New Balls Please...

Last updated : 16 July 2003 By Rob Cooper
Yesterday Reading played their first pre-season friendly, against Brentford. Today they will play their second, against Brentford.

A bizzare scenario it may seem but that is exactly what is happening.

Today's game, which will be played behind closed doors, will kick off at 11am this morning. The players who weren't involved last night will have a chance to get their first taste of action since May.

Alan Pardew will hope his side can extract some revenge following last night's 3-2 defeat to the Bees.

Although it was just a friendly game, played in front of a sprinkling of supporters, the Brentford players couldn't help but feel pleased with themselves having exorcised the demons of their capitulated promotion challenge of a year ago.

The Bees, then managed by Steve Coppell, missed out on automatic promotion by a whisker, a final day draw against Pardew's side ensured Reading were promoted at Coppell's expense.

Last night proved to be a bittersweet night for Pards. Although his side were the game's losers, the Royals boss gained some valuable knowledge as he experimented with new tactics. Moreover, new signing Scott Murray scored just five minutes into his Reading career.

Martin Butler, John Salako, Jamie Young, Graeme Murty, Nicky Shorey, John Mackie, Ahmet Rifat and Andy Hughes could feature amongst others in today's game.