Report | Reading 0 Swansea City 4
Swansea City rounded off their pre-season schedule with a handsome victory over Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Joel Piroe netted a brace, with Jerry Yates and Matt Grimes also on the scoresheet in this final hit-out before next weekend’s Championship opener against Birmingham City at the Swansea.com Stadium.
There was also a fifth clean sheet from seven pre-season fixtures for the Swans and head coach Michael Duff, and the welcome sight of Joe Allen and Josh Ginnelly being fit enough to be named among the substitutes in Berkshire following their recent injuries.
The pair would play the final 16 minutes to give the Swans a timely fitness boost ahead of the new campaign.
The Swans made a bright start with Josh Key having some joy down the left-hand side and stretching the Reading defence.
On the other flank Azeem Abdulai was also prominent, getting into a string of good positions but not finding the right delivery on a trio of occasions as Reading were able to deal with the danger.
Piroe worked Dean Bouzanis in the home goal with a firm strike from the edge of the box, while Olivier Ntcham made an important block at the other end as Andy Carroll eyed the target.
But the Dutchman would find the net in the 24th minute as he finished an incisive Swansea attack.
Harry Darling’s accurate pass picked out Abdulai in space down the right, and the midfielder’s deflected cross sat up for Piroe to smash an unstoppable volley into the roof of the goal.
Andy Fisher punched away an Andy Yiadom header and gathered Nesta Guinness-Walker’s optimistic effort from distance, but Swansea were looking a threat.
Bouzanis did well to gather Key’s shot after it took a deflection off Yates following the wing-back’s run inside onto his right foot.
Yates was then unable to convert a great chance to double Swansea’s lead as he glanced a header wide from Abdulai’s fine cross.
But the visitors wasted little time extending their advantage after the interval, as three goals arrived within 10 minutes of the restart.
First, Piroe finished superbly to beat the advancing keeper with his instep, after terrific chasing work from Yates had won the ball and worked room for Grimes to deliver a pinpoint cross.
Yates then netted his first Swansea goal as good pressing work forced sub keeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke into a misplace pass that feel straight at the striker’s feet for him to sweep into an empty net.
Duff’s side were not done, and Grimes got his first goal of pre-season as he sent an unerring strike into the bottom corner after sharp build-up had worked room for the skipper on the edge of the box.
Ntcham spurned the chance to make it 5-0, sending an effort well over the bar after Jay Fulton had found the run of Yates, with the striker squaring unselfishly for the arriving midfielder.
Abdulai was then given acres of space to roam into down the right flank, but saw his attempted pull-back cut out by a covering defender.
Allen and Ginnelly were then summoned from the bench for the final 16 minutes as they replaced Fulton and Piroe respectively, while Jamie Paterson soon replaced Ntcham as the Swans eased to victory.
Reading: Dean Bouzanis (Coniah Boyce-Clarke 46), Tom Holmes, Harvey Knibbs (Caylan Vickers 73), Charlie Savage (Mamadi Camara 73), Andy Carroll (Michael Craig 46), Femi Azeez (Tyler Bindon 85), Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan (Jay Senga 73), Andy Yiadom (captain) (Amadou Mbengue 37), Nesta Gunness-Walker, Jerial Dorsett (Nelson Abbey 62), Tivonge Rushesha.
Swansea City: Andy Fisher, Josh Key, Jay Fulton (Joe Allen 74), Ben Cabango, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jerry Yates (Liam Cullen 85), Olivier Ntcham, Joel Piroe (Josh Ginnelly 74), Nathan Wood, Azeem Abdulai (Kyle Naughton 78)
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hughes, Brandon Cooper, Ollie Cooper, Filip Lissah.