FULHAM's hopes of a top-half finish were dealt a blow as they were beaten by relegated Nigel Adkins' Reading.
The Whites slipped two places to 13th in the Barclays Premier League following today's 4-2 defeat to the doomed Royals at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Martin Jol made two changes to the team that was beaten by Everton last time out as Damien Duff and John Arne Riise came in for Kieran Richardson and Alexander Kacaniklic.
It was a promising start from the Whites as Bryan Ruiz produced an early save from Alex McCarthy as he slid in to connect with Damien Duff's low cross.
But it was the visitors who took the lead on 11 minutes as Hal Robson-Kanu was hacked down by Riise on the edge of the box.
Riise's challenge was right on the line but referee Neil Swarbrick had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Robson-Kanu dusted himself off and calmly despatched the penalty.
Dimitar Berbatov looked most likely to make something happen for Fulham, buzzing around up top, and the Bulgarian got his head to a Giorgos Karagounis pass to force another save from McCarthy.
It was to be the Greek veteran's last involvement of the game as he was taken off by Jol inside the opening half-hour, Hugo Rodallega his replacement.
Rodallega quickly found himself in the thick of the action.
Berbatov swung a cross in from the right which found its way to the Colombian, however his close-range effort was saved superbly by the feet of the excellent McCarthy.
Reading held their lead into the half-time interval and they could have doubled it within seconds of the restart at Craven Cottage.
Skipper Jobi McAnuff made good progress down the left before feeding Jem Karacan, who beat Brede Hangeland to the ball, but Mark Schwarzer was on hand to deny the Turk.
At the other end, McCarthy's gloves were warmed by Rodallega once more as his stinging drive was kept out at the near post.
Pavel Pogrebnyak, returning to face his old club, almost doubled the Royals' lead following some sloppy whites defending but somehow the Russian failed to bundle the ball over the line.
Left-back Riise was the guilty party this time, failing to clear his lines, and moments later Jol made the call to replace him with former Manchester United midfielder Richardson.
The change didn't have the desired effect as the Royals fans were soon celebrating again.
Garath McCleary made inroads down the left and unleashed a vicious shot, which was blocked by the Whites, however it fell kindly for Robson-Kanu to curl home his second.
It looked like the killer blow, however Fulham grabbed a lifeline as the clock ticked towards 70 minutes, Ruiz playing a one-two with Rodallega before squeezing the ball underneath McCarthy.
Then followed a crazy two minutes at Cottage.
So often a super-sub this season, Adam Le Fondre lived up to his reputation with a tidy finish, with Ruiz again reducing the deficit straight from the kick-off.
At 3-2 it was all to play for in the last 10 minutes and Rodallega crashed a brilliant effort off the bar as Fulham searched for an equaliser.
But those hopes were dashed by Karacan as he put the game to bed when he steered home Reading's fourth after a poor clearance from Hangeland.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riise (Richardson, 55), Senderos, Hangeland, Berbatov, Ruiz, Karagounis (Rodallega, 28), Duff (Kacanikilic, 71), Reither, Emanuelson, Enoh.
Subs (not used): Etheridge, Frimpong, Hughes, Manolev.
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