READING remain in the League One drop zone after they were beaten on the road at Wigan Athletic.
Following last weekend’s postponement after the Royals fans took to the pitch to protest owner Dai Yongge, the team returned to on field action, but saw their six match unbeaten run come to an end.
It was a moment of quality from Thelo Aasgard who separated the sides when his 32nd minute curling strike left Reading keeper David Button with no chance.
The result keeps Reading in the relegation zone and four points away from safety after Exeter City picked up a point.
Amid transfer rumours linking defender Nelson Abbey with a move to Olympiakos, the 20-year-old defender was left out of the matchday squad.
Meanwhile, Tom Holmes, who completed a move to Premier League Luton with a loan back to the Royals for the remainder of the campaign, was given a start at centre-back.
Boh teams can sympathise with each other having suffered several points deductions across the last few seasons.
The Royals have lost four points this season, while the Latics have been deducted eight points.
Reading went into the game in the relegation places and three points away from safety, with one game in hand over Exeter City.
The hosts had the first two chances of the game. First when a quick spin and turn from Martial Godo saw him get his shot away which was palmed out low by David Button.
Thelo Aasgaard then had a clear opening when he was left with a free header just six yards out, but was unable to direct his effort either side of Button, who caught gratefully.
Reading’s first sight of goal first fell for Sam Smith and then Harvey Knibbs, both of whom had shots blocked before a half hearted appeal for a penalty was waved away.
Following a quiet spell from both sides, it was the Latics who found the breakthrough in the 32nd minute.
Getting some freedom down the left-wing, Aasgaard was then given time to take control and pick his spot, which he did expertly by firing a rocket into the far corner past the helpless Button.
With the final play of the first-half, Knibbs had an opportunity to level when the ball dropped into his path on the volley, but he wasn’t unable to make good enough contact to seize the chance as Reading went into the break a goal down.
The Royals started the second-half with energy and impetus as Knibbs showed persistence to win the ball on the right and put in a dangerous cross which was pinched away by Wigan keeper Sam Tickle.
The Wigan stopper almost got his side in bother when he spilled Femi Azeez’s cross moments later which forced a goalmouth scramble before the Latics squirmed the ball away from danger.
Reading continued to have the better of the proceedings and Smith didn’t manage to get enough power on his glancing header which was stopped by Tickle.
With half an hour left, Michael Craig and Jeriel Dorsett were replaced by Charlie Savage and Clinton Mola.
Reading lost their momentum and Button was called into action to prevent Matt Smith from scoring a long range stunner as he tried to lob the Royals keeper from 50 yards out.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomahn played the ball for Knibbs to pull the trigger which Liam Morrison got in the way of to protect his keeper.
Ehibhatiomhan ncaused problems for Wigan again when he drove into the box and forced a strong save from Tickle.
Ruben Selles’ team were unable to find an equaliser which meant they lost for the first time in League One since the start of December.
Reading are back in action at home on Tuesday night against promotion chasing Derby County.
Wigan Athletic: Tickle, Clare, Hughes, Chambers, Sessegnon, Smith, Adeeko, Jones, Godo, Magennis, Aasgard
Subs: Morrison, Wyke, Humphrys, Amos, Shaw, Smith, McManaman
Reading: Button, Yiadom, Bindon, Holmes, Dorsett, Craig, Wing, Knibbs, Mukairu, Azeez, Smith
Subs: Mola, McIntyre, Savage, Ehibhatiomhan, Pereira, Mbengue, Vickers
Goals: Aasgaard 32’