West Ham United ease past Reading FC in fourth pre-season friendly
(Photo: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

In their fourth pre-season game, West Ham travelled west of London to face Reading FC at their home the Select Car Stadium, formerly called The Madejski Stadium.

Match Summary

David Moyes’ team started strongly and showed their superiority with plenty of possession early on. The Hammers grew into the game and drew multiple saves from Rafael as pressure built by Jarrod Bowen proved influential.

After a long stoppage, a wicked cross from Jarrod Bowen went over the head of Issa Diop and, via a huge deflection, found its way past Reading's goalkeeper to give West Ham the lead 37 minutes into the game, which they've managed to keep until half-time.

At the break, David Moyes made five substitutions, but the dominance continued. Substitute Said Benrahma’s shot took a deflection off Bowen who was deemed offside, disallowing the resulting goal.

Their pressure did pay off though as Conor Coventry turned in Ben Johnson’s low cross to finish off an excellent team move just before the hour mark.

Later, Johnson himself scored a superb solo goal after a mazy run from the right topped off with a cool finish from the full-back. It finished off the game as West Ham eased past the Championship outlet. 

This was an excellent run out for The Hammers with a performance that was levels above those of previous games. It also saw an impressive run out for some young players, with Johnson and Coventry being the standout performers of the evening.

Player Ratings

Darren Randolph: The Irishman was rarely called upon during his 60 minutes on the pitch, although some of his distribution was questionable. 6

Ben Johnson: Solid defensively but even more impressive going forward in an excellent cameo for the 21-year-old as he assisted and scored an excellent solo goal. 9

Craig Dawson and Issa Diop:  Very similar performances, rarely called upon in a disappointing attacking performance from Reading. They were up to the challenge when called upon but far too comfortable from Reading's perspective. 

Ryan Fredericks: Rarely questioned defensively but comfortable on the ball and going forwards. 6

Conor Coventry: Excellent performance from the young Irish midfielder, topped off by his goal an hour in. Impressive on the ball and unlucky to not score earlier as his shot was cleared off the line. 9

Mark Noble: Mr Consistent with another good performance as the skipper played just past the hour mark. 6

Pablo Fornals: Struggled to make a real impression on the game but didn’t do much wrong. The Spaniard was replaced at half-time. 5

Armstrong Oko-Flex: Didn’t see too much of the ball during his 45-minute spell on the pitch but when he did, linked up well with Bowen. 6

Jarrod Bowen: Arguably the best player on the pitch for West Ham today as he caused havoc for the Reading backline. Will probably claim an assist for the opening goal, which has been credited as an own goal. 9

Michail Antonio: Another player who was replaced at the break but saw a good effort saved by Rafael early on, didn’t set the world alight but definitely didn’t struggle. 

Subs: Benrahma: 7, Holland: 6, Cresswell: 6, Ogbonna: 6, Lanzini: 6, Martin: 6, Alves: 6, Odubeko: 6 Baptsite: 6

Up next, is a trip north of the border to face the SPFL runners up, Celtic, who have a huge UEFA Champions League tie the following Wednesday. It'll most likely mean that Ange Postecoglou will heavily rotate his side, with the former West Ham player, Albian Ajeti, possibly featuring for all 90 minutes.

The Hammers may follow suit with this approach and rotate their team as the club is anticipating the return of key players, such as Declan Rice and Vladimir Coufal, following their International duty at UEFA EURO 2020.

Although they are expected to be back and ready for the Betway Cup fixture against Atalanta, there is a possibility that they'll be back to face Premier League side, Brentford FC, the week before.

These will be West Ham’s final games before their Premier League season kicks off on the 14th of August against Newcastle