But Adkins' joy was tempered by the loss of inspirational midfielder Jem Karacan to what appears to be a long-term knee injury.
"It's a big result for us and Alfie [Le Fondre] does what he does so well," Adkins said.
"We're never going to get a later winner than that one. It's our third clean sheet in a row as well so were building momentum nicely.
"But it's a massive blow to lose Jem. It looks like he's going to be out for a long time, which is a shame. We've got our suspicions about it and it's fair to say that it's serious.
"He's been our stand-out player this season - he works so hard - and he's got a bright future ahead of him still. I'm sure he'll come back all the stronger."
Karacan was injured after he fouled Ross McCormack and fell awkwardly in the ninth minute.
Reading's winner came after Stephen Warnock had fouled Le Fondre - and been sent off for a second yellow card.
Royston Drenthe fired over the free kick, Danny Williams flicked it on and substitute Le Fondre pounced with a flicked header at the far post.