IRELAND international Stuart Loughrey celebrated St Patrick's Day with a hat-trick as Reading beat Beeston 6-4 after a remarkable performance at Sonning Lane on Sunday, writes Dave Wright.

The Blues trailed 3-0 after 22 minutes of this Premier Division game and, after pulling back two goals by half-time, they found themselves 4-2 down with just under 20 minutes remaining.

But a goal from Scotland's Lee Morton and two from England youngster Peter Scott turned the game around with Loughrey completing the scoring shortly before the end.

"That's my first ever hat-trick," he beamed.

Despite the win, their first in five games, Reading's hopes of squeezing into the play-offs remain very slim, as they will need to take maximum points from their two remaining games while hoping several other results go in their favour.

But this victory over third-in-the-table Beeston will give the side a major boost as they prepare to visit second-bottom University of Exeter this Saturday before hosting play-off hopefuls Holcombe on March 31.

Blues made a dreadful start with Chris Proctor causing their defence all sorts of problems with his pace and power. He scored a hat-trick with goals in the seventh, 19th and 22nd minutes, the first of them being set up by former Reading player Nick Park.

Reading looked stunned, but to their credit, they started to link some attacking moves together and forced three penalty corners, the last of which was turned home by Loughrey. That came on the half-hour mark and four minutes later he was on hand to score again from open play.

With just a one-goal deficit, the hosts had their tails up going into the second half, but six minutes in Beeston forced their first penalty corner which Elliot Hibell converted and it remained 4-2 until the 51st minute when Reading launched their amazing recovery.

A sweeping move was finished off by Morton and four minutes later Scott equalised from a penalty corner.

Scott then put his side ahead for the first time on the hour mark and Loughrey put the issue beyond doubt from another penalty corner five minutes from time.

Assistant coach Danny Newcombe commented: "After a terrible start, what really helped us was getting those two goals just before half-time.

"We went in for the break feeling more positive and we told the players to keep on delivering on what we had asked them to do. They did that 100 per cent in the second half. It was a great response from the players."