Reading’s unbeaten run came to an end against the champions-elect as Portsmouth eased to a 4-1 victory at Fratton Park.

Dominating proceedings for the first half, goals from Paddy Lane, Marlon Pack, Callum Lang and Colby Bishop made it a difficult afternoon in Hampshire for the near 2,000 travelling supporters.

Charlie Savage at least came off the bench to net a late consolation, the second time he has netted against Pompey after scoring in the reverse fixture.

Packed to the rafters and creating as intimidating an atmosphere and you will find at this level; one would have forgiven the players for taking some time to adapt as the away team on the field. However, it must be said that the first 30 minutes of action was as impressive as the Royals have looked at any point this season but had nothing to show for it when walking down the tunnel for their half-time oranges.

It took 12 minutes for the first effort on target, Femi Azeez cutting in from the right and pulling the trigger when in a more central position, forcing Will Norris to scurry across his goalline and divert the effort away. Moments later Lewis Wing, fresh from his midweek stunner at Fleetwood, tired his luck but was unable to worry Norris too much. It took 20 minutes for the hosts to register their first shot- which was parried away by Button.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan played a key role in his side's biggest chance on the half-hour mark, crossing for Paul Mukariu. Unfortunately, the Copenhagen loanee could only direct the ball over the crossbar and away from danger from close range. The youngster was enduring a busy afternoon in Fratton, forcing Norris into a save in one piece of play before being left in a crumpled heap after an assault on the halfway line. Red card worthy? Possibly. Yellow card worthy? Probably. Foul awarded? Not even a sniff from the official Mr Josh Smith.

Massively against the run of play, Pompey took the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining of the half. Abu Kamara was allowed to drift infield from out wide before finding Lane, whose effort was too powerful for Button to repel, and it rippled past his near post before wheeling away to rile up the 2,000-strong away end behind the goal. Despite coming against the run of play, it could have been worse for the Royals in stoppage time when Mukariu’s pass infield was intercepted and Lane let fly from distance, bouncing off the advertising hoardings centimetres from Button’s post.

Unfortunately, it took just three minutes after the restart for the hosts to really assert their dominance, doubling the lead through captain Pack and his fierce effort across Button. The stuffing was well and truly knocked out of the Royals just five minutes later when Lang got in on the scoring after a mix-up from a Reading quick free kick.

Even the introduction of Sam Smith was unable to inject any composure in the forward line, snatching at chances and forced to live off scraps in the final third. The striker had two efforts on target from outside the box, obviously desperate to break his duck in front of goal which now stretches nine. Wing came the closest in the second half when his free kick bounced off the crossbar and onto the line, but the luck wasn’t in, and it bounced away from the net. Button’s miserable afternoon was completed with 10 minutes to go, dropping a floated cross and Bishop was on hand to tap into an open net.

Those that remained to the bitter end were at least treated to a goal as Savage was on hand to tuck home a rebound when a corner was only half-cleared.

Facing a crucial week, Reading host relegation rivals Port Vale on Tuesday before Shrewsbury Town visit on Saturday.