Steve Bruce tastes victory as Aston Villa end winless run
Aston Villa won for the first time under new manager Steve Bruce - and the first time since August - as a late penalty from Jordan Ayew gave them a 2-1 victory at Reading.
Villa took the lead towards the end of the first half through Jonathan Kodjia's deflected effort but Reading equalised early in the second half when Yann Kermorgant headed in the rebound after Danny Williams' penalty had been saved by Pierluigi Gollini.
But substitute Ayew was fouled by Liam Moore in the penalty area in the 90th minute and then slotted in the spot kick to end Villa's run of 10 Sky Bet Championship matches without a win.
Bruce's first game in charge, after he replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo, saw his side scrape a 1-1 home draw with Wolves on Saturday.
And the former Hull manager headed to Berkshire without injured defenders Micah Richards and Tommy Elphick while winger Jack Grealish started a three-match ban.
Reading drew 1-1 at QPR at the weekend and faced Villa having failed to win any of their last three games but enjoying an unbeaten record at home.
And the hosts started well, with Garath McCleary escaping on the right flank but his drilled, low cross into the Villa area was hastily hacked clear.
John Swift then found space from a clever corner move but his 20-yard drifted harmlessly wide.
Villa gradually grew in confidence but failed to seriously test Ali Al-Habsi in the home goal.
Kodjia saw an ambitious shot blocked and Al-Habsi saved comfortably from Gary Gardner's long-range effort.
Villa's travelling army of 4,000 fans tried to inspire their team with raucous vocal support and they were rewarded in the 38th minute.
Albert Adomah crossed from the left and Kodjia's well-struck effort might have been saved by Al-Habsi had it not taken a deflection off Royals defender Tyler Blackett.
Swift could have equalised soon after but his attempt was smothered by Gollini at his near post.
Villa pressed hard at the start of the second half, working tirelessly to deny Reading possession, and it worked for a while.
But the home side drew level in the 54th minute after Aly Cissokho had fouled McCleary in the Villa area.
Gollini made a fine save to keep out Williams' spot kick but Kermorgant was on hand to nod in the rebound.
Both sides had chances as the game opened up but Ayew's late intervention sealed a dramatic and much-needed win for Villa.