Reading 1(Harte m/p 55, Hunt m/p 57, Robson-Kanu 75)
Barnsley 2(Foster 27, Done 68)
The Reds rocked Reading with a dogged and determined performance, with the Royals bagging only one of three penalties as Luke Steele was the hero of the afternoon. Goals from Stephen Foster and Matty Done wrapped up the Reds' first three points of the season as Barnsley showed character, determination and, above all, togetherness.
Done fires home on his full debut.
McAnuff struck the first effort after only 18 seconds following sloppy play from Butterfield, the Royals' captain firing straight at Steele from the edge of the area.
Although the Reds were looking comfortable in possession, Reading were again to launch an attack that went close. Hunt was making a nuisance of himself, but could only scuff his cross into the arms of Steele on six minutes.
The Reds' number one made another smart save in the 16th minute - denying McAnuff once again who had controlled well and fired a firm, low shot towards Steele's goal.
McEveley's quick thinking almost led to the Reds opening the score. A sweeping ball across to Davies allowed the former Spireite to deliver into the six-yard box, and as Federici pushed the ball away, no Barnsley man was on hand for a simple tap in on 24 minutes.
On 27 minutes and Davies unleashed a wicked drive from the right-hand edge of the box that Federici did well to tip out for a corner. The resulting set-piece set up a Reds goal - Stephen Foster opening his account for the season - nodding Butterfield's delivery through the Reading 'keeper from eight yards.
That man McAnuff was again to test Steele on 32 minutes - this time with an even more powerful drive from 20 yards after a clever cut-in from the left.
After some powerful work from Davies down the right, he delivered yet another teasing ball that fizzed across the line with no Red shirt on hand to finish the business on 40 minutes.
Robson-Kanu placed a peach of a pass into the Barnsley area and Reading were almost certainly in for the leveller but for an incredible piece of cover-play from McEveley.
The Reds' goal-scorer, Stephen Foster, was booked on 49 minutes for bringing down Robson-Kanu. The resulting free-kick was whipped towards Steele's top scorer, but the Peterborough-born stopper made yet another wonderful save - tipping it round for a corner.
Following a defence-splitting pass from Hunt, Karacan was in the clear but could only blaze wide when one-on-one with Steele after turning past McEveley in the area on 53. Barely a minute alter and Hunt should have got on the end of a Kebe cross to nod in, but just couldn't connect with the winger's right-flank delivery.
Kebe's pace and trickery won his side a side a penalty on 55 minutes - Harte stepped up to hammer towards goal, only to be denied by Steele.
Moments later and Reading were handed another penalty after a trip in the area by McEveley. And once again Steele denied the spot-kick, this tome from Hunt, who hammered it to Steele's left. Two wonderful saves from Steele in the space of two minutes.
The home side were pressing, as expected, but the Reds were hanging on. Gray and McNulty were thrown on for Haynes and McEveley, respectively.
On 68 minutes and the defiant Reds rocketed in a two-goal lead through Matty Done on his full début. Butterfield placed an exquisite lob over the top for Done to wrap his foot round and fire into the corner from just inside the area.
Quite remarkably, there was a third penalty awarded to Reading. On 74 minutes, Robson-Kanu stepped up to haul Reading back into the match.
The tremendous Butterfield was replaced by O'Brien on 80 minutes, as the Reds sought fresh legs to see them through to the final whistle. The Scot was barely on the field for 30 seconds before firing straight at Federici from 20 yards.
Another save from Steele saw the stopper deny Reading sub Church on 84 minutes. The Royals were throwing bodies forward, in desperate search of an equaliser but Barnsley were standing strong.
In the 93rd minute and Davies absolutely hammered an effort towards goal from a tight angle - only to be denied by Federici. A minute later and the striker lashed another attempt over as the Reds' concentration levels were kept to a maximum.
After five minutes of stoppage time, the Reds rallied and deservedly held on to the three points.
Reading: Federici, Karacan, Pearce, Gunnarsson (Manset 70), Leigertwood, Hunt (Church 84), McAnuff, Kebe, Robson-Kanu, Harte, Khumalo.
Subs: McCarthy, Morrison, Obita.
Reds: Steele, Wiseman, McEveley (Mcnulty 64), Foster, Edwards, Perkins, Done, Hassell, Davies, Haynes (Gray 58), Butterfield (O'Brien 80).
Subs: Preece, Lovre.
Attendance: 15, 878 (336 away)