Baba Rahman’s mistake late in the game ensured it was Sunderland who took all three points in an entertaining, yet disappointing, 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light.

An even game with good chances at both ends, Baba’s decision to turn in the box- as oppose to clear the ball- gifted it to Roberts and keep Paul Ince’s men firmly in the bottom half.

In a first half devoid of many clear-cut chances, it was Reading who shaded the proceedings. Within 30 seconds Thomas Ince had fizzed a shot wide of the goal to signal the side’s intent. The hosts saw much more of the ball, looking to move the Royals out of their shape, but Tony Mowbray’s team looked slightly off it in the opening 45 minutes. Andy Carroll, receiving plenty of abuse due to his Newcastle United ties, redirected a cross into the six-yard box, but Shane Long had already committed at the front post and the ball fell kindly for Anthony Patterson in goal. Junior Hoilett and Baba saw plenty of chances to whip crosses into the box, but they were often evading their targets in a very bitty first half. Ince threatened to set Long through for a one-versus-one with Patterson, only for the pass to have too much on it and skid through to the goalkeeper. Naby Sarr, back from injury, put a soft header on target after a game of head tennis in the Black Cats’ box. Joe Gelhardt had the hosts’ best chance, heading straight at Joe Lumley in the final few minutes of the half.

Having the last chance of the first half, Gelhardt does has the first real effort of the second as he skews an effort wide after being sent through. The Royals set out their stall and remain a force in the game, keeping possession well around the Sunderland box and maintaining pressure. Aji Alese latches onto the end of a long pass and is clear through inside the Reading box, only to lift his effort over the crossbar. Trai Hume is next to come close as the Black Cats begin to assert their dominance in front of over 37,000 home supporters. He forces Lumley into a crucial save at the front post after a powerful drive. Lumley was man in the limelight shortly after too as he makes an incredible triple-save to keep the hosts out. Ince and Baba both have attempts but in truth the Royals carved Sunderland open on rare occasions. Just as it looked as though the visitors had ridden the storm, Baba’s mistake in the box let in Roberts, who beat Lumley at his near post to cruelly snatch all three points. Ince and substitute Yakou Meite worked hard to create openings, but Patterson remained untested.

A no doubt long journey back to Berkshire for the near 1000 travelling supporters, it is a busy week as Rotherham United visit the SCL Stadium on Tuesday before facing Cardiff City in Wales on Friday.