David Button: 6
Came into the line-up very late with Coniah Boyce-Clark pulling up with a nasty looking injury in the warm-up. Didn’t do anything wrong but wasn’t really given the opportunity to by a totally blunt Swindon Town side.
Andy Yiadom: 7
Totally untroubled defensively by Swindon and was thus allowed free reign to get as far up the pitch as he desired. All that meant we saw a more fun Yiadom performance (especially in the first half) than we have in a while.
Had a dangerous shot saved by the Swindon 'keeper when through on goal and went closer still with a long-ranged ping from outside of the box. Given his last outing with the first team saw him red carded from the bench, this was a step in the right direction for Yiadom.
Tom Holmes: 6
In from the start for the first team for the first time since Port Vale today, Holmes had a good opportunity to improve his comfort level on the ball while playing against a weak Swindon side. Looked relatively untroubled and unfortunate to have to go off with a knock in the second half.
Clinton Mola: 6
Up against lower-league opposition, Mola finally looked relatively comfortable today. Playing as the left-sided centre-back alongside Holmes and then Harlee Dean, Mola was in a different position to the usual left-back slot we’ve seen him in. The position (and opposition) helped to hide his lack of pace and generally Mola looked more confident and involved as the game played out.
Nesta Guinness Walker: 8
You can only play what’s in front of you, and Guinness-Walker did that with aplomb tonight. His defensive frailties weren’t tested at all, but his running and crossing into the box were directly responsible for at least two goals and more chances. Matty Carson offers better crossing than Guinness-Walker but admittedly struggles to get into position to hurt opposition defences often enough. Guinness-Walker had no such struggles today.
Michael Craig: 7
Craig’s performance (alongside Rushesha) today helped Reading to keep Swindon thoroughly at arm’s length for most of the night. Craig put in a few physical challenges in the first half and generally battled throughout to make taking the ball directly past him an uncomfortable experience.
Tivonge Rushesha: 7
Provides an engine to the midfield and can operate in many different spots throughout it: likely why Ruben Selles decided to keep him after his pre-season tryout. Quieter in the second half but the game was thoroughly won by the 50th minute.
Harvey Knibbs: 9
A lovely little hat-trick (and possibly perfect?) featuring a patient finish in the box, an impressive flying header, and a well tucked-away penalty. Knibbs occasionally goes close a few times in a game but suffers from poor finishing, so it was good to see his attempts come off tonight.
Paul Mukairu: 7
Definitely enjoys playing with the ball at his feet, continuing his attempts to dribble into dangerous areas throughout the game. Luckily, unlike against Northampton Town, Mukairu tried his dribbles in the opposition half tonight.
Did well to react quickly to a ball careening off the woodwork from Caylan Vickers' free-kick and guide the rebound into the net. Three in two in the Pizza Cup isn’t a bad return at all!
Jayden Wareham: 6
Raw, but showed that he does have talent and could force his way into the team later this season. Fired off target a few times after making space for himself to shoot, but showed promise throughout and pestered Swindon’s defence.
Caylan Vickers: 8
Such a creative spark, Vickers comes alive when the ball reaches the opposition penalty box, buzzing around to create chances and attempt shots himself. Very unlucky not to score tonight, seeing a pair of shots saved and crashing a brilliant free-kick off the woodwork before Mukairu followed it in.
Femi Azeez: 6
Brought on for Knibbs in the second half with the game already petering out. Didn’t necessarily put a foot wrong but was muted in a quiet team second-half performance before the late flurry of goals.
Harlee Dean: 7
Untroubled by Swindon’s attack in the same way that Holmes was, and produced a lovely composed finish to head home his first Reading goal for Reading’s fifth. Almost scored again immediately after with a powerful keeper at the goalkeeper.
Thomas Norcott: N/A
At just 18 years old, Norcott was thrust onto the bench at the last minute today due to injuries to Boyce-Clarke and Joel Pereira. Kept a clean sheet but not on long enough to get a rating.
Lewis Wing: N/A
Maybe unlucky not to get more time in this game to help him get up to game speed, but likely wouldn’t have made a huge difference in the quiet second half.
Michael Stickland: N/A
Brought on late as part of the triple substitution and slotted in alongside Harlee Dean. Untroubled for his short period on the field.
Who was your MOTM against Swindon Town? Vote below or through this link.