Championship leaders Wolves thrash Reading

Matt Doherty heads in the opening goal for Wolves

Championship leaders Wolves bounced back from Saturday’s heavy defeat at Aston Villa with victory over struggling Reading at Molineux.

The hosts were frustrated for much of the first half, until full-back Matt Doherty capitalised on hesitant defending to nod Wolves in front.

Cool second-half finishes from Benik Afobe and Doherty sealed three points.

The win was soured slightly by Wanderers’ top scorer Diogo Jota limping off before the break.

But Villa’s home defeat by QPR on Tuesday means Wolves now have a 10-point buffer to their third-placed rivals with nine matches remaining.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had won just one of their past five league games heading into the re-arranged fixture against the Royals, postponed because of snow 10 days ago.

Wolves’ 4-1 loss at Villa Park at the weekend saw the Portuguese make four changes to his side, including a first start for Afobe since returning on loan from Bournemouth in January.

And the DR Congo striker rewarded his manager’s faith, slotting in Helder Costa’s cross, in between Doherty’s double.

The right-back’s two strikes were clinical – the first a powerful header from Barry Douglas’ knock back, before stroking the ball in from outside the area.

Wolves still have home games to come against four sides in the bottom half – Burton, Hull, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday – as they seek a return to the Premier League for the first time since being relegated in 2012.

Reading, who failed to register a shot on target, remain in relegation trouble in 19th.

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