ANALYSIS: Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki underline just how important they are to Hull City in Reading success

It might seem like stating the obvious to say that, despite signing 10 new players, the best bit of business Hull City boss Grant McCann did this summer was keeping hold of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.

Hull City's Jarrod Bowen. Picture: Getty Images

Obvious or not, the duo's importance to the Tigers' hopes of a successful Championship campaign was underlined emphatically within six minutes of kick-off at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The two combined to break the deadlock before, with Grosicki pulling the strings, Bowen turned from scorer to provider, creating his side's second of the match and laying the foundations for a 2-1 success over Reading.

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And although McCann's team were clinging on for dear life at times during the second half, they only began to really struggle once they stopped passing the football and their two wide men became virtual spectators.

With Reading very much on top during the closing stages, an equaliser seemed inevitable, yet when City did briefly threaten at the other end, it was through Bowen once again, the winger going close three times late on.

And while he couldn't find the net on any of these occasions, sufficient damage had already been done.

Just six minutes were on the clock when, having got on the end of Jackson Irvine's perfectly-weighted pass in behind Reading's defence, Grosicki skinned his marker and fired goalwards.

Royals stopper Joao Virginia got down to save rather unconvincingly at his near post, but the ball rebounded off his body and into the six-yard box where the waiting Bowen couldn't miss.

Pre-season is over, the real stuff has begun, yet it appeared that nobody had told the Reading defence, seemingly unaware of the danger as Dan Batty sent Bowen scampering away down the right.

Nor did the visitors deem it necessary to bother tracking the run of Irvine, who was left with the simplest of headed finishes for 2-0 after Bowen cut back onto his left foot and delivered an inviting 16th-minute centre from just outside the box.

As bad as Reading were out of possession, they looked slightly better with the ball, and fired a warning shot across City's bows in the 18th minute as Lucas Joao's deflected strike came back off an upright.

Normal service was resumed thereafter, with Hull continuing to pass the ball around with assurance and ease.

Dangerman Grosicki opened up the Royals again shortly before the half-hour-mark, progressing infield and finding Batty on the edge of the box, however the latter's shot was deflected narrowly wide.

The opening period ended with Reading showing a little more, while the second began with them gradually beginning to take charge of proceedings.

Yakou Meite headed a John Swift cross from the left wide of the mark before ex-Sheffield Wednesday man Joao came in off the opposite flank, beat Stephen Kingsley and finished confidently past George Long at his near post.

Now boasting a tangible reward for their improved showing, the visitors continued to turn the screw and Long did well to block a close-range strike from substitute George Puscas.

Having been on the ropes for quite a spell, City eventually broke out and Bowen blasted a 77th-minute strike down the throat of Virginia.

Eight minutes later, he bent a beautiful curling effort just wide from outside the box before dancing into the penalty area and poking straight at the Reading gloveman.

Moments after that, the Royals' golden chance to salvage a point came and went, Puscas lashing a shot against the cross-bar when he should have scored from around six-yards out, meaning that Bowen and Grosicki's first-half magic was not in vain, after all.