Karl Hein: 6
Barely had anything to do in the first half, such was Reading's effectiveness at shutting out the hosts. I wouldn't blame him for either of PNE's goals, while further home chances were typically off target anyway.
As for his distribution... it's hit and miss. Hein has a nice bit of skill in him, such as a deft chip out to Yiadom in the first half, but can also be frustrating with his accuracy over longer range and how long it takes him to make his mind up.
Andy Yiadom: 6
This game wasn't really one for Yiadom to show his attacking side. Good on the ball though, solid defensively.
Michael Morrison: 8
Much better today, looked a lot more composed and assured than previously and marshalled the defence well. His experience and leadership is so important in matches like this when Reading have to withstand a lot of pressure. Went close to scoring in the second half at 2-0.
Tom Holmes: 6
Looked somewhat shaky at the back despite Reading's general defensive strength. Handed a chance on a plate to PNE in the first half when caught under pressure too easily. Still though, he played his part in a generally resolute rearguard action, so I'm loathe to mark him down too much.
Baba Rahman: 6
See Yiadom. Rahman also had to soldier on in the second half, but ultimately succumbed to an injury that forced him off.
Andy Rinomhota: 8
A classic committed display from Rino. Put himself about really well in the middle, adding that muscle to the midfield that we've so often lacked. Amid everything that's happened on and off the pitch recently, Rinomhota's quietly been reestablishing himself as a key cog.
Danny Drinkwater: 6
While he's come in for plenty of stick recently, I didn't have many big concerns with Drinkwater's performance today. No shortage of effort and kept the ball moving nicely. Gave up a chance with a wayward pass in the second half, but created some danger himself with a free kick.
As a broader point, with Laurent out for however long, I'm really interested to see the Rinomhota/Drinkwater pairing (Rinkwater?) develop. Their brawn/guile skill sets complement each other, at least on paper.
Tom Ince: 6
Solid if unspectacular afternoon on the right wing, although he did go out to the left for a while when Meite came on. Had a shot blocked in the second half, but generally wasn't that involved. Still, he looked sharp as he's done before, so no complaints.
John Swift: 8
Today was a stark reminder of how good Swift can be. While this wasn't an afternoon for dictating extensive patterns of play, Swift came up with the goods in specific moments on the counter, assisting João's second and capping off a move himself to make it 3-0. Good set pieces too, including going close with a direct free kick.
Junior Hoilett: 6
Similar thoughts to Ince on the opposite flank. No major pluses or minuses, but generally seemed like a valid threat on the left. Withdrawn for Meite in the second half.
Lucas João: 9
Ladies and gentlemen, Lucas João is back in action. And with two goals and an assist, this was one of his best games for Reading.
The second in his brace was especially well taken: classic Joao to create the opening with neat footwork before slamming home. And the assist was lovely too, returning a favour by playing in Swift for Reading's third. Could have had a couple more too, only to be denied in either half.
Tom McIntyre: 7
Replaced the injured Baba Rahman at left back, looked really switched on. Impressive return to first-team action.
Yakou Meite: 6
Not too many opportunities to show what he could do in the final third, but could - and perhaps should - have been awarded a penalty when he went down at one stage.
Brandon Barker: N/A
Only had enough time on the pitch to say a quick hello to his former employers.
Who was your man of the match at Preston? Vote below or through this link.