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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 December, 2003, 17:47 GMT
Stoke 3-0 Reading
Peter Hoekstra produced a quality individual performance as his hat-trick guided Stoke to a crucial victory over Reading at the Britannia Stadium.

Hoekstra - without a goal all season prior to kick-off - found the net twice in the space of eight first-half minutes before securing three thoroughly-deserved points with a late penalty.

City had pulled themselves out of the relegation zone with an unlikely win at West Ham on Tuesday and their survival hopes were given another massive lift courtesy of a hugely-disappointing display from Reading.

John Eustace's booking after only three minutes for a foul on Nicky Forster was the only moment of concern for City, who twice came close to taking an early lead.

Darel Russell's 25-yard strike was well saved by Marcus Hahnemann and Gifton Noel-Williams was also unfortunate to see a goalbound effort blocked by a crowd of players.

Reading attempted to steady themselves but were restricted to a couple of long-range shots from Forster, and another quick break from Stoke deservedly broke the deadlock with 18 minutes gone.

Noel-Williams fed Hoekstra inside the box and the Dutch midfielder rounded Hahnemann before driving the ball into the net.

Hahnemann then prevented his side from falling further behind, diving to keep out a fantastic effort from Lewis Neal, but the American keeper was beaten again by a stunning strike on 26 minutes.

Hoekstra's run down the wing was not tracked by the Reading defence and the Dutchman produced a fantastic finish from outside the box which gave Hahnemann no chance.

Reading's hopes of a fightback were almost lifted within moments of the restart when John Salako's shot was beaten away by Ed de Goey.

But Stoke always looked dangerous and Ade Akinbiyi should have added a third for Tony Pulis' team with 17 minutes to go but hit his shot against the legs of Hahnemann, but Hoekstra did find the net again to seal his hat-trick.

The midfielder was brought down by Nicky Shorey inside the box three minutes from time and completed an excellent display by chipping the penalty over Hahnemann.


Stoke: de Goey, Halls, Clarke, Thomas, Taggart, Hoekstra, Russell, Neal, Eustace, Noel-Williams, Akinbiyi. Subs: Cutler, Asaba, Marcus Hall, Commons, Johnson.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Mackie, Watson, Harper, Sidwell, Murray, Salako, Forster. Subs: Brown, Savage, Tyson, Newman, Young.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

The Coca-Cola Football League Championship Table
30 January 2010 19:21
    P GD PTS
1 Newcastle 27 27 56
2 Nottm Forest 28 23 52

3 West Brom 27 26 50
4 Cardiff 27 22 45
5 Swansea 27 3 42
6 Sheff Utd 27 4 41

7 Blackpool 27 10 40
8 Leicester 26 2 39
9 Middlesbrough 28 7 37
10 Bristol City 27 -4 36
11 Preston 26 -2 35
12 QPR 27 -4 34
13 Doncaster 26 -1 33
14 Coventry 28 -8 33
15 Barnsley 26 -8 33
16 Scunthorpe 27 -13 33
17 Watford 26 -6 32
18 Derby 28 -11 32
19 Sheff Wed 28 -12 31
20 Crystal Palace 27 2 30
21 Ipswich 27 -8 29

22 Reading 27 -16 26
23 Plymouth 26 -14 24
24 Peterborough 28 -19 18




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Stoke City boss Tony Pulis



BBC Radio Stoke match report





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