READING FC boss Brian McDermott described Ola John as a 'little magician' following his stunning match-winner against 10-man Bolton Wanderers.

Royals struggled to capitalise on the 22nd minute dismissal of Trotters defender Rob Harding and were heading for a frustrating stalemate at the Macron Stadium on Saturday.

Harding was shown a straight red card for fouling Matej Vydra who then saw his penalty attempt saved by Ben Amos.

But John came off the bench in the second half and secured all three points for McDermott's men with a 30-yard thunderbolt in the 90th minute.

It was Reading's first victory in five Championship matches and sent them up to 13th in the table, while Bolton remain bottom and look certain to be relegated.

And a relieved McDermott hailed the impact of on-loan Benfica winger John.

“It was a moment of brilliance,” beamed the Reading boss. “Ola came on and changed the direction of the game, so it’s fabulous for him.

“He is a little magician sometimes. He can score goals out of nothing and he’s done that for us. I was delighted for Ola and all the players.”

Reading looked rusty in their first outing since the fortnight's international break.

But 10-man Bolton also deserved credit for a backs-to-the-wall display under caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips following Neil Lennon's departure last week.

McDermott added: “It was the right result, there’s no doubt about that.

“You’ve got to give credit to Bolton, they really dug in for their manager, new owner and their fans.

“Having said that, we came up with a moment of brilliance right at the end and that game should have been done and dusted at half-time.

“Our players did their absolute best, they tried to play football and pass the ball around. We created numerous chances and got there at the end.”

“That’s what we want to see and we want that moving forward. I said to the guys, ‘you have to keep going and keep believing’.

“I believed all the way. It got to 90 minutes and I still believed we could win it.

“Bolton frustrated us – they got behind the ball and did their jobs well with 10 men, but it’s a great clean sheet and a great result for our games.

“It was actually easier playing against 11 men than it was against 10. If you get a goal early on it’s a different matter, so we’re grateful for the three points.”

Reading return to Madejski Stadium tomorrow night when they host Nottingham Forest (8pm ko).