Sky Bet Championship: Reading crushed managerless Blackpool at the Madejski
Managerless Blackpool's misery continued as they fell to a crushing 5-1 defeat against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Last Updated: 28/01/14 10:20pm
Reading striker Adam Le Fondre did most of the damage for the Royals, claiming a second hat-trick in successive home games as the hosts ran out 5-1 winners.
Le Fondre struck twice in a 10-minute spell in the first half before Pavel Pogrebnyak made it 3-0 early in the second period.
Steve Davies gave Blackpool hope with a thumping shot from long distance but Le Fondre coolly completed his treble, taking his tally for the season to 13, and Hal Robson-Kanu added the fifth in the 82nd minute.
Blackpool led the Sky Bet Championship in September after a storming start to the campaign, but have since been on a dismal run, resulting in the dismissal of manager Paul Ince last week.
His son Tom was also absent from the Madejski Stadium, the Blackpool midfielder continuing his whistle-stop tour of clubs who want to buy him, which include Swansea, Stoke and Hull.
Reading, still hovering around the play-off zone despite indifferent form, returned to the scene of their 7-1 hammering of Bolton in their previous home game.
A 2-0 defeat at Ipswich followed, proving their inconsistency, but they were soon back in the goals against a poor Blackpool side, Le Fondre giving them the lead in the seventh minute.
Garath McCleary's cross took a wicked deflection and Le Fondre, despite appearing offside, volleyed in precisely.
It was Le Fondre who netted a first-half hat-trick in the demolition of Bolton and, after blazing wide from another McCleary assist, he soon scored his second of the evening.
Jobi McAnuff floated over a 17th-minute corner from the left, the unmarked Alex Pearce headed it back from the far post and Le Fondre easily nodded home past Matt Gilks.
Blackpool rarely threatened Alex McCarthy at the other end, although Davies did strike the side-netting with an ambitious 30-yard drive.
Reading could have increased their advantage before the break when Kirk Broadfoot almost diverted a McCleary cross into his own net and McAnuff saw a shot deflected narrowly wide.
It was much the same after the interval, with McAnuff racing through alone and forcing a fine save from Gilks. It was only a temporary reprieve, though, with Reading going 3-0 ahead in the 52nd minute.
A towering header from Kaspars Gorkss found Le Fondre, who cleverly released Pogrebnyak. The Russian strode on and beat Gilks with a low angled effort.
Davies gave Blackpool a moment of relief with thundering in a 30-yard piledriver in the 65th minute, but two minutes later Le Fondre completed his treble with a cool dink over Gilks after an incisive pass from McCleary.
Substitute Robson-Kanu completed Reading's rout with a 20-yard drive near the end.