READING FC saw their 500th Madejski Stadium match celebrations fall flat as Burton Albion claimed a shock 2-1 win this afternoon.

Royals pulled out all the stops to make it a day to remember after reaching the landmark figure.

But the Brewers were not in the mood to party as they claimed a deserved win on their travels and their first ever against Reading.

Instead of Christmas cheers filling the stadium, there was a chorus of boos at the final whistle after back-to-back Championship defeats for Jaap Stam’s men.

One again, they controlled the game in terms of possession with 76 per cent of the ball.

But they were far too stagnant from the first whistle to the last and lacked any real punch up front.

There was a ray of hope for Stam’s men when Mo Barrow scored his seventh goal of the season in the 76th minute to cancel out Tom Flanagan’s 40th minute opener.

But Royals were level for only five minutes as Burton regained the lead with an utterly bizarre goal when Liam Moore’s clearance rebounded off Tom Naylor outside the area before finding its way past Vito Mannone.

It meant Reading’s 100% record against Burton – albeit they had only met three times before today – came to a frustrating and unexpected end.

Stam made one change from the side that lost at Ipswich last weekend, with Liam Kelly replacing Tyler Blackett.

There was also a welcome return for fit-again Garath McCleary and John Swift on the bench.

Royals cranked up the atmosphere before kick off by asking former striker Davie Kitson and his son to lead the teams out.

It took Royals a while to settle down before creating a clear opening in the 11th minute when Leandro Bacuna fizzed over a cross that was begging for a touch nobody could provide.

But the Brewers hit back and Lucas Akins fired straight at Mannone from just outside the box before Tom Flanagan blazed over from a similar position.

Yet the chances quickly dried up as the became a midfield battle and Royals fans became frustrated.

The hosts failed to muster a shot on target until the half-hour mark when Sone Aluko’s left-footed drive from the edge of the ‘D’ was comfortably held by Stephen Bywater.

Three minutes later they also had a faint penalty appeal turned down by referee John Brooks when Barrow’s cross hit John Brayford’s arm from point-blank range.

But Stam’s mean were dealt body blow five minutes before the break when Burton took a shock lead.

Royals were guilty of ball watching as an Akins long throw was allowed to reach the unmarked Flanagan whose improvised shot with the outside of his boot flew past Mannone and into the far corner from 12 yards out.

And as the first half petered out from there, Royals trudged back to the dressing room with boos ringing in their ears after a dire opening 45 minutes from the home side.

It almost got worse for the hosts seven minutes after the restart when Burton wasted an excellent chance.

Lloyd Dyer got free down the left and found Akins lurking in the box, but the Brewers’ striker missed his kick with only Mannone to beat.

With so little happening, Stam made a change on the hour by replacing Dave Edwards with John Swift as Royals boss looked for the spark his side so desperately needed.

They created a decent opportunity in the 66th minute when Aluko dragged an effort narrowly wide from distance.

But the game had become so flat Reading fans began entertaining themselves by turning their mobile phones into torches and lighting up the stands.

Maybe it was a sign the players needed as Royals finally equalised with 14 minutes to go.

Chris Gunter found space down the left before passing to Kelly who in turn found Barrow in the area.

The ex-Swansea winger took a touch and although his shot was blocked, the ball had enough on it to bounce over the line and into the back of the net.

Yet Reading’s celebrations were short lived as Burton regained the lead five minutes later in the most bizarre circumstances.

Liam Moore’s attempted clearance smacked against the legs of Tom Naylor just outside the area. The rebound clearly caught Mannone by surprise as the ball rolled through the keeper’s grasp and into the bottom corner.

The goal visibly sucked the energy out of Reading and they struggled to create anything of note in the closing stages.

And once again irate fans were eager to let their feelings known as the jeers rang around the Madejski Stadium at the final whistle.

Reading will attempt to bounce back on Boxing Day when they travel to Bristol City (3pm).

Reading FC: Mannone, Gunter, McShane (c), Moore, Bacuna; van den Berg, Edwards (Swift 60), Kelly (Bodvarsson 81), Barrow, Aluko, Kermorgant. Subs not used: Jaakkola, McCleary, Ilori, Clement, Blackett.

Burton: Bywater, Brayford, Turner, Murphy (McFadzean 89), Akins, Dyer, Flanagan, Naylor, Sordell (Scannell 83), Miller (Allen 68), Buxton (C). Subs not used: Campbell, Palmer, Sbarra, Akpan. Booked: Murphy 55.

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 21,771 (Burton 319).