Cardiff won their first home match since October as Romaine Sawyers netted a stoppage time winner to beat Reading 1-0.

Sabri Lamouchi’s Bluebirds were the team doing all the attacking in the opening half. After knocking on the door, it took just seven minutes for Sory Kaba to have the first meaningful effort of the match, heading wide at the back post from Jaden Philogene’s dangerous cross. The Guinea forward let the Royals off again just four minutes later, this time converting Callum O’Dowda’s cross over the crossbar. Kion Etete was the next to test Joe Lumley, directing a cross into the arms of the on-loan stopper.

In a half dominated by the hosts, it was Perry Ng who came closest to netting first, firing his free-kick millimetres wide of the net- even causing some supporters at the far end of the ground to celebrate thinking it had nestled past Lumley. It took almost 30 minutes for Reading to have their first effort, Tom McIntyre firing Junior Hoilett’s cross over Ryan Allsopp’s crossbar. The break in the onslaught did not last long, with the final chance of the half falling to Callum Robinson. Amadou Mbengue needlessly gave possession away in Royal territory and Etete beat Nesta Guinness-Walker before cutting a cross back for top-scorer Robinson, who thankfully slipped before being able to make any contact.

The visitors did have much more of a go in the second half, pinning the hosts back in the early exchanges and forcing plenty of set pieces. Despite forcing some promising positions, Paul Ince’s men were unable to truly test Allsopp in the net. The best chance was with 25 minutes to go as the goalkeeper slipped when attempting to clear the ball, with substitute Yakou Meite breathing down his neck. Quickly regaining composure, it was eventually cleared and the pressure relieved.

From then on it was all Bluebird, with the woodwork bruised twice. Robinson linked up well with his teammates to forge a sight of goal, curling an effort onto Lumley’s crossbar. Just five minutes later it was smacked again, this time courtesy of a large deflection looping over the keeper. Reading looked to have settled for their point and an injury killed momentum, but just as it looked as though the Royals had battled to a point, a late Ryan Wintle free kick was recycled and Sawyers slammed the ball into the net from the edge of the box to snatch all three points.

Facing another test against a relegation-threatened side on Saturday, Blackpool make the trip to the SCL Stadium as the Royals look to maintain their strong home form.