A first-half Gareth Taylor goal boosted Nottingham Forest's battle against relegation by securing a well-deserved 1-0 win against high-flying Reading.
Forest secured only their third win of the season to lift some of the pressure off the shoulders of manager Joe Kinnear, blamed by many for his side's poor form of late.
The visitors missed out on the opportunity to take top spot in the Coca-Cola Championship, despite showing enough desire to fight for the points in the second half.
Forest's endeavour in the opening 30 minutes of the game was rewarded with the lead.
Paul Evans smashed a 30-yard shot, beating the outstretched Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann only to see his strike rattle the crossbar - but Taylor pounced on the rebound to grab his sixth goal of the season.
A much improved Royals performance in the second half asked questions of Forest's ability to hold onto their lead, but a solid defensive display by the men in red prevented any clear-cut chances for the visitors.
Forest could have sealed the game long before the final whistle, but due to the inability of Marlon King to finish off chances the score-line remained unchanged.
King was given plenty of space on two separate occasions to run one-on-one at Hahnemann, but the American stood his ground to prevent any further damage.
The visiting goalkeeper was involved again at the death as his team had a corner in the final seconds of the encounter - but he was unable to produce any danger for his counterpart Paul Gerrard in the Forest goal.
The three points were enough for Forest to reduce the deficit on fourth from bottom Cardiff to only two points.