Reading 0-3 West Ham United: Premier League Hammers beat Royals as fans return

In front of fans at the Madejski Stadium, Reading were beaten by their Premier League opposition as Issa Diop, Conor Coventry and Ben Johnson netted for West Ham United in a pre-season friendly.

Diop’s glanced header deflected off Jeriel Dorsett to give the Hammers the lead before Coventry tapped in from close range to double the lead in the second half.

Johnson rounded off the scoring with a superb solo effort.

The crowd at the Madejski, many of whom returning for their first taste of live football in months, gave their team a rapturous ovation before kick-off.

West Ham had the first positive attack of the match when a cross came in from the right to find Pablo Fornals in the middle, and his header from close range forced a superb reaction save from Rafael Cabral who got down low to his right to tip behind for a corner.

Reading responded well after an early scare as Ovie Ejaria brought his team forward and a blocked Andy Yiadom cross brought about the Royals’ first corner of the match.

Reading FC v West Ham United Pictures: Steve Smyth

A flowing Reading move almost resulted in a chance on goal but Ryan Fredericks was well placed to head away from danger, before Jarred Bowen used his searing pace to bring his side forward on the counter.

Young forward Femi Azeez had his first sight of goal when John Swift flicked the ball to him in open space where he ran at goal before his pop from distance flew over the target.

Rafael was called into action again in the 12th minute when he comfortably held a powerful drive from Bowen after Conor Coventry found him with a brilliant pass.

The Brazilian stopper then flew out of his box quickly to prevent a through ball finding Bowen clean through on goal, before the Hammers had another chance when Michail Antonio showed his aerial power but headed over.

Reading FC v West Ham United Pictures: Steve Smyth

Bowen looked to get in behind the Reading defence but again Rafael was rapid to get off his line and clear from danger to beat the forward to the ball.

Bowen continued to cause problems and almost finished off a move that saw his quick footwork get him into the box, but Rafael parried his effort away before Jeriel Dorsett was perfectly placed to clear Coventry’s effort off the line.

The East London side came inches away from taking the lead just after the half hour mark when Antonio rose high but guided a header over the top.

But they did take the lead just five minutes later when Issa Diop was first to meet a corner and his glanced effort towards goal took a deflection off Dorsett and found its way in.

The Royals almost made an instant response when Azeez floated a cross to the back post to find Swift, but he scuffed his volley wide.

Reading FC v West Ham United Pictures: Steve Smyth

The second half began and West Ham thought they had doubled their lead when Said Benrahma’s shot deflected off Manuel Lanzini and looped into the net, but it was ruled out for offside.

The Hammers did manage to extend their lead in the 57th minute when Coventry converted from close range from Ben Johnson’s cross.

David Moyes’ side nearly had a third on the hour as Bowen’s drilled cross took a deflection and fell inches wide of the post.

There were plenty of changes from both sides after an hour as Dejan Tetek, Nelson Abbey, Ethan Bristow, Michael Stickland, Mamadi Camara and Luke Southwood all entered the action for the Royals.

Bowen should have added a third when he found himself clear on the right-wing but his dinked finish over Southwood landed on the roof of the net.

Reading FC v West Ham United Pictures: Steve Smyth

Veljko Paunović made three more changes to his side with 15 minutes left as Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan, Kian Leavy and Claudio Osorio replaced Azeez, Laurent and Rinomhota.

The Hammers asserted their second-half dominance with a third of the evening as Johnson broke through on the left and finished smartly past Southwood.

The Premier League side looked to add a fourth but young defender Stickland made a crucial intervention to block the shot.

Reading are back at home again in another friendly match as they step up their preparations for the new Championship season as they host Charlton Athletic.

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Dorsett, Morrison, Trialist, Rinomhota, Laurent, Swift, Trialist, Ejaria, Azeez
Subs: ​Southwood, Stickland, Bristow, Abbey, Leavy, Tetek, Osorio, Camara, Melvin-Lambert, Ehibhatiomhan

West Ham: Randolph, Fredericks, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell, Noble (c), Coventry, Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio
Subs: Martin, Alves, Ogbonna, Benrahma Ekwah, Johnson, Forson, Holland, Oko-Flext, Odubeko, Baptiste

Goals: Diop 37′, Coventry 57′, Johnson 77′

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