needed pitch-time.

Yet hey came under pressure early in the second half and almost conceded in the 53rd minute but for a sensational, reflex save from Al-Habsi, who turned a Will Miller drive onto his own crossbar.

Royals capitalised by netting a third 11 minutes later thanks to the prolific Kermorgant, who lashed home from 18 yards for his ninth goal in nine games and 18th of the season.

But if Reading thought it was job done they were wrong as Burton hit back with two goals in a three-minute burst.

Turner made it 3-1 on 69 minutes by slotting home from close range after Royals had botched up a goal kick and conceded a corner.

Then three minutes later Woodrow powered a header past Al-Habsi after Royals' defence fell asleep.

Both goals were down to rank bad defending, but Stam's men remained a threat going forward and threatened again when Kermorgant's acrobatic effort from just inside the box was hacked off the Burton line.

And they gave themselves some breathing space when Grabban grabbed a fourth in the 84th minute.

Kermorgant headed an Obita cross onto the bar and, after George Evans and Kelly had follow-up chances blocked, the on-loan Bournemouth striker reacted quickest and scored from six yards out.

It could have been more the visitors, but a stinging volley from substitute Danny Williams was deemed not to have crossed the line two minutes from time.

Yet an end-to-end contest finished with another opportunity for Burton as Woodrow raced clear only to be denied by Al-Habsi, then Luke Varney's follow-up was bravely blocked by Liam Moore.

But Reading had done enough to secure their fourth victory in five matches ahead of the play-offs, with Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield set to contest the other semi final.

Burton: Bywater, Brayford, McFadzean, Turner, Sordell, Mousinho, Murphy (Sbarra 68), Kightly (Dyer 63), Irvine, Woodrow, Miller (Varney 78). Subs not used: Flanagan, Akins, Naylor, Campbell. Booked: Irvine 77.

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Obita, McShane (c) (Van den Berg 46), Ilori, Moore, Evans, Kelly, Beerens (Williams 75), Mendes (Grabban 66), Kermorgant. Subs not used: Jaakkola, Swift, Blackett, Popa.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

Attendance: 6,264.