Reading's relegation fears increased with a 2-1 defeat to Coventry City, twinned with results elsewhere across the division.

Matt Godden put the Sky Blues deserverdly in front at the break, but Lucas Joao levelled shortly after. Within moments the hosts had regained their lead through Gustavo Hamer, condemning the Royals to another defeat on the road.

Coventry, hunting down a spot in the play-offs, had over 25,000 fans behind them and got them all on their feet from the first minute. It took just two minutes for top scorer Viktor Gyokeres to get his first sight on goal, dragging a shot wide of Joe Lumley’s goal posts. Unable to handle the Swede, Tom Holmes picked up an early booking for hauling the forward down out wide. Moments later he forced the first save of the match out of Lumley, spinning behind Andy Yiadom and drilling low toward the front post. Before the 20 minute-mark it was Yiadom’s turn to prevent Gyokeres, who had rounded Lumley but was forced wide. Taking an effort on goal, the captain leaped up and managed to hook the strike up the pitch.

Intent on opening the scoring, the Sky Blues were making the most of Reading’s poor ball retention, unleashing a series of goalbound efforts, only kept out by flying defenders before Gyokeres curled wide. Only managing one shot on target in the first half, the Royals’ best chance came from a clever free-kick, Mamadi Camara giving Jeff Hendrick the ball in the box before the Irishman attempted to cut it back into a busy box, only for Ben Wilson to intercept and claim. Hitting Reading on the counter attack, Godden was sent through one-versus-one by Gustavo Hamer. Missing the target, the linesman’s flag was raised to spare the striker’s blushes.

He did not have long to wait, however, as he volleyed home following a goal-mouth scramble less than three minutes later to give Mark Robins’ men a deserved advantage. Tom Holmes forced Wilson into a save, looping a header on target from Femi Azeez’s header, but it did not trouble the midweek unlikely goal scorer. It could have been two in first half stoppage time when Camara’s poor corner was cut out and the hosts looked to hit on the counter attack. Hitting the post and going wide of the incoming back-up striker, the referee blew for half-time and gave the visitors 15 minutes rest from the onslaught.

Though eventually it came, that was not before Reading managed to haul themselves level. Hendrick ran through the midfield and played it on to Cesare Casadei. Laying off to Joao, the Angolan curled a delightful ball over Wilson and into the net, shocking everyone in the ground. Not lasting long, from the very next play Hamer slotted past Lumley after Gyokeres was crowded out. A much more even second half, although still dominated by the hosts, Joao saw two headers glance wide of the upright and a combination of Naby Sarr and Shane Long caused danger in the box, only for it to be cleared. Lumley kept his side in it with 20 minutes to go, making himself big and prevent Hamer from celebrating a brace.

Two moments of madness from Gyokeres saw him blaze clear chances over the bar to keep Reading's faint hopes of a point alive. Wins for Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool only worsened the mood of the 1500 travelling supporters, with relegation edging closer with two matches remaining.