READING FC’s fight against relegation will go down to the last day after a shambolic 4-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town.

Late goals from Martyn Waghorn and Jordan Spence set the Tractor Boys on their way before Freddie Sears and Callum Connolly both scored in injury time to condemn Royals to their heaviest home loss for more than 11 years.

It was also Reading’s first home defeat under Paul Clement and the timing couldn’t have been any worse.

Royals remain 19th in the table, but they are now just two points above Burton Albion in 22nd place after their 2-0 win over Bolton.

Clement’s men must now avoid defeat at Neil Warnock’s promotion-chasing Cardiff City next weekend or they will be relying on results elsewhere to keep them up.

One thing for certain, Royals will need to show a massive improvement in South Wales or it will be an extremely nervous wait to discover their fate.

In fairness, the hosts were well in this game and wasted several decent chances to score first themselves before Ipswich staged a late smash-and-grab raid.

But Reading’s defending was shocking at times and when the fourth went in the fans chanted ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ at their own players.

Managerless Ipswich arrived at the Madejski Stadium in poor form following four successive away defeats and a 4-0 home reverse to Aston Villa a week earlier.

But interim boss Bryan Klug masterminded a stunning victory against Reading, who had won their previous six home league games against them.

Clement made two changes from the side that lost 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday.

Omar Richards returned in place of the suspended Tyler Blackett, while Yann Kermorgant came in for Joey van den Berg.

It was as bold call from Clement to start with both Kermorgant and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson up front, but one which many Royals fans have been crying out for several months.

Ipswich, meanwhile, handed first league starts to defender Luke Woolfenden and winger Ben Folami and the visitors were quick to get amongst the Royals from the word go.

They even had keeper Vito Mannone back-tracking in the fourth minute to tip a Mustapha Carayol cross over the bar.

Reading forced an early corner themselves, but there was a lack of fluency to their play.

In fact, Tractor Boys threatened again in the 16th minute and were unlucky to see a Carayol shot strike team-mate Folami from 10 yards out.

Reading, though, went close four minutes later when Kermorgant’s shot deflected behind from a Sone Aluko corner, with the visitors clearing the danger from the second flag-kick.

Mannone was called into action again moments later when diving full stretch to palm away Tristan Nydam’s swerving 30-yarder that looked like going in.

However, Royals blew a clear-cut chance to take the lead in the 29th minute.

An attack that started deep ended with Barrow racing down the left before squaring to Bodvarsson, who missed the ball completely six yards out from goal.

The Iceland striker was under pressure from Adam Webster, but he should have at least tested Bartosz Bialkowski from that range.

Ipswich responded with Waghorn firing straight down Mannone’s throat on the angle.

Another promising Reading count-attack started by Aluko ended disappointingly with Barrow firing high into the side netting from a decent position.

Then just before the break Aluko cut in from the left before hitting a shot with his left that flew into Bialkowski’s hands.

Royals ended the half on the front foot with Kermorgant winning a free-kick then heading Liam Kelly’s delivery straight at Bialkowski.

Clement was forced to make a change three minutes after the restart and replaced the injured Richards with fit-again Tommy Elphick.

His side began to show more promise with Swift’s deflected shot going narrowly wide.

Then Aluko worked his way into the area but his effort lacked the power to trouble Bialkowski.

Ipswich hit back with Sears controlling Jonas Knudsen’s cross before hitting at effort straight at Mannone from the edge of the area.

However, Royals blew another golden opportunity midway through the second half.

Aluko was free at the back post, only to scuff his volley wide from Barrow’s accurate cross.

Reading remained on the front foot and went even closer in the 69th minute following another slick counter.

Bodvarsson led the attack and picked out Swift, whose first-time effort from close range was superbly tipped over by Bialkowski.

To compound Reading’s frustration, Ipswich broke the deadlock two minutes later after some schoolboy defending from the home side.

Clement’s men stood around waiting for an offside that never came and Spence was alert to pick out Waghorn, who blasted past Mannone from 12 yards.

And before Reading could recover from the blow they conceded a second goal nine minutes later.

This time Clement’s men left gaping holes at the back and Waghorn repaid the favour by sending Spence clear before he fired through Mannone’s legs.

Substitute Sam Smith threatened to pull one back with a shot that hit a defender and went over the Ipswich bar.

But more embarrassment followed as Ipswich netted twice more in injury time to add gloss to the scoreline.

Sears made it 3-0 by charging down Mannone’s clearance before nodding the ball into an empty net for his first goal in 38 games.

Then less than two minutes later it was 4-0, Connolly dinking the ball over Mannone after the hosts left themselves shot of numbers at the back.

‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ came the chant from the Reading fans after their heaviest home defeat since a 4-0 loss to Arsenal in October 2006.

Not surprisingly, only a handful of supporters stayed behind to applaud the Royals players on their traditional lap of appreciation.

And they will now prepare themselves for a nailbiting final day with Reading still facing the prospect of relegation into League One.

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (c), Richards (Elphick 48), Moore, Ilori, Swift, Kelly, Aluko, Barrow, Kermorgant (Smith 82), Bodvarsson (Martin 80). Subs not used: Jaakkola, Van den Berg, Edwards, Martin, Rinomhota, Smith.

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen (c), Webster, Waghorn, Spence, Connolly, Nydam (Gleeson 77), Kenlock, Carayol (Sears 44), Folami (Cotter 89), Woolfenden. Subs not used: Celina, Crowe, Morris, McLoughlin.

Referee: Keith Stroud.

Attendance: 17,683 (Ipswich 1,233).