Reading boss Nigel Adkins tasted a first win in charge of the Royals as his relegated side beat Fulham.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored from the spot after being fouled by John Arne Riise to put the Royals ahead and added a second with a left-foot curler.

Bryan Ruiz pulled one back for Fulham but Adam Le Fondre's close-range effort added a third for Reading.

Fulham weren't good enough - Jol

A Ruiz header gave the visitors another scare but Jem Karacan's late strike secured a Royals win.

Five goals in 21 second-half minutes ensured plenty of entertainment at Craven Cottage in a game between two teams on miserable runs of form.

For Reading, playing for pride after their relegation was confirmed last Sunday, victory was a first in 11 league games.

Fulham have managed just one point from their last six games and, while their tally of 40 points means they are very unlikely to be dragged into trouble, results elsewhere ensured an outside chance of relegation remains.

Analysis

"There were five goals in just over 20 madcap second-half minutes as these two sides scored six between them for the second time this season. There could have been more but for Alex McCarthy in the Reading goal and Hugo Rodallega hitting the crossbar. Amazing afternoon!"

The home side failed to take an early chance when Ruiz had a far-post shot from Damien Duff's cross well saved by Alex McCarthy. They then found themselves behind from the spot.

Referee Neil Swarbrick decided Riise's challenge on Robson-Kanu was in the area and the Reading midfielder picked himself up to send keeper Mark Schwarzer the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

A lacklustre Fulham's struggles meant manager Martin Jol replaced midfielder Giorgos Karagounis with striker Hugo Rodallega before the game was half an hour old.

The Colombian quickly went close when he was denied by another smart McCarthy save, while Karacan saw a poked shot diverted wide by Schwarzer at the other end.

Fulham had a penalty shout of their own turned down for a challenge by old boy Stephen Kelly on Dimitar Berbatov and their frustration was compounded almost immediately when Reading extended their lead.

Fulham's Premier League run-in

  • 12 May: Liverpool (h)
  • 19 May: Swansea (a)

A Garath McCleary shot deflected to Robson-Kanu, who cut inside on the left flank and curled a shot past Schwarzer.

Ruiz gave Fulham hope when he played a one-two with Rodallega and slotted past McCarthy only for substitute Le Fondre to steal in front of Kieran Richardson and restore Reading's two-goal cushion.

However, an Alex Kacaniklic cross then allowed Ruiz to head in and make it 3-2, and the home side were only denied an equaliser when Rodallega's shot hit the crossbar.

Karacan finally eased the visiting side's nerves when he ran on to a loose ball to drive in an 18-yard effort and secure Reading and Adkins a rare but deserved win.

Fulham manager Martin Jol:

"The first half was not good enough by our standards. We wanted to take the initiative. We gave away easy and cheap goals and we have to change that. Although they played better, we were still in it.

'Exciting' first win cheers Adkins

"We haven't been that good recently since getting the 40 points. Today Reading was the game to gain something and get safe.

"We have to get some more points. We said our goal difference was probably a point but that has changed in the last few weeks so we need a couple more points."

Reading boss Nigel Adkins:

"There has been a good steady progression in every game [since I came here].

"To come away from home and score four is good. It was exciting for the supporters.

"The attitude and application has been first class from the players and all we can do is keep looking forward."

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