READING moved out of the League One relegation zone with an impressive away victory at play-off pushing Stevenage.
The only goal of the game came moments before the break when Amadou Mbengue’s launched throw was turned in by Vadaine Oliver into his own net.
After relegation rivals Port Vale were beaten, the Royals climbed out of the bottom four and into 20th spot with just their second away win of the campaign.
Reading went into their midweek clash at Stevenage having lost just one of their last 10 League One games as they continued their quest to climb out of the drop zone.
Forward Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan was rewarded with a start after his excellent cameo appearance off the bench in Saturday’s draw at Oxford.
With the game being plagued in torrid conditions, an untidy first-half ensued as the hosts failed to make an impact.
An uneventful opening 45 minutes saw both Charlie Savage and Clinton Mola, who both came into the starting eleven having come off the bench against Oxford, pick up yellow cards.
Reading’s best chance of the half came when Ehibhatiomhan chased down a loose header, he attempted to poke the ball past the goalkeeper before Femi Azeez lofted the ball high over the bar once the ball had fallen into his path.
The scrappiest of halves culminated with the scrappiest of goals as the Royals stole the lead right on the stroke of half-time.
Amadou Mbengue launched a long throw which caused chaos in the Boro box and after a flick on, Sam Smith and Stevenage defender Vadaine Oliver both lunged for the ball with the defender getting the decisive touch to turn the ball into his own net.
So despite not having a shot on target, the Royals went into half-time with a lead.
Following the restart, Reading failed to capitalise when they had numbers forward in attack as Smith smacked the ball over after opting not to find one of his teammates.
Boro created a huge chance to square the game with just over an hour played as League One’s second top scorer Jamie Reid came a whisker away from connecting with the ball at the back post with a diving header.
With two massive chances coming the hosts’ way within a matter of minutes, Reid again gave Reading a let off when he scuffed a shot wide of the target.
Selles’ side had the opportunity to double their lead when Smith latched onto a long ball, took the ball past the keeper and looked destined to hit the net only for Dan Sweeney to recover and make an exceptional block on the line.
After absorbing some pressure, Reading sprung an attack forward through Ehibhatiomhan which ended with him dragging a tame shot well wide.
Selles made his first change in the 87th minute which saw Michael Craig replaced Savage.
Reading’s resolute defending continued to keep Stevenage at bay as they picked up three vital points to move out of the bottom four, overtaking Port Vale.
Stevenage: MacGillivray, Freeman, Sweeney, Piergianni, Butler, Thompson, Vancooten, Forster-Caskey, Reid, Oliver
Subs: Ashby-Hammond, Thompson, MacDonald, Smith, Burns, Pressley, Thompson
Reading: Button, Yiadom, Mbengue, Bindon, Mola, Savage, Wing, Knibbs, Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan, Smith
Subs: Elliott, Mukairu, Monlouis, Dorsett, Pereira, Abrefa, Craig
Goals: Oliver (og) 45’