READING FC slumped to their heaviest defeat for 14 years after they were hit for six by Peterborough United in a nightmare at London Road.

Only an excellent performance from goalkeeper Adam Federici prevented Royals from shipping double figures against Darren Ferguson's League One opponents in the one-sided Capital One Cup second round tie.

Nigel Adkins' visitors were second best all over the park from the first whistle to the last and could have lost by a much bigger margin.

It was still Reading's heaviest defeat since the 6-0 hammering they took from a Jamie Cureton-inspired Bristol Rovers at Madejski Stadium in January 1999.

No sooner had the final whistle blown on Tuesday night and Royals fans took to social media to demand a full refund from the club for the cost of travelling to London Road.

Whether Reading honour those wishes remains to be seen, but there was no question the result was one of the lowest points for the club for many, many years.

Adkins flexed his squad with nine changes to his starting line-up but the tactic backfired spectacularly.

Britt Assombalonga put the home side ahead less than four minutes in, Lee Tomlin grabbed the second on 20 minutes with a superb volley and Danny Swanson notched the third seven minutes later.

Eight minutes after the restart Tomlin scored Posh's fourth from the spot after Kaspars Gorkss had fouled Assombalonga and the Posh striker completed his hat-trick with another penalty following a foul by Shaun Cummings.

Jack Payne sealed a disastrous night for the Royals with Peterborough's sixth at the death.

A furious Adkins said: "I thought Peterborough were very good, but we had seven or eight internationals on the pitch and we've come away with a very heavy defeat.

"It wasn't a good night for the supporters either, we know that was unacceptable so apologies to the supporters on that.

"I will take the abuse because I'm the manager of the team. They have every right to do that. We will dissect everything from the game, but tonight we got a good hiding.

"There are a couple of days left in the transfer window and I will be talking to the owner tomorrow. Whether there is any movement, I don't know."

Mystery also surrounds the future of Reading winger Jimmy Kebe who withdrew from the squad on Monday amid rumours of a �1 million bid from Premier League Crystal Palace.

Adkins told BBC Radio Berkshire: "Jimmy was told on Friday that he was playing. He trained well on Saturday morning and left the training ground fully fit.

"The next thing at half past eight on Monday morning he declared himself unfit. Read into that what you want."

Adkins is certain to make wholesale changes again this Saturday when Royals travel to Yeovil Town for a tricky Championship clash (3pm ko).

Reading: Federici - Cummings, Gorkss (c), Mariappa, Gunter - Obita, Akpan, Williams, Robson-Kanu - Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre. Subs not used: S.Taylor, Pearce, Morrison, Karacan, Guthrie, Blackman, Drenthe. Yellow cards: Akpan, Williams, Gorkss, Le Fondre.

Peterborough: Olejnik - Alcock, Rowe (Gordon-Hutton 80), Payne, Little - Bostwick, Swanson, Knight-Percival, Barnett - Tomlin (Mendez-Laing 81), Assombalonga (Anderson 80). Subs not used: Day, Ntlhe, Brisley, Kearns. Yellow cards: Payne.

Referee: Keith Hill (Herts).

Attendance: 4,496.

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