THERE was no Halloween horror show for Jaap Stam's Reading FC last night thanks to a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest.

Royals had been in ghoulish form after four defeats in their previous five games.

But this time fans were in for a real treat - aptly on trick or treat night - as Stam's men delivered one of their best performances of the season.

John Swift's first goals of the campaign on 13 and 70 minutes gave Royals a comfortable lead they thoroughly deserved.

And the game was up for Forest in the 78th minute when their keeper Jordan Smith spilled Sone ALuko's cross-shot into his own net for a bizarre own goal.

Not even a late Ben Osborn consolation could spoil the occasion for the hosts as they brought a welcome end to a run of back-to-back defeats to Sheffield United and Middlesbrough.

Stam beamed: "We haven't been getting the results, but the players were still full of confidence.

"Confident that we could show our ability, confident in how we want to play, but we just couldn't seem to get that win. Tonight, it happened.

"It wasn't easy, Forest are a very good team, they play good football - but we worked very hard to get the result we all needed.

Reading Chronicle:

Jaap Stam buttons up his coat and is ready for action against Nottingham Forest.

"The first goal is always nice - in the last couple of games we have gone behind and had to chase the game.

"Tonight, we scored the first goal and it makes it easier; it is better for the confidence, although you still need to be on your toes against a team of Nottingham Forest's ability.

"But we deserved the first goal because we had a good start to the game. We pressed them high up the pitch and tried to be aggressive going forward.

"As soon as we got the ball we looked to go forward."

Reading Chronicle:

Mo Barrow lifts Royals team-mate Sone Aluko in celebration as Royals go 3-0 in front against Nottingham Forest.

Stam, though, puzzled many Royals fans by claiming Reading played better against Middlesbrough on Saturday than they did last night but lost 2-0.

"We wanted to go forward against Middlesbrough as well on Saturday, but if they score first, sit in deep, hold back and create a big wall in front of you, it makes it difficult," he argued.

"So tonight it was good to score first because it opens up spaces, you can create more, we scored a second and a third. And it's a good win.
"We believe in what we can do and we showed it today."

Reading remain 20th in the table but are now eight points off the play-offs with a game in hand.

Stam's men travel to Derby County this Saturday (3pm ko).