A well-taken penalty from Danny Loader gave Reading a 1-0 victory against Extremadura on Tuesday night in a pre-season friendly in Marbella.
After a goalless first half, Loader struck from the spot to hand Reading victory on the night, while plenty of players got 90 vital match minutes in their legs as pre-season preparations continue.
Following on from the morning's goalless draw against Malaga B, a more experienced Reading line-up took on Spanish second division side, Extremadura at Marbella Football Center on Tuesday night.
Several players who had been involved for the Royals in the morning against Malaga B were also involved from the bench, taking 15-minute spells in the evening sunshine in Marbella.
On the pitch, Reading started brightly. Danny Loader had an early effort which he couldn’t keep down, with the Royals exerting the early pressure.
Much like the first match in the morning, chances were at a premium for most of the first period – with both teams cancelling each other out for the most part in the opening 45.
Having played all 90 minutes in the morning, several players were involved from the opening match – rotating every 15 minutes as they gained bonus minutes on the pitch.
Extremadura carried a forward threat themselves, and spurned a golden chance when they fired narrowly wide of the post on the half-hour mark.
Reading put pressure on towards the end of the half, though. Josh Barrett’s long-range shot tested the goalkeeper, before Teddy Howe’s cross to Yakou Méïté was nodded wide by the Reading attacker.
It was a first half that Reading edged, but the teams went in goalless at the break.
Half time | Reading 0-0 Extremadura UD
In another similarity to the morning game, Extremadura changed their entire team at the break – leaving the Royals facing much fresher legs in the second half.
Sam Walker was called into action early in the second period, when a low driven shot was well parried by the Royals’ goalkeeper to his left.
On the hour mark, however, Reading had a penalty. Danny Loader jinked his way into the box, flicking his way past the defender and drawing a cynical foul – with the referee pointing straight to the spot.
Loader picked himself up to take the spot kick, making no mistake and sending the goalkeeper the wrong way as he tucked into the bottom corner.
The Royals almost had a second moments later when Barrett danced his way through the defence, before lashing a shot off the upright as the youngster was denied by the woodwork.
Fresh from international duty with Ghana, Andy Yiadom was introduced for the final part of the match as the Royals looked to hold on to their clean sheet.
That feat was achieved partly due to very smart work from Walker in the Reading goal, as he got down once again to save a goalbound drive.
A floated free-kick into the box from Barrett was met by skipper, Liam Moore in the box – only to be cleared off the line at the last by the Extremadura defence.
In the end, it was a valuable exercise for Reading – with every player gaining crucial match time ahead of the new season.
Full time | Reading 1-0 Extremadura UD
Reading: Walker, Howe, Moore (c), McIntyre, Blackett, Rinomhota, Barrett, Olise, Swift (Holsgrove 15, Odimayo 30, Osho HT, Yiadom 65), Méïté, Loader (Frost 83).
Goal: Loader 60 (P)