JAAP Stam admitted his Reading FC side paid the price for a sloppy start at Portman Road in a 2-0 defeat to Ipswich Town.

Royals were caught napping in only the third minute on Saturday when Callum Connolly collected Martyn Waghorn’s incisive pass and fired past Vito Mannone.

And Reading’s defending was all at sea again when Joe Garner headed home from a corner to put Tractor Boys 2-0 up in the 27th minute.

Stam’s man fought their way back from there but failed to score from one of numerous chances as their five-match unbeaten run in the Championship came to a disappointing end.

"It is disappointing, especially when you concede an early goal like that,” groaned Stam.

"We've said many times about what can happen when you concede the first goal, but still it happens because we weren't careful enough.

"We picked it up after that and created opportunities to score but didn’t. The longer it stayed 1-0, the more they grow in confidence.

"We played quite well but Ipswich then come out on the break, win a corner and score their second goal.

“We conceded two easy goals and it was going to be difficult to get back into the game.

“Ipswich dropped in deep, made it compact and waited for that moment to break on the counter.”

After Ipswich had gone in front Reading were a whisker away from levelling when Dave Edwards’ first-time strike was blocked on the line by Jordan Spence.

The hosts notched their second soon after when a corner was flicked to the back post for Garner to head home.

Liam Moore also came to Reading’s rescue with a stunning block on the line to deny Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina, who then fired over from a decent position not long after.

But Reading’s finishing let them down as Yann Kermorgant, Sone Aluko, Mo Barrow and Leandro Bacuna all wasted decent chances throughout the afternoon.

Stam added: "We needed to do better with our choices on the ball and taking our positions and we should have done better.

“But it wasn't easy, Ipswich are doing well and their team works very hard - we knew that before we went there.

"In the second half we created maybe two opportunities where we could have scored, but not enough.”

The defeat was Reading’s first in six Championship matches leaves them 14th in the table and 10 points adrift of the play-off positions.

Stam’s men host struggling Burton Albion this Saturday in the 500th game at Madejski Stadium, with all tickets costing £5.