An early first half goal from Famara Diedhou saw Reading drop into relegation zone as they suffered their seventh Championship defeat of the season with a 1-0 defeat at Ashton Gate.
Diedhou scored the only goal of the game in the 12th minute, while Yakou Meite and George Puscas both missed big chances as the Royals fell to yet another league defeat.
Reading have now picked up just one point from the last 18 available as they drop into the relegation zone in 22nd place.
An early stoppage in play commenced as Matt Miazga, who has just returned from injury, took a blow to the mouth and had to be treated.
Reading won their first corner of the game with eight minutes gone as a low corner at the near post found Yakou Meite, but his strong first timed strike was well blocked by Bristol City.
Ovie Ejaria then threw his body in the way of two Andreas Weinmann shots to prevent the forward from getting an effort on Rafael’s goal.
The lively Weinmann then went close just a minute later as he met O’Dowda’s cross and headed just inches over the bar.
But it was to be a familiar tale for the Royals, who have now gone behind in their last four Championship matches, as Famara Diedhou gave the hosts the lead in the 12th minute. He stooped low to get on the end of a cross and divert the ball past Rafael after some lacklustre Reading defending.
Tommy Lowe picked up the first caution of the match as he flew into a tackle on right-back Andy Yiadom.
Ejaria provided the Royals most likely attacking outlet as he had two good chances, seeing his shot blocked before he hit the rebound just wide of the post.
Looking for an equaliser, Reading’s best chance of the half fell to Yakou Meite as Ejaria found the forward with a long ball and his immaculate first touch on the edge of the box allowed him to get a strike away, but with just the keeper to beat Bentley sprinted from his line to claw the ball away with his feet.
Just a minute prior to the half-time whistle Ejaria again tried to carve an opening as he dribbled forward promisingly but curled his shot over the bar as the Royals went into the break a goal behind.
Bristol City came close to extending their lead early in the second period as a ball came fizzing across the Reading box but Diedhou couldn’t quite reach the ball as the chance went begging.
George Puscas missed a huge chance in the 49th minute to the Royals level. Ejaria broke behind the City defence and played the ball across the box to Puscas, who from just eight yards out stumbled over the ball as he tried to take a touch instead of opting to hit the ball first time.
Having just missed a guild-edged chance to level the game, Puscas was replaced by Argentine forward Lucas Boye.
With the Royals still chasing an equaliser, Jose Gomes made a positive change as Josh Barrett replaced Pele in with just over 15 minutes left to play.
Reading were unable to create many chances despite an improvement in the second period, with Lucas Joao thrown on for Michael Morrison with 10 minutes of the contest left.
A late chance presented itself from a corner as Barrett whipped in a dangerous cross but Bristol survived a goal mouth scramble as the ball took several deflections before falling behind for a goal kick.
Substitute Lucas Boye tried to find an equaliser late on as he struck a fierce shot from 20 yards out but Bentley reacted well to make a low save to maintain his sides clean sheet.
Reading have won just three of their last 37 Championship away games as their terrible run of form continues, having not won a game since their 3-0 demolition of Cardiff City in August.
The international break brings about another disruption to the Championship season, with a two-week break for the Royals before they host Preston North End on Saturday, October 19 at the Madejski Stadium.
Bristol City: Bentley, Lopes Pereira, Williams, Moore, Rowe, Elisson (Hunt 72′), Brownhill, Massengo, O’Dowda (Palmer 86′), Weimann, Diedhiou (Semenyo 72′).
Subs: Hunt, Wright, Watkins, Szmodics, Semenyo, Maenpaa, Palmer
Reading: Rafael, Morrison (Joao 80′), Moore, Miazga, Richards, Yiadom, Pele (Barrett 73′), Rinomhota, Ejaria, Puscas (Boye 58′), Meite.
Subs: Walker, Loader, McIntyre, Boye, Olise, Joao, Barrett.
Goals: Diedhiou 12′