READING FC failed to make it three Championship wins in a row following defeat to leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Royals were more than a match for the slick visitors for large periods of the Madejski Stadium clash.

But Wolves were far sharper up front and took their chances on the day, while Reading were guilty of missing a string of opportunities themselves.

After Royals' John Swift had hit the woodwork with just 50 seconds on the clock, Ivan Cavaleiro fired Wolves ahead in the 16th minute before Matt Doherty added a late second to wrap up the points.

Royals boss Jaap Stam will take plenty of positives from his team's performance, but they came up just short against the big-spending visitors as they grabbed their first league win at the Madejski since 2005.

Reading Chronicle:

Mo Barrow rues his luck after charging down a John Ruddy clearance. Pictures by Luke Adams.

Stam made three changes from the side that secured an excellent 4-2 victory at Derby before the international break.

Yann Kermorgant, Joey van den Berg and Tiago Ilori stepped into the starting XI, with Sone Aluko, Omar Richards and ex-Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards dropping to the bench.

Royals striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson also had to settle for a place among the subs against his former club as he returns from a calf strain.

It also meant Stam switched to five at the back with Paul McShane, Liam Moore and Ilori in the middle, Chris Gunter on the left and Leandro Bacuna on the right.

Meanwhile, Wolves were missing Barry Douglas through suspension, but boss Nuno Santo had no fresh injury concerns heading into the clash.

Yet the Portuguese boss was counting his luck after Royals hit the woodwork with 50 seconds on the clock.

Stam's men probed forward before Swift hit a dipping shot from 25 yards that John Ruddy parried onto his far post, much to the visitors' relief.

Reading Chronicle:

Yann Kermorgant and Wolves defender Ryan Bennett challenge for the ball.

Ruddy's nightmare start continued as he almost cost his side again in the ninth minute.

This time an awful clearance from the Wolves keeper rebounded off Mo Barrow and rolled an inch wide of an unguarded net.

But four minutes later it was Reading's turn to botch something up from a corner routine.

Swift played it short to Bacuna, but the ball hit his standing leg as he shaped to shoot, Wolves broke to the edge of the Royals area and only some clever intervention from Ilori kept the visitors at bay.

But Stam's men failed to heed the warning and fell behind in the 16th minute.

The entire home defence were guilty of ball watching as Dioga Jota's clever pass found Cavaleiro, who put Vito Mannone on his backside before firing into an empty net.

Reading Chronicle:

Ivan Cavaleiro slips the ball past Reading keeper Vito Mannone to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Swift hit a 25-yard free-kick wide of Ruddy's post as Reading pressed for a way back, but the goal had clearly knocked the home side's confidence that had been so evident in the early exchanges.

In fact, Wolves almost snatched a second in the 28th minute, Cavaleiro collecting a cross from the left only for Mannone to make a vital save at his near post.

Stam had seen enough and made a bold change in the 30th minute in a bid to shore up his midfield.

He sent on Edwards to rapturous applause from the Wolves fans, sacrificed the unfortunate Ilori and dropped Van Den Berg into defence.

Royals almost snatched an equaliser soon after when Kermorgant's snap-shot flew narrowly wide after panic in the Wolves box.

And the Frenchman was screaming for a penalty seven minutes before the break following a collision with Ryan Bennett in the box, but referee Roger East turned the other way.

Back came Wolves and it needed a brave block from Van den Berg to deflect Jota's effort wide for a corner just before the interval.

Reading Chronicle:

Yann Kermorgant goes agonisingly close to equalising for Royals.

Reading came out firing for the second half and nearly levelled three minutes after the restart when Barrow's effort was saved by Ruddy.

But Stam's men weren't testing Ruddy anything like enough as the visitors kept Royals mostly at bay.

Stam looked to freshen it up midway through the second half by sending on Aluko for Kermorgant.

It immediately led to a succession of corners, but again Wolves' superb rearguard snuffed out the danger.

The visitors threatened a second soon after, Jota's cross-shot flashing across the face of Mannone's goal.

Then the visitors recycled the ball and saw Leo Bonatini shoot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

Royals responded immediately as Barrow's 75th minute effort from just inside the box was grabbed by a shaky Ruddy at the second attempt.

Suddenly, the momentum was with the home side and it took a brilliant one-handed save from Ruddy to deny Barrow who was put clean through by a Roy Beerens pass.

And to compound Reading's frustration, Aluko's follow-up shot was heading for the far corner, only for Wolves skipper Conor Coady to somehow hack it off the line.

Stam went for broke for the last 10 minutes and threw on Bodvarsson for Beerens, the Icelandic striker almost connecting with an Aluko corner moments after entering the fray.

The four minutes from time Royals should have equalised when Aluko's shot was saved by Ruddy, but three home players dallied over the rebound and the visitors somehow escaped.

It proved a pivital moment as Wolves made the points safe with a second goal in the 89th minute.

With Reading pushing bodies forward, Santo's side broke quickly before Doherty, in space, fired through Mannone's legs and into the far corner.

Reading travel to Bolton on Tuesday.

Reading FC: Mannone, Gunter, McShane (c), Moore, Ilori (Edwards 30), Van den Berg, Bacuna, Swift, Beerens (Bodvarsson 81), Barrow, Kermorgant (Aluko 66). Subs not used: Jaakkola, Clement, Blackett, Richards. Booked: Bacuna 20, Van den Berg 56.

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Bennett, Cavaleiro (N'Diaye 77), Neves, Boly, Coady (c), Jota (Costa 85), Saiss, Vinagre, Bonatini (Enobakhare 72). Subs not used: Norris, Batth, Price, Miranda. Booked: Doherty 58, Bennett 64.

Referee: Roger East.

Attendance: 20,708 (Wolves 3,873).