A look back to four winning moments against BoltonBrian McDermott’s side face Bolton at the Macron Stadium in their first fixture back from the international break, and the visitors currently lie rock bottom of the Championship table, 12 points from safety.
Over the years, the two sides have been located in their separate divisions, with only nine meetings between them in the past ten years. The Royals are unbeaten in their last five encounters with the Trotters, and below we take a look back at four most recent victories against this Saturday’s opponents…
Reading 2-1 Bolton, Sky Bet Championship, 21st November 2015
After having been flying high towards the summit of the Championship, being without a win in five games meant that going into this fixture with Bolton, Reading were in need of three points to keep up to pace with those teams in and around them.
In the opening period of the game, Ali Al-Habsi had to make a trio of saves to deny the visitors an early lead in the tie, but with just under half-an-hour on the clock, Lucas Piazon charged down a panicked clearance by the Bolton back line and the on-loan Chelsea star didn’t hesitate in scooping the ball over stopper Ben Amos and into the back of the net. After respite of scoring the first, it wasn’t long before the Royals doubled their lead. Danny Williams the scorer, he picked the ball up midway into the oppositions half and drove straight at the Bolton defence, before driving a venomous strike into the bottom right corner of the goal. Bolton did put up a fight in the second-half, and a consolation goal through a Liam Feeney penalty came their way, but in the end it was just that, as two goals from Piazon and Williams were enough for the three points and a much needed victory for Steve Clarke’s side.
Reading 7-1 Bolton, Sky Bet Championship, 18th January 2014
With Bolton languishing towards the bottom half of the table, the onus was on Reading to get the win in this one as they looked to challenge for a play-off spot, and a first half hat-trick from Adam Le Fondre sealed all three points with barley half-an-hour played.
The striker’s first came after Garath McCleary had battled his way into the box, the ball fell kindly to Le Fondre 12 yards out and he confidently powered home past Andy Lonergan. After scoring in the twelfth minute, 28 was the minute of his second - Pavel Pogrebnyak flicked the ball into the path of the striker and he calmly slotted past the keeper to double the Royals’ lead. His treble was marked five minutes later; McCleary had charged down a mistake by the Bolton defence, and after running through clean on goal, his selfless pass across to Le Fondre gave the forward the easiest of his three goals, and it was met by huge cheers from the Reading following. Pogrebnyak’s spot kick then made it 4-0 just before half-time, and 15 minutes after the restart Kaspars Gorkss got in on the action with his third of the season. Goals from Hope Akpan and Nick Blackman made it 7-0 with ten minutes left to play, and in that time David Ngog scored for the visitors to deny Alex McCarthy a clean sheet. It didn’t trouble the players however come full-time as they were celebrating the biggest win at Madejski Stadium since we’d put six past Peterborough back in April 2010.
Bolton 1-3 Reading, FA Barclays Premiership, 21st April 2007
This was a hugely important fixture against fellow European-hopefuls Bolton, and a win would see the Royals close the gap on their opponents in sixth place to just three points. Finding themselves a goal down with ten minutes to go, a late comeback mustered by goals from Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt gave Steve Coppell’s men a fighting chance to make it into Europe.
After a fairly scrappy first-half, the second instalment was where all the action seemed to take place. Just under 15 minutes into the second 45, Nicky Shorey tried to intervene with Nicolas Anelka’s goalward shot, but the left-back was desperately unlucky and inadvertently turned the Frenchman’s shot into his own net. Bolton looked like they were going to run away with it, but Kevin Doyle stepped up with six minutes to go to power home from the penalty spot to give the Royals their equaliser. Five minutes later, galvanised by the late drama, the Republic of Ireland international scored again to put Reading 2-1 ahead, and in the dying stages of the game his fellow countryman Stephen Hunt headed past Jussi Jaaskelainen to seal all three points, meaning the Royals were now three points behind the Trotters in sixth place, and a point clear of Tottenham in eighth.
Reading 1-0 Bolton, FA Barclays Premiership, 2nd December 2006
15 games into Reading’s first ever Premier League season, Steve Coppell’s side faced Bolton at Madejski Stadium, and the hosts made it four straight top flight victories in a row thanks to Kevin Doyle’s first-half goal.
Seol Ki-Hyeon came close to scoring for Reading in the opening stages when Doyle’s right sided cross found the Korean international free in the box, but he was unable to provide the deft touch needed to put his team ahead. All throughout the first-half, Doyle provided the Bolton defence with constant problems, and in the 33rd minute that persistence paid off when John Oster found the forward arriving at the far post, and he planted his header with ease past stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen to give the Royals a deserved lead, marking his fourth goal in as many matches and his eighth of the season so far. Oster, Kevin Nolan, and Nicky Shorey all had chances for their respective teams to score the games next goal, but when the final whistle blew, three points moved Steve Coppell’s Reading side into sixth place, above Aston Villa and level on points with Liverpool with a game in hand.