Doncaster Rovers were crushed by a right Royal performance at Reading
Paul Dickov was looking to claim another scalp on a top ten-placed Championship club when his side travelled to face Reading, who were eager to erase their last league defeat against Burnley.
The Royals produced a good move down the right between Gunter and McCleary nearly finding a chance on goal but Jones and company did well to clear.
Obita then tried his luck in the fifth minute following an in-swinging Reading corner which was headed away by Khumalo.
McCleary collected a loose ball and struck an effort towards goal from 25 yards out, but the shot sailed over.
It took Reading just 11 minutes to find their range.
Pogrebnyak showed superb composure in the area to evade desperate Rovers challenges and then released McCleary who laid the ball off to GUTHRIE who struck a powerful effort into the roof of the net.
Le Fondre nearly made it two but his diving header was deflected for a corner.
Rovers finally broke into Reading’s half in the 21st minute when Wabara’s in-swinging cross was headed away for a corner. However, a poor short corner gifted possession back to the Berkshire side as Doncaster struggled.
Dickov then replaced Furman with Robinson with less than 25 minutes gone, switching Rovers to a 4-4-2 formation.
Doncaster made their first effort on goal count in fine style. It came from a Duffy set-piece. The winger stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the area and his curling effort was saved well by Federici. However, substitute ROBINSON pounced on the parry and rifled the rebound into the net to make it 1-1 in the 31st minute.
McCleary later found himself driving goalwards with the ball from deep as Rovers failed to clear, however, his low drive was well dealt with by Turnbull who parried to his right.
Khumalo was inches away from putting Rovers 2-1 up with a powerful heade but it was Reading who took the lead again as Doncaster were caught napping in defence.
The goal came when the instinctive LE FONDRE got into a superb position in the area to latch on to a sublime McCleary through ball and guide the ball past Turnbull in the 38th minute.
Rovers started the second half the better of the two as Robinson drove forward but the Jamaica striker could only fire over on one occasion and drill in a tame effort towards Federici.
Keegan lofted a header over the bar which failed to test Reading’s shot-stopper, the midfielder did well to meet Duffy’s searching free-kick but the chance was always rising.
Le Fondre was disappointed to not add his second as he directed a header wide of Turnbull’s left-hand post.
The in-form Pogrebnyak proved another difficult obstacle for Doncaster to deal with in the second half as the big Russian turned and unleashed a rasping drive, but the chance went wide in the 59th minute.
Dickov brought off Brown, who enjoyed very little service, for Paynter in a bid to fire up Doncaster.
Both managers made the changes as Dickov introduced Bennett for Coppinger and Nigel Adkins replaced Obita with Jobi McAnuff with just shy of 20 minutes to spare.
Rovers were then dealt an almighty blow as their captain Jones fell heavily in the run-up to a Reading corner. The centre back ended up on the floor in the back of the net, clutching his shoulder.
With no substitutes left and Jones unable to continue, he was forced down the tunnel for treatment as Doncaster played the remainder of the half with 10 men.
And they were soon undone as McCLEARY capped off a fine Reading performance with a drive across Turnbull’s goal for 3-1 Reading and 10 minutes to play.
Quinn’s blushes were spared by Rovers’ number one as his sliced clearance from a low delivery from the left was well handled by the Doncaster shot-stopper.
Entering the seven minutes of injury time, Robinson had Federici at full stretch to his left to save a curling shot and deny Doncaster any hope of a comeback.
And Reading fired in the final nail of Rovers’ coffin when they pounced on some poor defending and POGREBNYAK lashed into the roof of the net for 4-1.