READING FC climbed out of the Championship relegation zone with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Peterborough United at Select Car Leasing Stadium.

A brace by Tom Dele-Bashiru and a thunderous free-kick from John Swift sealed the deal under the floodlights despite Posh’s Nathan Thompson giving Royals a late scare.

The win means Reading rise to 15th place in the table after a less than impressive start to the campaign.

Veljko Paunovic was forced into a change between the sticks after first-choice goalkeeper Rafael reportedly broke his hand after punching a whiteboard in a frustration after Saturday’s 3-3 with QPR.

The Brazilian was replaced by Luke Southwood, who has risen through the academy ranks in Berkshire.

With the two sides boasting the worst defensive records so far this season, the odds of a stalemate were few and far between.

The first chance fell to the home side after the in-form John Swift picked out Andy Yiadom’s lung-busting run with a scintillating cross-field pass.

Yiadom’s clever cut-back found Tom Dele-Bashiru inside the box but the on-loan Watford midfielder failed to get any power behind his strike.

Ghana international Yiadom was in the thick of the action again on the 27th minute with an audacious 25-yard shot which was easily gathered by Christy Pym. S

outhwood, making his first Championship start of the campaign, got down brilliantly to deny Siriki Dembele after the tricky forward had left Josh Laurent red in the face.

Royals’ injury situation went from bad to worse when skipper Liam Moore took a heavy blow and was forced to be replaced by Tom Holmes.

Darren Ferguson’s Posh then thought they had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Dembele’s effort looked destined for the top corner before being brilliantly denied by Southwood.

The second half resumed in a similar fashion to the first with neither side able to carve out any sort of clear-cut opening.

But Royals did eventually take the lead on 64 minutes when the in-form John Swift blasted home a rocket of a free-kick from 25-yards – claiming his seventh goal in as many games.

Swift’s strike opened the floodgates and Royals doubled their lead just two minutes later when Dele-Bashiru picked up the ball on the edge of the box and rifled it into the bottom corner.

In scenes reminiscent of Saturday’s capitulation, Royals failed to make the most of their dominance and Ferguson’s visitors soon clawed a goal back when Nathan Thompson rose highest from a corner to nod beyond Southwood.

But Reading refused to let their lead slip and doubled their advantage once again with 88 minutes on the clock through Dele-Bashiru.

The midfielder, who showed a keen eye for goal all evening, picked the ball up from 25-yards before unleashing a powerful strike into the top-right corner, cementing Royals’ second win of the Championship season.

Reading FC: Southwood, Yiadom, Moore (Holmes,45), Morrison, Rahman, Dele-Bashiru, Laurent, Halilovic (Hoilett, 60), Swift, Ejaria, Puscas. Subs not used: Boyce-Clarke, Holmes, Tetek, Camara, Hoilett, Ehibhatiomhan, Clarke. Referee: Tim Robinson