Feyenoord went down to the odd goal in three in England Saturday afternoon, losing the last friendly of preseason to Reading by two goals to one. The home side took command in the first half with a smash-and-grab by Dave Kitson and Ivar Ingimarsson, and a single reply by Benjamin De Ceulaer was enough to earn Feyenoord the draw. There was more bad news for Erwin Koeman, as he was hit with yet another injury, this time to defender Ron Vlaar, who hobbled off with an ankle problem.

The moderately filled Madejski stadium was unable to inspire Feyenoord in the first half as Reading took the initiative, looking to go forward at every opportunity. It almost earned them a goal within five minutes, when Henk Timmer was called into action to push away an outswinging cros! s, but the keeper could only push the ball to the feet of Steve Sidwell, who shot, only to see his effort hit teammate Kitson.

Kitson made up for his unhappy positioning on 22, when he nodded in Bobby Convoy's free kick to give the home side the lead. In fact, it was Reading's third big chance of the game  Timmer had palmed away a long-range effort by Seol on the quarter-hour mark.

Reading struck again a minute later and the danger came from the air once more. This time Kitson headed against the post, but Ingimarsson pounced on the rebound to make it two-nil.

The first half was not limited to two disappointments however. The Rotterdammers had to mix things up when Ron Vlaar was forced to retire hurt, which left Koeman's experiment dead in the water. The coach had left Nicky Hofs on the sidelines, bearing in mind the midfielder is suspended for the Eredivisie opener at Groningen next week, but Hofs had to come on after 31 minutes. Pascal Bosschaart moved back ! into defence and Bahia switched from left back to central defence.

The game was an hour old before Feyenoord threatened their bushy-tailed opponents. Stein Huysegems cut inside and shot just wide. Pierre van Hooijdonk replaced him a minute later and the big man was the next visitor to try his luck at goal. His free kick was kept out by the home goalie.

The impact sub made another impact within sixty seconds or so however, crossing for De Ceulaer, who netted to put Feyenoord back in the game.

Feyenoord finally had the initiative, but were not the ones to create chances. Timmer was forced to save a Doyle effort, before Seol shot wide. De Ceulaer did have an opportunity to bring his team level, but the substitute was inches wide with his diagonal drive.

Dirk Kuyt was put through on goal with just the keeper to bear with ten minutes left on the clock, after a fine ball by Lorenzo Davids. Just before the striker readied himself however he was brought down ! from behind. The referee took the word friendly very literally by refusing to give even yellow for a foul that had justified red and to add insult to injury Van Hooijdonk blasted the free kick against the post and out.

Reading FC - Feyenoord 2-1
22? 1-0 Convey
24? 2-0 Ingimarsson
63? 2-1 De Ceulaer

Reading: Hahnemann; Murty (79' Long), Sonko, Ingimarsson (71' Sodje), Shorey; Sidwell, Harper (64' Hunt), Convey; Kitson (57? Lita), Doyle (79' Halls), Seol (71' Oster).
Feyenoord: Timmer; Collen (87' Altheer), Greene, Vlaar (31' Hofs/78' Derijck), Bahia; De Guzman (62' Kolkka), Bosschaart (73' Davids), Lucius; Vincken (62' De Ceulaer); Kuyt, Huysegems (62' Van Hooijdonk).

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