Football: Net profit for Morley and Quinn

Reading 3 Morley 56, 62, 70 Bolton 2 Thompson 61, McGinlay 64 Attendance: 10,739
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The Independent Online
Bolton Wanderers' charge towards the Premiership was checked in extraordinary circumstances yesterday when a heroic performance by Reading ended the First Division leaders' run of seven successive League wins. All five goals came in the space of only 14 second-half minutes, including a hat-trick for Trevor Morley, and there was the added drama of Reading playing almost half the match with their joint player-manager Jimmy Quinn, normally a striker, standing in as goalkeeper in place of the injured Bobby Mihailov.

Wonderful entertainment it may have been for non- Boltonians, but for Colin Todd's team a second 3-2 defeat running following their FA Cup exit at home to Chesterfield marked the end of a week they will want to forget. That could be difficult in the case of a match they should have had wrapped up by half-time before events took on a life of their own.

Bolton still lead the table by nine points and are surely certainties for an immediate return to the top level after being relegated last season. Although Nathan Blake was missing through suspension, they were too good for a Reading team who are not far above the danger zone - at any rate until half-time.

It was Mihailov who kept Reading in the game with two first-half saves against the odds, from Alan Thompson and John McGinlay. Thompson had another good chance to put his team ahead but sent his shot a foot wide of Mihailov's right-hand post. Reading were chasing the game, and when, 50 seconds into the second half, Mihailov went off after getting a crack on his left knee and Quinn had to leave the bench to don the keeper's shirt, it looked even grimmer for them.

That, however, was when the action really started and Morley, 36 next month, came into his own. His first, after 56 minutes, followed a lovely turn on the edge of the area. Six minutes later, Thompson beat Quinn with a drive from 25 yards. Within a minute Reading were back in front when Gerry Taggart fouled Michael Meaker and Morley scored from the spot, but two minutes after that McGinlay picked up Thompson's through-ball and gave Quinn no chance with a carefully placed shot.

Three goals in three minutes, four in eight, were followed by a relatively barren spell - all of six minutes - which ended when Morley took advantage of Bolton's slack marking at the far post after a corner by Paul Bodin. Quinn had some inevitably hairy moments.

"The most alarming thing was the manner in which we let in the goals," Todd said. "If we go on conceding like that it's going to be difficult. Just because you feel you should be two up doesn't give you licence to lose discipline." Quinn's only complaint was that Mihailov's gloves were too big. The size of his team's heart was not in question.