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Match report: Reading 1-1 AFC Bournemouth - Lewis Cook strike earns the Cherries a draw

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Lewis Cook’s first goal in a Cherries shirt gave the visitors the lead, before John Swift drew the hosts level early in the second half.

With one eye on Saturday’s pre-season home friendly against Cardiff City, Eddie Howe named a strong side with a youthful bench.

He handed a full debut to Nathan Ake, who started on the left-hand side of central defence alongside captain Simon Francis, whilst Max Gradel, fresh from signing a new four-year deal at the club, also returned having been suspended for the trip to Portsmouth. 

The opening 10 minutes was a quiet affair and the first chance eventually fell to the hosts on the 15th minute, with Artur Boruc having to be alert to get a hand to John Swift’s dipping effort from the corner of the area.

The Cherries then came close as Joshua King, deployed on the right of midfield, rifled an effort over from the edge of the box.

Dan Gosling was the next of Howe’s men to come close, as he spurned a double chance. 

He met Cook’s cross from the right, toe-poking it goalwards only for Al Habsi to get down well to save. He could only palm it back into Gosling’s path, but the former Newcastle man saw his follow-up come back off the upright.

The Cherries, playing for the first time in their new lime green third kit, did take the lead on the 36th minute though. 

Cook, who has looked lively on all three of his pre-season starts, picked the ball up midway inside the area, shrugged off the defender and coolly slotted the ball beyond Al Habsi.

The visitors took their lead into the half-time break, but it only took the Royals five minutes from the restart to draw level.

Swift, who had enjoyed Jaap Stam's side's best effort in the first period, was picked out by Tanner and he controlled, turned and finished past Artur Boruc from close range.

Eight minutes later and the Cherries were back trying to find a winner as Gosling picked up on a Reading clearance and fired an effort over from distance.

With Reading enjoying their final minutes of pre-season before their Championship campaign commences next weekend, Swift nearly ensured they ended on a high as he sent a free kick in that narrowly evaded Boruc's crossbar.

The final chance of the game, however actually fell to the Cherries as Gradel, hauled down as he approached the 18-yard box, sent in a teasing free kick which Al Habsi plucked out of the air before it nestled in the top corner.

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Obita, McShane, Van den Berg, Norwood, Evans, Williams, Swift, Beerens, Rakels.

Substitutes: Jaakkola, Cooper, Jules, Tanner, Gravenberch, Watson, Stacey, Kelly, Fosu.

Cherries: Boruc,MacDonald, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Gosling, Cook, Gradel, Pugh, King (Ndjoli), Wilson.

Substitutes: Holmes, Mousset, Buckley, Harfield, Whitfield, Lee, Jordan.

Attendance: 6,660 (552 away fans)

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