Reading boss Nigel Adkins tasted a first win in charge of the Royals as his relegated side beat Fulham.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored from the spot after being fouled by John Arne Riise to put the Royals ahead and added a second with a left-foot curler.

Bryan Ruiz pulled one back for Fulham but Adam Le Fondre’s close-range effort added a third for Reading.

A Ruiz header gave the visitors another scare but Jem Karacan’s late strike secured a Royals win.

Five goals in 21 second-half minutes ensured plenty of entertainment at Craven Cottage in a game between two teams on miserable runs of form.

For Reading, playing for pride after their relegation was confirmed last Sunday, victory was a first in 11 league games.

Fulham have managed just one point from their last six games and, while their tally of 40 points means they are very unlikely to be dragged into trouble, results elsewhere ensured an outside chance of relegation remains.

The home side failed to take an early chance when Ruiz had a far-post shot from Damien Duff’s cross well saved by Alex McCarthy. They then found themselves behind from the spot.

Referee Neil Swarbrick decided Riise’s challenge on Robson-Kanu was in the area and the Reading midfielder picked himself up to send keeper Mark Schwarzer the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

A lacklustre Fulham’s struggles meant manager Martin Jol replaced midfielder Giorgos Karagounis with striker Hugo Rodallega before the game was half an hour old.

The Colombian quickly went close when he was denied by another smart McCarthy save, while Karacan saw a poked shot diverted wide by Schwarzer at the other end.

Fulham had a penalty shout of their own turned down for a challenge by old boy Stephen Kelly on Dimitar Berbatov and their frustration was compounded almost immediately when Reading extended their lead.

A Garath McCleary shot deflected to Robson-Kanu, who cut inside on the left flank and curled a shot past Schwarzer.

Ruiz gave Fulham hope when he played a one-two with Rodallega and slotted past McCarthy only for substitute Le Fondre to steal in front of Kieran Richardson and restore Reading’s two-goal cushion.

However, an Alex Kacaniklic cross then allowed Ruiz to head in and make it 3-2, and the home side were only denied an equaliser when Rodallega’s shot hit the crossbar.

Karacan finally eased the visiting side’s nerves when he ran on to a loose ball to drive in an 18-yard effort and secure Reading and Adkins a rare but deserved win.