Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Reading 1

Last updated : 10 May 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Lee Naylor put Wolves on course for a place in the play-off final as his second goal of the season earned a vital 2-1 first leg semi-final success over Reading at Molineux.

The Royals had looked set to take a 1-0 advantage into Wednesday's second leg at the Madejski Stadium when Nicky Forster gave them a 25th minute lead with his 17th goal of the season.

But Wolves turned the game on its head with two goals in the last 15 minutes and to add to Reading's misery, substitute Nathan Tyson was sent off for an injury-time lunge on Wolves' central defender Paul Butler.

Before Forster silenced the partisan crowd, Wolves had made all of the early running starting after just four minutes when Denis Irwin lifted his free-kick over the bar.

Colin Cameron had a snap shot saved by Hahnemann, while skipper Paul Ince and leading scorer Kenny Miller both flashed efforts wide.

Reading proved to be more clinical when they created their one real opening of the first period.

Left-back Nick Shorey made great strides down the flank and pulled back a teasing cross that caused chaos in the Wolves defence.

Butler and goalkeeper Matt Murray missed the ball and Forster had time to control the ball at the far post before lashing his shot into the roof off the net from eight yards.

Luke Chadwick almost doubled the lead shortly after the break and the narrow escape finally sparked Wolves into life but they could not find a way past the impressive Hahnemann.

After Miller had dragged a shot wide in the 52nd minute, Hahnemann frustrated Wolves with two stunning saves.

First turning a 25-yard drive from George Ndah around the post and he then somehow got a hand on a powerful low shot from Miller nine minutes later.

But the pressure was slowly starting to build and Hahnemann was finally beaten 15 minutes.

The ball broke to Shaun Newton after Wolves appeals for a penalty following a challenge by Steve Brown on Paul Ince were turned down.

Newton latched on to the loose ball and drilled an angled drive that was deflected past Hahnemann from by Graeme Murty.

Wolves sensed the chance to take an advantage into the second leg and did so when Ince was fouled on the edge of the area by Darius Henderson, and Naylor stepped forward to fire an unstoppable 20-yard shot past Hahnemann.