CHERRIES played out a steady 1-1 draw with Reading in a clash that largely typified stereotypes about pre-season friendlies.

Summer recruit Lewis Cook got off the mark for his new club with a composed finish eight minutes before half-time but some static defending shortly after the restart allowed John Swift to level.

Boss Eddie Howe lined up with a three-man midfield at Madejski Stadium and winger Marc Pugh at right-back to cover the dearth of fit and available defenders.

The opening exchanges were tepid with only Reading’s new signing Roy Beerens threatening to find a way through early on.

There was a scare for Cherries when a cross-field pass was picked up by ex-Chelsea midfielder Swift, who forced Artur Boruc to parry a 20-yard shot with 14 minutes on the clock.

Cherries struggled to make an impression in the final third until Joshua King seized upon a misplaced pass from Danny Williams but having jinked inside, the Norway international blasted over from the edge of the area.

Reading again squandered possession in the middle of the park, allowing Dan Gosling to burst forward and feed Lewis Cook in the right channel. The new recruit immediately centred for Gosling whose first-time shot was pawed away by Ali Al-Habsi before the same player brushed the far post on the rebound.

Cherries continued to force errors in the middle but despite some intricate play, repeatedly found themselves foiled at the last.

At the other end, a quick throw-in saw George Evans thump over under pressure but Cherries quickly capitalised with a breakaway goal as Cook scampered away and guided the ball beyond Al-Habsi.

Williams had a shot charged down as Reading looked to hit back, while Cook lobbed harmlessly over.

Half-time substitute Craig Tanner made a quick impression as the Royals levelled five minutes after the restart.

Tanner’s high centre saw the Cherries backline somewhat caught on its heels with Swift controlling the cross before easing beyond an exposed Boruc.

Gosling thumped over and skipper Simon Francis just failed to connect with a teasing Max Gradel cross as Cherries sought to regain an advantage.

The match became dominated by niggly fouls and Swift went close to adding a second with a dipping free-kick which sailed wide.

At the other end, Gradel tested Al-Habsi with a curling free-kick, the keeper just getting enough on the effort to guide it around the post.

Nathan Ake was a fraction away from connecting with a Gradel delivery and then the Chelsea loan ace had to be aware at the other end to shut off Deniss Rakels’s route to goal.

The last action was provided by an incisive Cherries break with Lys Mousset’s crisp pass playing in Mikael Ndjoli but the ex-Millwall man was tackled by Williams in the box.

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter (Watson, 61), Obita, McShane, Van den Berg, Norwood (Kelly, 75), Evans, Williams, Swift, Beerens (Tanner, h-t), Rakels. Subs: Cooper, Jules, Gravenberch, Stacey, Fosu, Jaakkola (g/k).

Cherries: Boruc, MacDonald, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Gosling, L Cook, Gradel, Pugh, King (Ndjoli, 73), Wilson (Mousset, 67). Subs: Buckley, Harfield, Whitfield, Lee, Jordan, Holmes (g/k).

Attendance: 6,600, including 552 away supporters.