Steve Evans insisted Stevenage should have been awarded two penalties in their 1-0 defeat against relegation-threatened Reading at The Lamex Stadium.

The hosts controlled the first half but the Royals went into the break ahead thanks to an own-goal from Bradford loanee Vadaine Oliver.

It was a different story after half-time as Reading edged a closely fought encounter to secure just their second away win in the league this season.

The Boro had two penalty appeals waved away by referee Paul Howard and Evans felt his side were hard done by.

He said: “We have two clear penalties in the game that weren’t given.

“One for handball in the first half and the second for a reckless challenge on Ben Thompson.

“We have just looked it back on the big screen with the boys, we did enough in terms of how we played comfortably to win the game.

“It is a harsh result to take isn’t it? Apart from counter-attacks we have totally dominated the game.

“We have made four big chances in the game, normally our reliable strikers score the chances that are created but they didn’t.

“Listen, we shouldn’t concede the throw-in for their goal, it is a mix-up between Dan Sweeney and the goalkeeper.

“We said at half-time that if we continue to press then we’ll create chances and we did create chances.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow but we will take it and move on.

“You can see what it means to beat little old Stevenage, World Cup stuff at the end.”

The result leaves Stevenage in sixth while Reading are now a point clear of the relegation zone in 20th and Royals manager Ruben Selles was delighted with the three points.

He said: “We knew it was going to be very difficult, there are not a lot of teams who can come here and win.

“We knew we would have to play well and take our chances in possession.

“The ball came from a throw-in and we have been working on it, I also think we got into some positions where if we’d worked the ball better, we could have scored at least one more goal.

“I think we know that we can perform against any team.

“I think we have talked about learning lessons from games and I think today we learned those lessons.

“I think the boys have been working really hard for it.

“The changes were entirely tactical, it was not a test, I thought especially at left-back we needed to be more dynamic in the build-up.

“We say always that we take it one day at a time, tomorrow the boys have the day off and then on Thursday and Friday we will prepare for the next game.”