Reading 1-3 Swansea
- Strong Swansea side defeat Royals
- Nick Blackman scores superb long range effort
- Wayne Routledge brace and Bafetimbi Gomis effort seal City win
A strong Swansea City side picked up a 3-1 win at Madejski Stadium in the Royals' final pre-season clash before the start of the Sky Bet Championship.
The Premier League outfit flew into a two goal lead thanks to a brace from Wayne Routledge, before a fizzing long range drive from Nick Blackman halved the deficit before the interval.
Reading competed well in the second period, with youngsters providing fresh impetus from the bench, but ultimately a defensive mix-up allowed Bafetimbi Gomis to scamper through and coolly chip home to seal the victory.
Royals starting XI: McCarthy (Federici HT); Gunter (C), Obita (Griffin 86), Pearce, Morrison; Hector (Kuhl 71), Akpan (Tshibola 79), Edwards (Tanner 69), Blackman, Taylor (Cummings 76); Pogrebnyak (Stacey 85)
Subs not used: Andersen, Long, Griffin, Cummings, Sweeney, Cooper, Kuhl, Tshibola, Stacey
Swansea: Fabianski, Tiendalli, Williams (c), Bartley, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Gomis, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony
Subs not used: Tremmel, Rangel, Kingsley, King, Sheehan, Dyer, Montero.
Referee: Mr A Davies
Attendance: 5.421 (1,077)
The Royals started brightly as Nick Blackman glided into the area – but some alert defending prevented the former Sheffield United man getting a shot away.
After a tepid few opening exchanges, drama ensued in the fifteen minute – as the visitors were presented with a spot kick in bizarre circumstances.
The ball was swung into the area by Dwight Tiendali, and was bundled into the net at the far post for Swansea – only for the referee to seemingly rule the goal out for an infringement.
However the ironic cheers from the home support were cut short as it became clear that official Mr Davies was bringing play back to point to the spot – much to the bemusement of both sides.
The decision was ultimately made irrelevant, as WIlfried Bony rattled the penalty against the crossbar.
Bafetimbi Gomis then tested Alex McCarthy after exhibiting quick feet and firing low towards goal, but the Royals’ stopper kicked away from danger.
The pressure would tell shortly afterwards. Wayne Routledge broke the offside trap and coolly slotted home after rounding McCarthy to give his side the lead.
As the rain hammered down at Madejski Stadium things only got worse for the home side – an incisive counter attack left Nigel Adkins’ men outnumbred, and Routledge loitered at the far host to tap home his second and double the Swans’ lead.
Shelvey’s cross was then flicked towards goal by Bony, but McCarthy was alert to tip the ball around the post.
Lucasz Fabianski was called into action with ten minutes remaining in the first half, as Michael Hector fizzed a shot at goal from 30 yards – which the former Arsenal man did well to palm away.
Reading were starting to recover from their initial shell shock – and halved the deficit shortly before the break. Blackman gathered the ball 30 yards from goal, bounded forward and slammed home a superb strike from distance.
The forward had tried a similar effort against Wycombe Wanderers Adams Park a week earlier, which rebounded off the crossbar, and will have been delighted to see this one bulge into the back of the net.
Adam Federici replaced Alex McCarthy in goal at the break, and the Australian could afford to stand and watch as his former teammate Gylfi Sigurdsson fired a half volley way over the bar five minutes in after a misplaced pass from the Reading defence.
Gomis then found space on the right of the box and beat Federici with a low drive, only to see his shot come back off the post. Again Reading reacted well, with Taylor and Obita making some inroads down the left, but it was the Swans who struck next - restoring their two goal lead with twenty five minutes remaining.
A mix up between Michael Hector and Sean Morrison saw the striker scamper in on goal, before calmly chipping Federici.
There were cameo appearances for youngsters Aaron Kuhl and Craig Tanner, both of whom looked accomplished on the ball as the Royals played some neat football in the closing stages.
3-1 it finished - as Reading look forward to the real thing, kicking off the league campaign away to Wigan Athletic next weekend.