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Spurs 1-0 Reading - report from Hotspur Way

Sat 18 July 2015, 13:51|Tottenham Hotspur

Christian Eriksen’s second half strike proved the difference between the sides as we saw off Reading 1-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Hotspur Way today (Saturday, July 18).

The Danish international’s deflected shot flew over Royals goalkeeper Jonathan Bond on the hour mark, with the visiting stopper pulling off several key saves to prevent us from adding to the scoreline as we continued our pre-season campaign in winning fashion.

Bond’s opposite number, Michel Vorm, was also kept busy by a strong Reading side, but was equal to everything thrown at him over the 90 minutes.

Clear chances were at a premium in the first half, although the visitors nearly found an opening on 13 minutes when Pavel Pogrebnyak tried to work himself into a shooting position six yards out, but Kevin Wimmer – who partnered Federico Fazio at centre-half for the opening 45 minutes – stood his ground and Vorm stepped in to gather.

Youngster Nathan Oduwa’s confident running down our left side caused Reading problems as the first period went on. At first he linked up well with Josh Onomah to send in a dangerous cross which Andros Townsend couldn’t quite fully connect with, before roaming towards the Royals’ defence on a couple more occasions in the moments that followed – latterly going close with a low shot.

At the other end, Vorm dived to his right to pounce on Jordan Obita’s effort following Nick Blackman’s cross from the right, while Onomah sent a wide free-kick just over and Oduwa curled off target from a similar position as half-time approached.

We made a number of changes at the break, with Eriksen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Harry Winks coming into midfield, but it was striker Shaq Coulthirst who almost broke the deadlock when he latched onto the latter’s pass and struck the outside of the post.

Vorm denied Blackman from 25 yards before both Eriksen and Dembele had shots kept out by Bond in quick succession as the opportunities started to arrive more frequently.

Then came the breakthrough as Eriksen picked up the ball 20 yards out, turned onto his left foot and let fly – the ball taking a touch off a defender as he ran across its path and dipping over Bond into the centre of the net with 60 minutes played.

Young centre-half Cameron Carter-Vickers, on as a half-time substitute, produced a couple of important defensive headers before Eriksen pounced on a wayward pass and sent Chadli through on goal, but Bond was quick off his line and flung out an arm to divert the Belgian’s shot wide.

Within a minute, Bond was called upon again, this time getting low to keep out Dembele’s 20-yard drive, while Vorm spread himself out at his near post to deny Obita in a one-on-one situation with 72 minutes on the watch.

Chances continued to come at both ends in the latter stages, Kieran Trippier’s effort from a Ben Davies cross being blocked, Vorm making another fine save to keep out a rasping shot from Jake Taylor and then Eriksen seeing his low attempt scooped off the line six minutes before the end.