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Royals hold top tier Cherries in final friendly

29 July 2016

Swift scores in 1-1 draw with Bournemouth

Jaap Stam took to the Madejski Stadium dugout for the first time and earned a draw against Premier League opponents in Eddie Howe's Bournemouth this evening.

Cherries' new signing Lewis Cook opened the scoring when he ghosted in behind the Royals back line onto a ball through the middle and calmly placed the ball past the sprawling body of Ali Al Habsi eight minutes before the break.

But it wasn't long after the restart that the Royals were level, a lovely passing move ending with an inswinging cross from substitute Craig Tanner that John Swift controlled and hooked home from close range.

Manager Jaap Stam started Roy Beerens for the first time in pre-season, whilst naming Joey van den Berg in defence alongside skipper Paul McShane. John Swift started in a wide attacking role with Deniss Rakels the spearhead of the attack.

The first real opening of the evening fell the hosts' way. Ollie Norwood pinged a sublime ball out to Swift on the left flank and the midfielder scuttled forward to unleash a right-footed shot that Artur Boruc did well to push away to safety. Beerens tried to recycle it with a cross from the right but it was headed clear by the Cherries' defence.

With 20 minutes played, the Premier League side got their first glimpse of goal. Josh King skipped past Van den Berg and smashed a right-footed effort just over the bar from 20 yards out.

The visitors came within a whisker of opening the scoring when Dan Gosling connected with a low cross from the right, only to see Ali Al Habsi paw it away from his goalmouth. It fell back to Gosling though who took aim once more, this time beating our Omani only to see it cannon into the base of the left post.

Swift tried his luck from nearly 30 yards but whistled an effort too high, then Evans ran onto an Obita throw but couldn't get his right boot around the ball enough to trouble Boruc with an effort that flew well wide.

With nine minutes of the half remaining, the top tier side took the lead. A ball through the middle found its way into the path of Lewis Cook who raced in on goal and with time and space he picked his spot to convert past Al Habsi for 1-0.

Half-time: Reading 0-1 Bournemouth

The Royals were level within five minutes of the restart. A nice passing move from back to front saw Rakels feed substitute Tanner out on the right and his inswinging cross flew through to Swift in the middle who at the second attempt hooked a bouncing ball past Boruc from eight yards out to make it 1-1.

George Evans stole possession in midfield just after the hour mark and finding Rakels to his left, the ball was touched back to Swift who couldn't get the ball out from under his feet to cross before being dispossessed.

The Royals were playing some impressive passing, possession-based football and the introduction of Watson and Kelly saw Jaap Stam call upon more Academy talent as the game entered its latter stages.

Swift won a free kick with a good run forward, but swerved his 25-yard set piece wide if the right post, then at the other end Max Gradel was bundled over by Obita to win a free kick for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining - Ali Al Habsi flew through the night sky to push Gradel's curling effort wide.

Rakels was nearly threaded through with five minutes remaining, then Danny Williams tracked back to deny Mousset a shot at goal in the final throes with a well-timed tackle inside the area. But the final friendly of the summer would end in a stalemate.

Full-time: Reading 1-1 Bournemouth

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter (Watson 62), Obita, McShane (c), Van den Berg, Norwood (Kelly 75), Evans, Williams, Swift, Beerens (Tanner HT), Rakels.
Unused subs: Jaakkola, Jules, Cooper, Gravenberch, Stacey, Fosu.
Yellow: Van den Berg
Goals: Swift (51)

AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis (c), Gosling, Ake, Pugh, Gradel, Daniels, MacDonald, King (Ndjoli 73), Cook, Wilson (Mousset 67).
Unused sub: Jordan, Whitfield, Harfield, Buckley, Lee, Holmes.
Goals: Cook (37)

Att: 6,600 (552 away)

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