Reading lost ground in their chase for promotion as Gary Rowett’s Millwall secured a comeback 2-1 victory in Berkshire.
Alfa Semedo put the Royals in front in the first-half but two goals in ten minutes in the second half by substitutes Matt Smith and Mason Bennett sealed the three points for the away side.
In the first half, it was Millwall who enjoyed the early share of the chances and within ten minutes the Lions nearly took the lead as former Royals George Evans had a close-range header hit the crossbar from a corner, which came moments after two good efforts from Shaun Williams.
The initial stages of the first-half certainly weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing but the deadlock was broken in the 17th minute in quite bizarre fashion.
Lions keeper Bialkowski bowled the ball out into midfield – and it met Royals midfielder Alfa Semedo whose first touch was a combination of a tackle and a shot, and from the best part of 50 yards away – it somehow crept in the back of the net with Bialkowski well out of position.
Millwall pushed for an equaliser and they looked threatening again from a set piece, as Scott Malone hung a cross up to the far side for lofty centre-back Jake Cooper to attack, but he guided the ball narrowly wide in a crowded area.
Moments later, Jake Cooper was involved again as he nodded the ball down to Ben Thompson on the edge of the box from an Evans free-kick, but the midfielder fired straight at the keeper.
Five minutes before half-time, the Royals had a golden chance to extend their lead.
Lucas Joao who was played in exquisitely by Michael Olise after he held off and manoeuvred past three Millwall players on the right flank, but Joao’s low effort was palmed away expertly by Bialkowski.
Gary Rowett decided to change his tact in the second half, bringing on Mason Bennett and Jed Wallace at half-time in a bid to force a equaliser for the Lions.
15 minutes before the end, Millwall equalised as substitute Matt Smith gambled on a scuffed Bradshaw effort and he slammed home from close-range
Moments later, the ball broke the way of Ejaria after a cross from Olise from the left was stabbed away – and he took an early effort which deflected up and off the crossbar.
However, the Royals will have been rueing that missed chance as Millwall took the lead in the 84th minute.
A cross was looped in from the left and substitute Mason Bennett flicked a deft header into the far side to give the visitors a late lead.