Femi Azeez scored a spectacular second-half brace to beat relegation rivals Charlton Athletic at the SCL Stadium.

Connecting well with two Amadou Mbengue long throws, Ruben Selles got the better of former Southampton colleague Nathan Jones, who was taking charge of his first match as manager of the Addicks.

As to be expected under a new boss, Charlton started on the front foot and were penning Reading back for most of the opening exchanges. Winning niggly free-kicks and loading the box, nothing fell for the Addicks, and it was no more than 15 minutes before the steam ran low and the Royals were able to play their way into the ascendancy. Lewis Wing came close for Reading early on, testing Harry Isted at his near post after his initial corner was only half cleared.

Reading should have had a chance to put themselves in front from the penalty spot before the half-hour mark when Charlie Savage’s corner was blatantly handled by former Reading defender Terrell Thomas. Less than 60 seconds later Savage clipped a lofted pass over the defence and sent Sam Smith through on goal, but Isted again proved difficult to beat as he batted away the danger.

Providing a threat on the counterattack, Alfie May nearly put the visitors ahead when Andy Yiadom lost possession and the striker was sent clear on goal. However, the former Doncaster Rovers striker didn’t notice Tyler Bindon, who was steaming in from the side, and the American put in a big tackle to deny May the opportunity to shoot. Smith had another sight of goal as the half-time break came into view, winning possession high before forcing Isted into a smart save at his near post to keep the scores level at the break.

The second half took a bit of time to get going, with the visitors starting brighter than they had ended the first half. However, the final 30 minutes was firmly Reading’s, and they made Charlton pay. Wing’s cross found Harvey Knibbs in space, but his header could only be directed down the throat of Isted.

The supporters need not worry though, as minutes later Azeez was on hand to fire the Royals into a lead after Amadou Mbengue’s long throw was only half dealt with. Struggling for form, the visitors looked visibly dejected by falling behind and showed little chance of getting back into the game.

Those chances were all but extinguished 15 minutes later when Azeez was on hand to fire a delicious volley past the keeper following yet another long throw from Mbengue. Daniel Kanu forced Button into a good save shortly after from a position where the striker should have done better, summing up the Addicks’ efforts in front of goal.

Up to 18th in League One following a run of just one defeat in 12 matches, the Royals make a first-ever trip to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday looking to pull further away from relegation danger.