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Royals romp to 5-1 win

19 July 2013

Victorious end to Portugal tour

Reading 5 (Le Fondre 30, Gorkss 43, Drenthe 55, McCleary 71, Obita 79)
Olhanense 1 (Goncalves 11)

Reading put in an excellent performance to see off top flight team Olhanense 5-1 in the second and final game of their Portugal pre-season training camp.

Nigel Adkins' side were well on top, responding very well to going 1-0 down early on as a tactical switch paid dividends. Le Fondre and Gorkss turned the scoreline around before half time with goals past ex-Portugal keeper Ricardo, and Drenthe got his first in a Reading shirt just before the hour.

McCleary and Obita stretched the lead even further, and in the last 30 minutes in particular, Reading were hugely superior and almost scored more as their passing and pressing wore the home side into submission.

There were plenty of good performances from the Royals; Drenthe and Karacan helped us back into the game early on, then the likes of Blackman, Obita and McCleary were influential late on. But every player contributed, and most of all they will be pleased to get match minutes under their belt ahead of the big kick off against Ipswich only two weeks away.

Make no mistake, Olhanense are a decent side and we drew 1-1 with them on pre-season last year. But we performed very well and it was a pleasing end to a very productive seven-day trip.

Team: Federici (S Taylor HT); Kelly, Bridge, Gorkss (Mariappa HT), Pearce; Akpan, Karacan, Drenthe, McAnuff (c); J Taylor (Pogrebnyak HT); Le Fondre

Team on 60 minutes: S Taylor; Gunter, Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison; Guthrie (c), Williams, McCleary, Obita; Blackman; Pogrebnyak

First half report:
The home side started well, and scored with the first real chance of the game when Diego Concalves prodded home a rebound after Adam Federici made a good save.  Federici then made two more stops in quick succession, while Stephen Kelly also defended excellently to stop an Olhanense break. 

Reading then began to control the game, and Adam Le Fondre had a goal harshly disallowed for offside. Royston Drenthe was becoming influential in the game, and almost set up Jake Taylor but it was just wide. 

And Le Fondre was not to be denied for long, capitalising on a lovely team move. Drenthe drove forward well, Karacan found Taylor with an excellent pass, his turn and strike was good and Le Fondre turned home the rebound after Ricardo parried.

Karacan was also pulling the strings, while our range of passing was increasing; Wayne Bridge finding Drenthe with a great ping, only for the Dutchman to shoot over.

Before half time the turnaround was complete, Drenthe's corner headed across goal by Pearce; Gorkss nodding in at the back post. The home side saw their own goal wrongly disallowed for offside and Reading went in at the break one goal ahead.

Second half:
The Royals continued to turn the screw, and Drenthe deserved his first Reading goal, having earlier been denied by a great save. The winger shot home at the near post after Jobi McAnuff did well to start the move.

We were passing the ball very well by this point, and the introduction of the likes of Jordan Obita and Nick Blackman only served to increase our threat. And the duo combined to help set up Garath McCleary for a fourth goal as the Royals stretched the gap further.

The last half an hour or so saw the Royals completely superior, having passed the home side into submission. And Obita deserved his goal with a back post finish from a dangerous McCleary cross.

Nigel Adkins will have been very pleased with his team's efforts, and it was a very positive workout for the Royals.

Look out for highlights on Reading FC Player from Saturday.

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