Reading kept the heat on Championship leaders Wigan Athletic with a 4-0 thumping of Crewe.
Wigan eased to their second 4-1 win in a row by beating Coventry just a few days after doing the same to Alex.
Dario Gradi's side was thrashed again by a Royals outfit that have not lost in eight league games and are unbeaten at home since April.
Crewe were a match for Steve Coppell's men in the early stages.
But two quick goals from the hosts midway through the first half rocked their confidence and from then on the Royals ran riot.
Crewe's defence went to sleep as Steven Sidwell planted a low 20-yard shot into the corner of the net to put the hosts in front in the 21st minute.
Dave Kitson's persistence paid off four minutes later when he beat Ben Williams with a ricochet off his knee to make it 2-0.
Steve Coppell's side kept up the pressure and Lloyd Owusu headed a third just before the break.
A tongue-lashing from Gradi failed to inspire his troops who were sunk by a fourth just two minutes after the break.
Glen Little swung in a fizzing free-kick and Ivar Ingimarsson planted a firm header in to the corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Reading took their foot off the gas after that and Alex went close a couple of times with Steve Jones testing Marcus Hahnemann.
But the closest Crewe came to scoring was when Jon Otsemobor's cross flew off Ingimarsson's boot and against his own post.
And it doesn't get any easier for Alex who have already shipped 21 Championship goals away from home this season and face Manchester United in the Carling Cup this week.