Stevenage hold Championship side Reading

Tom Pett. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Tom Pett. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Match report: Stevenage 0 Reading 0

Darius Charles evades a challenge. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Darius Charles evades a challenge. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage held Reading to a stalemate in a pre-season match that was lacking both in chances and entertainment.

Boro had scored twice in each of their previous two matches against higher level opposition this summer - West Ham and Millwall - but on a warm evening at the Lamex there were no goals as Stevenage defended well but failed to carve out too many chances.

It was the same for a Reading side that brought just over 110 supporters with them – it was the sort of match that one could sit and count them – and although they had quite a bit of possession they failed to make the most of it.

For Stevenage there were a few positives: Bira Dembele put in a commanding display at centre-half, with the defender looking far more comfortable than in the left-back position he has played at times.

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Tom Pett once again looked good on the ball, and once he adapts to the rigours of a first full season in full-time football he looks like he could be a player.

There were nice touches in midfield from Simon Walton and up front from Adam Marriott, though late on when high balls were knocked up to the striker they were swallowed up by the visitors’ defence.

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Stevenage twice had the ball in the back of net, but in the first half Dembele was penalised for a barge into goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and in the second half Marriott strayed just offside when he had a good view across the line.

There were half chances for Pett, who blasted over and later fired just wide, while at the start of the second period Reading’s Nick Blackman tiptoed across the edge of the 18 yard box and fired straight at Beasant.

The best chance of the match went the way of Boro with 15 minutes to go, but after being put in by substitute Chris Whelpdale Marriott’s shot into the corner was wonderfully pushed wide by the fingertips of McCarthy.

Next up for Boro is a home game against Coventry City on Saturday, while on Monday there is a trip to St Albans City whose match tonight against Eastleigh was halted a few minutes early due to bad light.

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