AS THE tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit Britain, Reading were blown away by a whirlwind of second-half goals as Cherries turned on the style at Dean Court last night.

Callum Wilson opened the floodgates with his ninth goal of the season before Brett Pitman’s double killed off the Royals – with all three strikes coming in 14 minutes.

A second-half masterclass from Eddie Howe’s men saw them complete a hat-trick of wins in the Championship and ensured they would heap further misery on Reading.

With Cherries having done the double over the Berkshire outfit last season, this defeat extended to six matches their winless league run.

Manager Howe named an unchanged starting line-up as Cherries looked to follow up Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Charlton and their victory at Bolton.

A cat-and-mouse first half took time to get going and chances were at a premium until both teams hit the woodwork as the interval approached.

Although Reading enjoyed the better of the early skirmishes, their patient build-up play failed to yield any noteworthy goalscoring opportunities as Cherries defended resolutely.

Cherries fashioned their first threatening attack after 17 minutes but, after brushing off his marker down the right flank, Wilson’s over-hit cross was out of Marc Pugh’s reach.

Brett Pitman was presented with a sniff of goal midway through the first half after Steve Cook’s long clearance had sailed over the Royals defence.

But with the ball bouncing awkwardly in the swirling wind, Pitman was unable to gain full control, allowing Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici to clear his lines.

Harry Arter went down clutching his face following a clash near the touchline with Michael Hector, but referee Mark Haywood saw nothing untoward in the challenge.

Some neat skill from Pitman saw him get the better of Hector but former Cherries loan defender Alex Pearce was on hand to cover as the striker prepared to take aim.

The first meaningful chance of the game fell to Hal Robson-Kanu after Chris Gunter had driven a low cross into the danger zone eight minutes before half-time.

But after arriving in the 18-yard box, Robson-Kanu, who appeared to be slightly off balance when he met the cross, looked on as his effort rattled Artur Boruc’s left-hand post.

Pitman was then denied by a last-ditch block from Oliver Norwood, the midfielder throwing himself in front of the striker’s shot after Arter had stepped-over a Charlie Daniels corner.

And on the stroke of half-time, Matt Ritchie went close to breaking the deadlock when his thunderous drive from near the Main Stand touchline clipped the outside of the box with Federici well beaten.

Boruc saved low down at his near post after Simon Cox had taken aim at the start of the second half before Cherries finally made the breakthrough.

A jinking run down the left flank by Pugh ended with the winger sending over a hanging cross which eluded Federici, allowing Wilson to head home his ninth goal of the season.

Cherries had a let off after Andrew Surman had lost possession on the edge of the box. But after the ball had been worked to Blackman, his drive was blocked by Tommy Elphick.

Pitman doubled Cherries’ lead in the 55th minute, the Jerseyman finishing with a delightful right-foot shot after he had fastened on to Wilson precision pass.

Federici dived full length to turn Daniels’ shot around the post, although Cherries added to their lead from the resultant corner.

Another sublime finish from Pitman saw him time his run to perfection and cushion the ball past Federici from close range after Ritchie’s corner had picked him out.

Boruc pushed Gunter’s speculative effort over the top before tempers flared following a frantic scramble inside the Cherries six-yard box.

Only a top-drawer save from Federici prevented Cherries from scoring a fourth, the Royals goalkeeper scurrying across his line to push away Pugh’s effort after Simon Francis had crossed.

And another fine block from the Australian stopper denied Pitman what would have been a deserved hat-trick after the striker had met Wilson’s centre. Federici also kept out an effort from substitute Tokelo Rantie in the closing stages.

Cherries: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Ritchie (Fraser, 78), Arter, Surman, Pugh (Gosling, 89), Pitman, Wilson (Rantie, 84).

Unused subs: Harte, Stanislas, Smith, Camp (g/k).

Royals: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Hector, Obita, Mackie, Norwood, Akpan, Blackman, Cox (Taylor, 71), Robson-Kanu (Pogrebnyak, 84).

Unused subs: Kelly, Kuhl, Cooper, Stacey, Andersen (g/k).

Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 8,899 (including 1,073 away supporters).