Harvey Knibbs bagged a hat trick as Reading beat rivals Swindon Town 5-0 in the EFL Trophy.

A first competitive meeting between the sides since 2001, a larger than average crowd for the minor tournament turned out, including 1,500 from the County Ground.

Ruben Selles made 10 changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Leyton Orient on Saturday, although Coniah Boyce-Clarke pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by David Button.

Clinton Mola, Tom Holmes, Paul Mukariu, Andy Yiadom, Nesta Guinness-Walker, Jayden Wareham, Michael Craig, Tivonge Rushesha and Caylan Vickers marked wholesale changes, while Michael Flynn did the same for the travelling Swindon.

The dominant hosts were on top from minute one, Mukairu shooting just wide of the goal within 12 seconds of the match starting. Wareham had another go just minutes later, this time controlling well but firing wide after spinning cleverly in the box. Lewis Ward, a former Royal Academy goalkeeper was forced into his first save of the match after 10 minutes as Vickers and Yiadom linked up well in the box before the skipper’s shot was saved by his feet. Surprisingly it took 20 minutes to take the lead as Knibbs pounced on some defensive uncertainty from a Guinness-Walker cross to stab home.

The Robins had their first effort of the match on the half-hour mark, but Tyrese Shade’s high and wide effort never tested Button in the net. Michael Flynn’s side had some possession as the half ticked towards its conclusion but never got into shooting range, and the Royals made their dominance pay in first-half stoppage time. Guinness-Walker whipped in a dangerous cross and Knibbs flicked his second goal of the evening into the roof of the net at the front post.

Picking up where they left off, it took just three minutes for Knibbs to complete his hat trick. Mukariu was brought down in the box and the summer signing confidently sent Ward the wrong way to complete his first professional treble. Very much killing the game off, neither side had much in the way of clearcut chances through the half as both teams seemed content with playing it around in midfield. Button did have to make one save, catching a direct free kick with 20 minutes to go, but picked up the easiest clean sheet of his career.

The biggest piece of excitement in the final half-hour was a pitch invader running on from the away end, but it did not take too long before the man was hauled out of the stadium early. Button was also substituted early, with Tom Norcott coming on for his Royals debut for the final few minutes. Mukariu added extra gloss in added time, bundling the ball in after Vickers' free-kick cannoned off the bar. Harlee Dean, who was booed at times following altercations on Saturday, added a fifth moments later unmarked from a cross.

A nice confidence boost after two straight league defeats, it also confirms Reading’s progress into the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy, with one game to spare. Arsenal Under-21s, managed by former Royals Academy chief Mehmet Ali, visit Berkshire next month.