Wigan Athletic 3 (Gomez 31, Waghorn 42, McManaman 51)
The Royals were out played at the DW Stadium this afternoon by a Wigan side full of energy and belief in the Lancashire sunshine.
The opening goal was a Jordi Gomez scorcher that Alex McCarthy nor his teammates could do anything about, the Spaniard unleashing a superb drive that sailed into the top left corner.
And before half time, Uwe Rosler's men had a second. Callum McManaman scurried into the box down the right and McCarthy could only parry his shot out to Martyn Waghorn who half-volleyed into the net from close range.
Any thoughts of a comeback were dismissed by a third Wigan goal five minutes after the restart, Callum McManaman getting the ball from Waghorn and placing a curling right-footed effort past McCarthy and in off the underside of the crossbar.
And a lacklustre Reading failed to really trouble Ali Al-Habsi, coming closest to a consolation when Michael Hector dragged wide from distance and Robson-Kanu driving at goal from a similar range late on. An afternoon to forget for the Royals.
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Perch, Beausejour, Barnett, Boyce (c), Gomez, McArthur, McManaman, Maloney (Fortune 72), Espinoza (Collison 84), Waghorn (Powell 73).
Subs: Carson, McClean, Maynard, Kiernan.
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Obita, Pearce, Morrison, Hector, Akpan, Williams (Robson-Kanu 55), McAnuff (c) (Blackman 55), McCleary (Le Fondre 84), Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Federici, Cummings, Gorkss, Drenthe, Le Fondre.
Yellow: Williams, Akpan.
Referee: Mr C Pawson
Attendance: 14,609 (655 away)
The Royals began the game on the front foot and the first shot at goal came from the left boot of Jordan Obita, winning possession back, scuttling towards the edge of the area and forcing Ali Al Habsi into a low save with a rasping effort that the Omani keeper failed to gather cleanly.
McCarthy's handling was tested soon after, Shaun Maloney bursting to the byline and crossing from the byline, but McCarthy parrying it away well at his near post. And he was well behind another Maloney drive minutes later as the home side found their feet.
Wigan began to pass the ball about nicely and they were getting a lot of joy down the left through the lively Maloney and Jean Beausejour, the latter crossing dangerously into the box for Roger Espinoza to head just wide at the near post after 20 minutes.
Callum McManaman fired into the side netting as Uwe Rosler's men continued to impress, looking fresh with five changes from the side that took Arsenal all the way to penalties in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley the previous weekend.
And they took the lead on the half hour with a stunning strike. Espinoza laid it off to Jordi Gomez who, having scored three against the Royals in the Premier League here last season, hammered an unstoppable effort into the top left corner to make it 1-0.
Gomez forced McCarthy into another tidy save with an effort from range as Wigan pressed for a second, the Royals struggling to keep possession and get the ball forward to Pogrebnyak or the two wide men.
And just before the break, Wigan had a second. McManaman wriggled into the box down the right and forced McCarthy into a save, that fell to the feet of Waghorn who turned it home well on the half-volley, only eight yards out.
McManaman was proving too hot to handle and he won a corner with a surging run down the right early in the second half. James Perch met the deep set piece and headed it into the ground but looping goalwards, only to see McCarthy push it behind at full stretch.
And only five minutes after the resumption, McManaman put the result beyond doubt, Wigan breaking through Waghorn down the left and McManaman brilliantly escaping three Royals defenders and curling an effort in off the underside of the crossbar.
The hosts were relentless in their attacking moves, not settling for three. Adkins made a double change, bringing on Nick Blackman and Hal Robson-Kanu, the latter almost setting up Hector with a clever flick, but the young midfielder was dispossessed on the edge of the box before he could pull the trigger.
James McArthur dragged an effort just wide with 20 minutes left on the clock and the Latics continued to trouble the Reading back line, fizzing a number of crosses across the box to no further avail.
Hector drove a 25-yard effort at goal just wide of the bottom left corner, but Ali Al-Habsi watched it wide, and the Wigan stopper scrambled low to his left to gather a Robson-Kanu effort from distance.
But Wigan were worthy, worthy winners and the win all but secured a top six spot for Uwe Rosler. Results elsewhere meant Reading dropped out of the top six...just.