READING Wildcats put in a much-improved display, but still slipped to a 7-5 defeat to Bristol Bombers.

Ben Buchanan’s dodge off the wing gave Wildcats an early lead, but with chance after chance going begging, Bristol hit back and led 5-1 by the end of the third quarter.

Reading fought back as new signing Jonny Blaker caught a pass on the crease from Rob Day to finish tidily, but two quick goals effectively killed the game before Buchanan completed his hat-trick and Paul Chapman grabbed a consolation late on.

The 2nds scored four times in the last three minutes – Phil Garthside’s equaliser with six seconds remaining – to snatch a 12-12 draw against Brighton.

Ash Smith scored six times for Wildcats.