Reading's Under-23s went down to a 4-0 defeat against their Stoke City counterparts on Monday night, in wet and windy conditions in Buckinghamshire.
Three first-half goals from Jake Dunwoody, Julien Ngoy and Daniel Jarvis from the spot put the visitors in command at the break, before Gabriel Kyeremateng added a fourth in the second half.
It was a cagey start between the teams as the rain poured at Adams Park, with heavy rain prior to kick-off making the playing surface a tricky one to judge for both sets of players.
The first quarter-hour saw little in the way of chances for either side, with Stoke forging the first chance of the game when Ryan Corrigan found space on the left to swing a cross into the area.
Kyeremateng got his head to it, but could only put it over the bar from the centre of the Reading penalty area.
But the Potters, who had won their last three games heading into Monday's match, were clinical when their second chance came around.
A free-kick from the left flank by Corrigan was put into a dangerous area and skipper Dunwoody got their first, prodding beyond Jökull Andrésson and the ball ricocheting in off the underside of the crossbar.
The Potters could have doubled the lead shortly afterwards when a loose pass back into the Reading defence was seized by Kyeremateng 25 yards out. He charged into a shooting position, but Lexus Beeden tracked back well to make a vital intervention and block his strike.
But a second goal did come midway through the first period. A Stoke corner to the far post was nodded back into the area, in an inviting position for Ngoy to volley through the crowded area - nestling into the bottom corner in a well-taken finish.
Stoke continued their attacking threat, and almost added a third when a quickly-taken corner found its way to Lasse Sorensen on the edge of the box, who struck powerfully but half-a-yard wide of the post.
Reading forayed forward as the half progressed, winning a free-kick 25 yards out after Oliver Pendlebury was brought down cynically. Gabriel Osho stood over the set piece, bending around the wall and a matter of inches wide of Blondy Nna Noukeu's post.
But before the Royals could build up a head of steam, Stoke's third came from the spot. Ash Kigbu went down under Ethan Coleman's challenge, and the referee was unwavering as he pointed straight to the spot.
Jarvis was the man to take it, and even though Andrésson went the right way, the power and height on the penalty was enough to take it into the top corner and give Stoke a three-goal advantage.
But Reading had appeals for a penalty of their own turned away shortly before the whistle, as Teddy Howe's marauding run into the area saw him stopped by a combination of Kigbu and Corrigan, with the referee waving away the appeals.
Half time | Reading U23 0-3 Stoke City U23
Reading had made a quick start to the second half, but the Royals' task was made even more difficult when they were sent down to 10 men early in the second period. Ben House lunged in for a loose ball in midfield, but the referee reached for his pocket and gave the Reading attacker a straight red card.
Stoke could, and perhaps should have added a fourth soon afterwards when Ngoy found his way into space in the box and in prime shooting position. He fluffed his lines, however, with his effort swirling over the stand behind the goal at Adams Park.
Garath McCleary tried to pull one back for Reading when he was in midfield, spotting the goalkeeper off his line and trying to chip him from at least 40 yards out. Nna Noukeu had been caught napping, but he managed to track back just in time and palm away.
Chris Gunter was next to try his luck from distance, rifling a 30-yard effort low on target, with Nna Noukeu forced into a strong low save as Reading tried to pull one back in Wycombe.
But any hopes of a point were dashed when Stoke got their fourth 20 minutes from time. Jarvis struck low and forced a good save from Andrésson, but Kyeremateng was there to follow up and slot in from close range.
Thierry Nevers should have pulled one back when he powered his way through into the box, cutting back onto his right foot and shooting, but the defence tracked back in time to deflect it behind for the Potters and keep their clean sheet.
The rain continued to hammer down at Adams Park, with no way through for Scott Marshall's side on the night.
Full time | Reading U23 0-4 Stoke City U23
Reading U23: Andrésson, Howe, Beeden, Osho (c), Gunter, Medford-Smith, Coleman, Pendlebury, McCleary (Azeez 75), House, Nevers (Liddle 75).
Subs: Collins, Odimayo, Trialist.
Stoke City U23: Nna Noukeu, Pemberton, Corrigan, Forrester, McJannet, Kigbu, Dunwoody (c)(Sparrow 87), Sorensen, Kyeremateng, Ngoy (Varian 63), Jarvis (Sankoh 77).
Subs: Cooper, Macari.
Goals: Dunwoody (17), Ngoy (25), Jarvis (38, PEN), Kyeremateng (69)