Liverpool U21s suffered their first defeat of 2014 on Monday night as Reading struck with 10 minutes remaining of the encounter to depart Anfield with a 2-1 victory.
The Reds fell behind in the seventh minute as defender Michael Hector struck in front of the Kop, blasting past Yusuf Mersin after Craig Tanner had shimmied around his marker and drilled a cross into the penalty area.
Jordan Williams threatened an instant response when he collected an elegant, lofted pass from Jordan Rossiter on the right flank, but after coolly cutting inside, his low effort was parried out by the Reading goalkeeper.
Making his maiden start at this level, Jerome Sinclair was providing an effective focal point up front and the striker was at the centre of a rapid passing exchange which released Jack Dunn, who powered an attempt wide to the left.
Three minutes before the break, though, the U21s levelled; taking a pass from Dunn that was dummied, Rossiter drove low towards the corner and Jordan Lussey forced the loose ball home after the initial shot had been blocked.
Kristoffer Peterson looped a shot wide in the fledgling stages of the second period, before Lussey side-footed against the base of the post after being played clean through by a smart Sinclair pass.
Mersin stretched to push a worrying cross-shot from the right over the crossbar, Shepherd Murombedzi rifled a hit over and Tanner was off target as the visitors sought to restore their advantage over Alex Inglethorpe's team.
With 81 minutes on the clock, Reading grabbed the winner. A precise pass dissected the home defence and found substitute Harry Cardwell, who planted a strike around Mersin and nestling into the bottom corner.
Dunn watched a deflected hit from distance travel narrowly the wrong side of the post in added time, but the youngsters could not find the equaliser they desired before the full-time whistle.