Billy Davies saw his Nottingham Forest side move to within two points of the Coca-Cola Championship summit - then warned his side they have a hard lesson to learn.
Forest were comfortably in control against Reading in the first half and could have had more than a two-goal advantage to show for their efforts.
But Reading, fresh from their FA Cup exploits at Liverpool, bounced back in the second half and but for the heroics of Forest keeper Lee Camp could easily have taken at least a point.
Davies said: "We could have had four or five goals in the first half but only scored twice and that gave Reading the opportunity to come back at us.
"It was a potential trapdoor for us playing against a side in a totally false position and they nearly made us pay in the second half.
"If we had scored a third goal - as we should - it would have been a totally different type of game in the second half and it's a lesson for us to learn.
"We've 20 games left to play and this very good young side we have here has got to show they are capable of playing under the pressure of being a top-eight side."