Reading manager Nigel Adkins suffered a double setback as midfield general Danny Guthrie triggered a suspension and his team lost their nine-match unbeaten home record as they went down 2-1 to Bournemouth.
Guthrie picked up his fifth booking of the season in the shock defeat by the lowly visitors and faces a one-match ban.
"It's a big blow because Danny's been really great for us," Adkins said. "We want to pass the football about and he's always instrumental in that. He's now got his five but that's where our squad and player rotation comes in. We've got some good midfield talent to fill that gap.
"We dominated Bournemouth for 30 or so minutes, we were by far the dominant force. But goals change the complexion of games and that's just what happened. And they were poor goals to give away. It's only our first defeat at home so we'll analyse it, take lessons from it and move on to the next game."
Reading, beaten only twice in their previous 14 matches, started brightly. They racked up a 7-0 corner count in their favour in the opening 20 minutes and Billy Sharp saw a header hacked off the goal-line by Andrew Surman.
Bournemouth, without a win in their previous seven games, sat back and absorbed the pressure. Having done that successfully, they rocked the hosts with two goals in the space of four minutes shortly before half-time.
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy made a fine save from Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick's header, after a Charlie Daniels free-kick, but Lewis Grabban slammed in the loose ball as the home defence dithered.
If Reading were startled, they were stunned soon after. Bournemouth doubled their lead after Matt Ritchie found space on the edge of the Reading area to drive a low shot past McCarthy.
Adkins brought on Pavel Pogrebnyak after the break to beef up his attack but the big Russian striker made little impact. Bournemouth looked likely to increase their lead but Marc Pugh narrowly missed a Grabban cross to the far post.
A late rally from Reading fell short, although Adam Le Fondre did grab a consolation goal in stoppage time when tapping in from close range after a Royston Drenthe shot had been blocked.
Bournemouth ended their seven-match run without a win, earning rich praise from Jason Tindall, the assistant manager.
"That has to be close to our best performance of the season," Tindall said. "In recent weeks, we've performed well but something has always let us down. This time, we were good all round. All the lads were terrific.
"I suppose not winning for seven games is always in the back of our minds.
"The longer the run goes on, you start to lose confidence. But we can take a lot out of today and, hopefully, build on it and take it on into the Christmas period.
"We must just stayed focused and keep believing in what we're doing."