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Honours even in entertaining Thailand encounter

8 July 2015

Report: Thailand All Stars 2-2 Reading

Thailand All-Stars 2(Parmepak 45, Inpinit 56)
Reading 2 (Blackman 35, Pogrebnyak 78)
  • Blackman converts from Fosu cross for 1-0
  • All Stars level with last kick of first half
  • Pinyo Inpinit gives hosts the lead (2-1)
  • Pogrebnyak equalises with 12 minutes left
  • Steve Clarke uses 23 players in total
Reading began their pre-season campaign with a hard-fought but very entertaining draw in humid conditions against an impressive Thai All-Stars side in Bangkok this evening.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd, creating a carnival atmosphere at the Suphachalasai Stadium, Steve Clarke's men took the lead through Nick Blackman's first half finish from Tariqe Fosu's cross from the left.

With the last kick of the half, the hosts levelled with a free kick that beat Ali Al-Habsi in the Royals goal, and Thailand took the lead early in the second half when Pinyo Inpinit lashed high past Jonathan Bond from 12 yards out.

But Pavel Pogrebnyak, the 11th of 12 substitutes made by the Royals, swept Dominic Samuel's cross home at the far post to make it 2-2 with a quarter of an hour remaining and honours ended even.

Anton Ferdinand played an hour, while new signing Jonathan Bond got 45 minutes and Paul McShane & Stephen Quinn each enjoyed late cameos. Orlando Sa should be fit to feature in a Reading shirt very soon.

Reading:Al-Habsi (Bond HT), Gunter (c) (Owusu 66), Obita (Griffin 59), Ferdinand (Long 59), Keown (McShane 74), Tshibola (Quinn 74), Norwood (Kuhl 59 (Novakovich 86)), Williams (Akpan HT), Taylor (Kelly 66), Fosu (Samuel 66), Blackman (Pogrebnyak 74).
Sub: Robson-Kanu

Thailand All Stars: Yos, Singmui, Buangam, Yooyen, Klinkosum, Parmepak, Srikampang, Tongtae, Pombupha, Srinawong, Kanlayanbandit.
Subs: Saipanya, Puangjan, Srisai, A-Nan, Inpinit, Kanyarot, Juntaraksa, Sensomiad, Chanabut, Buathong, Sukchuai, Wongma.
Yellow: Buangam

Referee: Suprem Nonthawong

First Half

In hot, humid conditions, the game began with both sides keen to retain possession, but the first shot on goal came from a Reading boot. Nick Blackman burst forward from midfield, saw a left-footed drive charged down and then he pounced on the rebound only to curl a right-footed effort into the palms of Somporn Yos in the All Stars goal.

Fosu was causing the hosts' defence some early concern and he fizzed a low effort inches wide of the bottom right corner soon after, while the Thai All Stars side almost profited from a set piece when Sarawut Kanlayanbandit headed over from a corner, before being penalised for a push in the build up.

Midway through the half, skipper Chris Gunter did well to find Danny Williams with a pull back to the edge of the area, but Williams could only steer the ball towards goal and watched it loop wide of the target.

Reading made the breakthrough with ten minutes of the first half remaining though. Fosu, a constant menace down the left, showed a quick pair of heels to his marker and crossed dangerously into the middle. Nick Blackman did well to get in front of Buangam and coolly convert past Yos from eight yards out.

Moments later, Williams forced the All Stars keeper into a smart save low to his right, collecting the ball from Fosu and taking aim with a right-footed effort that Yos gathered in at the second attempt.

But Kiatisuk Senamuang's men struck back with the last kick of the first half. Lining up a free kick was skipper Sarach Yooyen but Pakorn Parmepak stepped up and arced it past the Reading wall and the dive of Ali Al Habsi to make it 1-1 at the interval.

Second half

The first chance after the break fell to Jordan Obita. Olly Norwood's far post free kick was headed back into the middle where Obita scuffed a right-footed effort at goal only to see the Thai stopper scramble to his right to save.

At the other end, debutant Jonathan Bond made a good double save to deny the hosts, first pushing a shot wide of his right post, then saving the follow-up from a tight angle with his fingertips.

With just over ten minutes of the second half played, the All Stars took the lead. A good low pull back from the left wasn't cleared and substitute Pinyo Inpinit reacted fastest to sweep the ball high into the net from 10 yards out.

The Thailand side were full of energy and created another chance which ended with a skewed effort from Chayawat Srinawong that was calmly scooped up by Bond.

With 66 minutes played, the All Stars nearly had a third. Wongma shot low, beat Bond but watched his effort cannon off the base of the left post. The follow-up was toed goalwards by Chanabut but substitute Sean Long headed off the line to thwart the home side once more.

But Pavel Pogrebnyak struck with a good far post finish to volley home a fine Samuel cross from the right and level matters once more, opening his account only minutes after coming on as the 11th Reading substitute of the evening.

Both teams had fleeting chances to steal the win, but honours ended even at the Suphachalasai Stadium. A very good work out for Steve Clarke's men in their opening pre-season game of the summer.

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