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Report: Reading 2-0 Wycombe

A pleasing win for Nigel Adkins and over 800 travelling fans was wrapped up in High Wycombe by goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jake Taylor.

The players take to the pitch at Adams Park
The players take to the pitch at Adams Park
Marc Mayo

Reading: Federici; Gunter (c) (Long 75), Obita (Kuhl 75), Morrison (Cooper 75), Pearce (Sweeney 75); Akpan (Tshibola 75), Hector (Cummings HT), Edwards (Stacey 75), Taylor (Tanner 75), Robson-Kanu (Blackman 62), Pogrebnyak
Sub: McCarthy

Reading took to the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jake Taylor on the left and Hal Robson-Kanu placed on the right wing, despite his public preference to be played up front. That honour fell to The Pog, with Ryan Edwards behind him. Australian Edwards was the goalscorer in the 1-0 win at Exeter recently, and a very similar run sent him through in the first 10 minutes, but his left-foot shot rolled wide at the near post.

The Royals set up quite narrow, with wing-backs Obita and captain Gunter happy to press on. That allowed the attacking midfield trio to link-up several times throughout, with neat movement and plenty of through balls to create chances. Whether or not Reading are allowed such time and space to operate in the Championship I doubt, however it was pleasing that Michael Hector and midfield partner Hope Akpan were able to supply balls that found their attackers.

Set pieces continued on last season's theme of hitting the far post target man, and a Pearce knock-down found Gunter to nod in, with the flag up, from an offside position. It didn't matter much, as Obita crossed shortly after for Pavel Pogrebyak to head across goal into the corner of the net, and the visitors led 1-0.

Wycombe failed to threaten in the first half, with Adam Federici preferring to rolling the ball out under no pressure, bar parrying a header in the 2nd half. Reading continued to be a threat, in particular Edwards who was quick on the turn but occasionally found lacking at vital decisions.

Shaun Cummings came into the left-back position, allowing Obita to move to central midfield at half-time. The England youth international was assured throughout, and Reading threatened from the off as Sean Morrison had a header blocked in the 6 yard-box. Plenty more chances fell for Reading, in particular Jake Taylor who deserved a goal, but like The Russian moments earlier he fluffed one-on-one and then had a shot blocked on the line after Gunter ran in behind.

Robson-Kanu, who was outshone by Taylor and Edwards by some distance, came off for a strong late performance from Nick Blackman. He smacked the bar from 30 yards, just before Taylor's hard work paid off with a goal, once again Gunter was able to break in down the right and Taylor flicked his cross into the corner. It was a goal he clearly enjoyed and he is fast becoming a favourite to start at Wigan in a fortnight.

The game was fast-paced for a friendly, and didn't let up as 8 youngsters were given a 15 minute run-out. Plenty of pressure fizzled out into blocked shots, which had become the order of the day, and the odd defensive mishap went unpunished for another pre-season clean sheet.

All in all, the abundance of chances created by Reading were a big plus, even if against League 2 opposition. With that in mind, however, some players still made themselves look better than others. Edwards and Taylor were particularly impressive, along with Gunter, Hector and Obita. Here's hoping Hal Robson-Kanu can push on in the remaining friendlies as it seems he's using position-based excuses and trying too hard to do too much when in possession, and must do better.

Next up for Reading are Stevenage on Tuesday night before Swansea at home on the 2nd August.