Date: 27th August 2013 at 10:10pm
Written by:

In what was one of the most disgraceful performances in Reading history, the Royals were truly outclassed by an outstanding Peterborough side, who ran riot in a 6-0 victory at London Road.

Royals boss Nigel Adkins rung the changes to the side that was beaten by Blackpool on Saturday, bringing in nine different players, including first starts for summer signing Danny Williams and exiled defender Adrian Mariappa. On the other side of the dugout, Darren Ferguson four changes to his high-flying Peterborough side, who thrashed Tranmere 5-0 on the weekend.

Reading have developed a trait this season to not start games well and it`s fair to say the same applied for this game, as the home side took an early lead. Striker Britt Assombalonga drove from the left and cut inside, driving past Gunter before slamming an effort past Federici at his near post from the edge of the area.

Instead of a response from Adkins` side, it was all one-way traffic as Peterborough went in search of a quick second. Tyronne Barnett broke away in a similar position to Assombalonga`s opener, but instead of squaring to his striker partner, he opted to shoot and was saved well by Federici. Reading were all over the place, giving the ball away needlessly in the opening stages.

Reading started to settle into the game after a shambolic start, keeping decent possession at London Road. It was Adam Le Fondre who had the away side`s first effort of the evening, forcing Olejnik into a routine save, after a rather tame effort. Despite th good response, the Posh doubled their lead twenty minutes in, with a sublime strike.

Hal Robson-Kanu lost the ball in the final third and Peterborough broke up the pitch, with Barnett finding Lee Tomlin, who chested and volleyed in a sublime strike, giving Federici no chance. Surely it couldn`t get any worse for Reading? Unfortunately from a Royals perspective it did, as another Boro break led to Danny Swanson dribbling 40 yards with the ball, before placing the ball past Federici with a fine finish.

Half an hour gone and the game was seemingly settled. Peterborough almost added a fourth soon after too, after Tomlin`s free kick 20-yards out was saved well by Adam Federici. There was nearly a reply from the away side, after Pogrebnyak attacked Mariappa`s cross, but Olejnik made a decent save. The keeper made another great stop just before half time, clawing away Robson-Kanu`s header.

Into the second half, it was normal service resumed at London Road. Gorkss` clumsy and needless lunge on Assombalonga in the penalty box was penalised with a penalty kick. The impressive Lee Tomlin stepped up to add more gloss to the scoreline. Pogrebnyak had a great chance to reduce the deficit, but headed over from an enticing cross.

Despite the difference in divisions, Peterborough were rampant and a fifth goal was coming. Federici made a great save from Assombalonga, who nicked in at the near post, but a fifth was scored by the home side through another penalty. Shaun Cummings was the culprit this time, fouling Barnett in the area and the same as the previous spot kick, Lee Tomlin, stepped again to seal his hat trick.

Le Fondre came the closest to getting a consolation goal for Reading, firstly having an effort saved by Olejnik, before having an effort cleared off the line minutes later. Just as it wasn`t embarrassing enough at half time, full humiliation was in full swing, as the scoring was rounded off by Jack Payne with a great long-range strike.

The full time whistle ended a public embarrassment and humiliation. Full credit to Peterborough, who made us look like a side not capable of competing in the Championship, let alone the Premier League. There was no passion and desire and there are a few players who I don`t want to see in a Reading shirt again – you can make your own mind up who they are.

Peterborough – 4-1-2-1-2: Olejnik, Little, Bostwick, Knight-Percival, Alcock, Payne, Swanson, Rowe (C), Tomlin, Assabalonga, Barnett
Subs: Day, Ntlhe, Brisley, Anderson, Kearns, Mendez-Laing, Gordon

Reading – 4-4-2: Federici, Cummings, Gorkss (c), Mariappa, Gunter, Akpan, Williams, Robson-Kanu, Obita, Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre
Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Morrison, Karacan, Guthrie, Drenthe, Blackman