After only two defeats in their previous 14 matches, Reading went into the game with confidence high. A 1-0 victory over Charlton on Tuesday, albeit in a scrappy contest, enhanced their optimism further.
That optimism was well founded, with Reading dominating the early exchanges and they could have gone ahead in only the sixth minute when Danny Guthrie swung over a corner from the left.
Billy Sharp, scorer of the winner against Charlton, rose to head goalwards but Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman hacked the ball off the goalline.
The one-way traffic continued, with Reading pressing forward and racking up a corner count of 7-0 in their favour in the opening 20 minutes as Bournemouth just sat back and absorbed all the pressure.
For all their intent though, Reading created few chances. Garath McCleary cut in from the right but lost his composure at the vital moment and blazed his shot high and wide.
With 10 minutes to go to half-time, Bournemouth emerged from their shell and had a first effort on the Reading goal, when Grabban drove wide from 20 yards.
Then, totally against the run of play, they scored twice in four minutes. Home keeper Alex McCarthy made a fine save from Tommy Elphick's header, from a Charlie Daniels free-kick, but Grabban thumped in the loose ball.
With Reading still reeling, Ritchie worked himself space on the edge of the home area. He was barely challenged by any opponent and squeezed a low drive past McCarthy.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins reacted positively during the interval, bringing on Pavel Pogrebnyak to support Sharp, the lone first-half striker.
But Bournemouth were still buoyant from their swift double strike. Ritchie, an influential figure on the right of midfield, attempted to add to his earlier goal but drove over from 20 yards.
Simon Francis nodded wide from a Ritchie corner - Bournemouth's first corner of the match - in the 58th minute and Marc Pugh was off target with an effort from long distance.
Reading huffed and puffed in response but it was Bournemouth who finished the stronger and could have increased their winning margin. Ritchie drove a free-kick straight at McCarthy and Pugh narrowly missed Grabban's cross at the far post.
Le Fondre grabbed a consolation goal for Reading in stoppage time, tapping in from close range after a Royston Drenthe shot had been blocked.
- Sports & Recreation
- Matt Ritchie
- Lewis Grabban
- Adam Le Fondre