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Match Reports

Pre-season | Fulham 0-0 Reading

Entertaining but goalless affair against top tier opposition in Aldershot

14 July 2018

Premier League Fulham were held to a goalless pre-season draw by an impressive Royals performance at Aldershot this afternoon.

  • Rodak saves well from Yiadom and Meite, who also has a hooked effort headed off the line.
  • Mannone's legs save from Kebano, before host of changes sees Marc McNulty make his bow.
  • Fonte's late low left-footed drive glances off the base of the right post and wide.

Marc McNulty started on the bench for the Royals, while Paul McShane returned from a knock to play a part in the squad. Liam Moore wore the captain's armband, while Aluko and Barrow added width up front.

Fulham began the brighter, with new signing Maxime Le Marchand taking fgood advantage of space on the left to supply a testing cross which was directed high over the crossbar in the middle by a combination of a Reading leg and a Fulham boot.

Reading soon earned themselves a good spell of possession though and Meite won a free kick before Swift and Barrow combined to subsequently win a corner on the left. Kelly's inswinger was arced in towards David Meyler, but Tim Ream connected bravely with the ball at the near post to head it clear. Ream suffered a bloodied head and was replaced by Steven Sessegnon as a result.

The Royals executed a very good move to get the first shot at target away soon after; Barrow burst down the left, centred a pass for Kelly who rolled away from his man to feed Yiadom on the right. He cut inside and drive low left-footed towards the bottom left corner, but Fulham keeper Marek Rodak did well to parry it away. The ball fell to Meite, who hooked an effort at goal - but the ball was headed off the line by a covering Fulham defender.

Meite got in behind a coupld of times as Reading began to exert some pressure, then Kelly won the ball in the centre circle and tried his luck from the half-way line. Rodak backpedalled very quickly but the audacious shot sailed just over the crossbar. At the other end, Fulham threatened through Cyrus Christie who dragged a shot across the goal but wide.

With half an hour gone, the referee awarded Fulham a free kick despite Aluko seemingly have won the ball cleanly from substitute Sessegnon. The set piece was taken short and teed up for Sessegnon who rifled low at goal - but Mannone was down well to smother it low to his right.

Liam Moore kneed clear a shot from Ryan Sessegnon moments later in what was fast establishing itself as an entertaining encounter. Next, Swift found Barrow who scuffed a shot wide from the edge of the Fulham box. And as half-time approached, Cairney dinked a speculative effort over Mannone but also over the bar from a similar distance.

Yiadom floated a cross up to the back post where Meite won the header but couldn't beat Rodak with a downward effort. And Meite did brilliantly to wrestle Odoi off the ball and scurry through on goal with the last kick of the first half, but Rodak saved with his right leg as Meite tried to pass it into the back of the net.

Half-time: Fulham 0-0 Reading

Paul Clement stuck with the same eleven for the start of the second period and Blackett's ball over the top almost found Meite's run - only for Rodak to come out of his area and clear it just before the Royals forward could get a telling toe to it.

At the other end, it took a good block from Yiadom to deflect a Ryan Sessegnon shot into the side netting. And Kebano got in behind the Royals' back line moments later, only for Mannone to make a good save with his legs before Kebano could get a shot away - Le Toure's follow up lob floated just over the crossbar.

Just after the hour mark, the Royals boss made six changes - changing his defensive line as well as introducing Leandro Bacuna and Marc McNulty. Slavisa Jokanovic made similar changes soon after.

The substitutions broke up the tempo of the game for a while, but Meite won a free kick on the left which Kelly curled into a darnous area inside the Fulham box but too close to Rodak in the end.

Cisse tested Mannone's handling with a well-struck shot from range, but the Italian calmly saved and held onto the effort with ten minutes of the friendly remaining.

Cisse again took aim from 25 yards but flashed his effort well wide this time. Then Pelle Clement had a late effort which he pulled wide of the bottom left corner.

There was still time for Rui Fonte to nearly nick the win for the Premier League side, letting rip with his left foot but the ball glancing off the outside of the right post and wide. But the game would end goalless and both teams will have benefited from good competitive football under their belts in more summer sunshine.

Full-time: Fulham 0-0 Reading

FulhamRodák (Ashby-Hammond 72) , Christie (Fossey 62), Odoi (Djalo 62), Ream (S.Sessegnon 11), Le Marchand (Jenz HT), Johansen (Cissé HT), Cairney (O'Reilly 62), de la Torre (Kait 62), Kebano (Thorsteinsson 62), Kamara (Francois 62), R.Sessegnon (Fonte 62).

: Mannone, Yiadom (Gunter 62), Blackett (Richards 62), Moore (McShane 62), Ilori (O'Shea 62), Meyler (Bacuna 62), Kelly (Clement 75), Aluko (Evans 75), Barrow (Rinomhota 75), Swift (McNulty 62), Meite (Smith 75).
Subs: Jaakkola, Ward.

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