READING FC’s five-game unbeaten run came to an end as Royals slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Ipswich Town this afternoon.

First-half goals from Callum Connolly and Joe Garner condemned Royals’ fate after a lacklustre performance saw them fail to capitalise on recent form.

Reading had chances to claw their way back into the game but their finishing lacked any cutting edge as fans were sent back to Berkshire feeling disappointed.

Jaap Stam changed his line-up for the first time in five games as Tyler Blackett came in to replace Liam Kelly, who was relegated to the bench at Portman Road.

Royals went into the fixture on the back of a five-game unbeaten wrong but suffered a nightmare start when the hosts took the lead after just three minutes through Callum Connolly.

Martyn Waghorn had the chance to double Ipswich’s lead just minutes later as Royals struggled to organise themselves away from home.

Modou Barrow and Leandro Bacuna found themselves in the referee’s book for arguing with the match officials early on in what looked set to be a dismal afternoon for Jaap Stam’s side.

Sone Aluko whipped a dangerous free-kick into the box with 10 minutes on the clock but nobody was there to meet his curled delivery, which drifted out for a goal-kick.

Royals’ first real opportunity came when Yann Kermorgant rose highest to nod Chris Gunter’s cross towards goal. Aluko had a chance from the follow-up but his miscued strike drifted wide of Bialkowski’s goal.

Dave Edwards thought he had put Reading level when he got on the end of another wonderful delivery from Gunter. Unfortunately for Royals, Bialkowski was alert and just did enough to get behind the Welsh international’s placed effort.

Royals turned up the heat and Yann Kermorgant came within inches of poking a whipped cross by Barrow into the back of the net but for a timely interception by Adam Webster.

But their hard work was soon undone when a corner was flicked towards the back post allowing Joe Garner to double the host’s lead with 27 minutes gone.

Royals, staring defeat dead in the face, did not give up and nearly clawed themselves back into the game after a goal-mouth scramble following a corner. The ball eventually fell to Moore, whose bicycle-kick was mistimed.

The home crowd called for Bacuna to be dismissed as half-time beckoned after his high boot caught Connolly. Referee Peter Bankes gave the Curacao international the benefit of the doubt however.

Royals started the second-period with pace and Barrow quickly broke beyond the Tractor Boys’ back line before his whipped cross clipped the outside of the post.

Skipper McShane received a heavy blow early in the second-half, forcing a break in play while he received treatment on the pitch.

Moore rescued Royals when Mannone was well beaten by a Martyn Waghorn effort. Thankfully, the reportedly sought-after centre-back was behind the Italian shotstopper to clear the ball off of the line.

Barrow should have clawed one back for Royals when his volley from the left crashed into the advertising hoardings with 63 minutes gone.

Next, Bacuna had a shot from the edge of the box after he was picked out by Edwards, but the strike was well blocked by Town’s defence.

Royals lacked a creative spark and Stam threw on Liam Kelly for Tyler Blackett with 17 minutes to go as Royals searched for a way back into the clash. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came on for Sone Aluko meanwhile.

The changes made little effect however and the tempo of the game soon fizzled out as Royals slipped to their first defeat in six league games.

Reading are back home on Saturday, when Burton are the visitors.