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The newly promoted Championship sides continued their preparations as the Saints impressively defeated Wolves, while Reading rotated their squad but were unable to record a victory

Southampton 2-0 Wolves

The Saints entertained Wolves without last season’s Championship top scorer Rickie Lambert, who was rested with a minor knock in training.

Billy Sharp however filled in to good effect and opened the scoring after 22 minutes when he converted Adam Lallana’s low ball from the left side of the box, then almost ended a successful first half with a second but looped his header over the bar.
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11/8 Southampton are 11/8 with William Hill to be the top promoted club next season

Nigel Adkins’ side were challenged at the start of the second half, when Wolves’ Sylvan Ebanks-Blake first headed wide at the back post and then rolled an inviting cross along the goal.

But Jason Puncheon extended their lead after 69 minutes with a drive from the edge of the box, before new signings Steven Davis and Jay Rodriguez were among the substitutes brought on to see out the match.

 Bournemouth 2-2 Reading

The Royals bombarded their opponents with crosses from the start of the first half and took the lead after 15 minutes when defender Adrian Mariappa, signed from Watford earlier in the transfer window, headed in Nicky Shorey’s free-kick from the right wing.

The Cherries improved as the half continued, and equalised shortly after the half-hour mark when Wes Thomas converted Matt Tubbs’ cross with a low finish.

Brian McDermott made eight changes to his XI after 60 minutes, including new signings Danny Guthrie in midfield and Pavel Pogrebnyak in attack.

The changes paid off almost immediately, as the Russia international hit the post with a header from Mariappa’s cross, while winger Hal Robson-Kanu was brought down in the box and went on to convert the resulting penalty.

Mike Addison however scored a good header to bring the score to 2-2, and while Jem Karacan cheered the supporters by returning from injury and forcing a late save from the Bournemouth keeper, the newly promoted side were unable to boost their pre-season spirits with a win.

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