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Pav and ALF beat Eagles

11 August 2012

Strike duo see off Palace

Reading 2 (Pogrebnyak 52, Le Fondre 54)
Palace 0

Goals in quick succession from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Adam Le Fondre earned Reading a comfortable 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in their final friendly before the Barclays Premier League. The Royals played well and were well on top, particularly in the second half, to further lift confidence ahead of the real business against Stoke. 

It was a good day for our debutants, with Pogrebnyak scoring, Danny Guthrie named man of the match, Garath McCleary influential and Chris Gunter returning from injury to get 90 minutes at right back. 

Indeed Pogrebnyak's goal came from an excellent pass by McCleary, and our second goal was very easy on the eye, Pogrebnyak finding Hal Robson-Kanu, whose superb cross was on a plate for Le Fondre. 

With both strikers on the scoresheet, no goals conceded and more minutes under the belt, every boxed was ticked in terms of what to take from a pre-season game.

Both goals are available to watch on Reading FC Player now.

Reading: Federici; Gunter, Harte, Gorkss (c) (Mariappa 76), Pearce; Guthrie, Leigertwood (Tabb 80), McCleary, Robson-Kanu (Obita 84); Le Fondre (Church 71), Pogrebnyak (Hunt 71)
Sub: McCarthy

Team news:
Jobi McAnuff, Jimmy Kebe and Jason Roberts sat out with injuries, while illness ruled out Shaun Cummings. Jem Karacan, Nicky Shorey, Sean Morrison and Brynjar Gunnarsson all played for our Reading FC XI in a friendly at Eastleigh to get further minutes under their belts.

Full report:
It was actually Palace who had the first chance of note, Aaron Martin heading over from a good position six yards out. Le Fondre then put half a chance over the bar for the Royals, before both he and Pavel Pogrebnyak were just unable to connect with Garath McCleary's excellent cross.

Pogrebnyak then spurned a good chance, having been found inside the box by the influential Guthrie. Former Newcastle man Guthrie then saw a goalbound shot blocked right before half time.

After the interval Reading's positivity was turned into goals, and it was nice to see Pogrebnyak get his first in the blue and white hoops. Mikele Leigertwood did well to release McCleary down the right, and the ex-Forest man cleverly found his Russian teammate, who scored with the aid of a deflection.
Reading's confidence was lifted, and Brian McDermott's scored a lovely second, Pogrebnyak finding Hal Robson-Kanu, whose brilliant low cross was on a plate for Le Fondre.

It was one-way traffic, and both of our strikers saw decent headers saved well by Julian Speroni, and McCleary put a side-footer just wide. Neat play between sub strikers Noel Hunt and Simon Church saw the Welshman get a header in on goal, but again Speroni was in the right place. 

Palace sub Jermaine Easter should have given Palace an 89th minute consolation, but pulled wide of the post. It was of no concern, and Reading were happy with their afternoon - goals for both strikers, a clean sheet and good displays from our newboys. Overall the perfect preparation.

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