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Women's Football News
Reading FC Women 4 Lewes 0
Reading remained level on points with Millwall, having played a game more, at the top of the Premier League Southern Division after a 4-0 victory over Lewes at Tadley.
The Royals,with a 100% record at home this season in the League, avenged an early season defeat against the Rookettes, who are still seeking their first away League point.
After a slow start, Reading never looked back once Alice Palmer had opened the scoring. Lewes, who had plenty of the ball throughout, were always vulnerable to the pace and precision of the Royals on the break and conceded three more.
The visitors were brighter at the start, forcing a first minute corner and having two goalbound efforts blocked from the set piece. Reading struggled early on but their first dangerous attack led to the opening goal. Fran Kirby got free on the left and set up Palmer for a close range finish on 17 minutes.
Lewes continued to look dangerous and a Charlotte Bennett cross found Claire Trafford for a first time shot which Grace Moloney did well to hold.
As the break approached, Lewes were still moving the ball around fluently and testing the well organised Royals defence However, Becky Jane took advantage of a slip on the halfway line to break clear and play in Kirby who finished well from a tight angle on 43 minutes to double Reading's interval lead.
Reading did not take long to increase their advantage when Kirby was tripped in the area on 52 minutes and Stacey Wiggins stepped up to convert the resulting penalty confidently past Michelle Beazley. Lois Roche nearly added a fourth with a sweet volley a minute later but the ball rebounded to safety from the upright.
Beazley was quickly out to deny Palmer on the edge of the area and the pattern was set for the remainder of the match. Lewes pressed forward and were picked off with fast counter attacks. Jane, Kirby and Palmer all went close to a fourth with shots narrowly wide or well saved by Beazley.
Stacie Donnelly was the architect of the fourth with a perfect through ball to Kirby who again set up Palmer for a neat close range finish on 82 minutes. Lewes battled hard for a consolation goal but were well contained by a very effective defensive dsplay to preserve the Royals' clean sheet.
The final score seemed harsh on a hard working Lewes team but in fact could have been worse given the near misses from the Royals in the second half. The quality of passing from the winners was matched by the efforts in closing down and covering in a very impressive team effort.
Reading FC Women: Grace Moloney, Stacey Wiggins, Harriet Scott, Beth Donovan, Rosanna Lane, Stacie Donnelly, Charlotte Chard, Lois Roche, Becky Jane, Fran Kirby, Alice Palmer. Subs: Rebecca Haines, Sophie Barrett.
Lewes: Michlle Beazley, Katie McIntyre, Lesley Smith, Vicky Elcome, Jenny Chiumento, Kelly Newton, Charlotte Bennett, Naomi Cole, Claire Trafford, Natalie Ross, Hayley Cunningham. Subs: Katie Baker, Andreia Veiga, Stephanie Carter, Georgina Bridges, Joana De Soksa-Marques.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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