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Women's Football News
Yeovil Town 2 (Wiltshire 16, Haigh 44) Reading FC Women 3 (Bruton 27,80, Kirby 34)
Reading FC Women took all three points in a hard fought 3-2 victory against Yeovil Town on Thursday night and extended their unbeaten WSL 2 run to eleven games.
The Royals had to come from 1-0 behind in a rollercoaster ride of a game. A brace from Lauren Bruton and a Fran Kirby strike was enough to ensure the victory, but not before a very nervy last ten minutes where Reading defended for their lives.
Reading started the game off slowly with Yeovil putting on a lot of pressure from kick-off. Helen Bleazard impressed for the hosts in the opening stages, setting up many attacks for The Glovers. It wasn't long before Yeovil's initial pressure paid off, Sarah Wiltshire converted a well-taken corner - her header aimed straight into the top corner to put Yeovil 1-0 ahead.
The Royal Women responded with a short spell on top and a couple of half chances from Bruton and Kirby but their shots failed to test the Yeovil keeper.
On the 28th minute Reading had a chance to level when the referee, Colin Hopkins, pointed to the penalty spot after Lauren Bruton was unfairly brought down by the Yeovil defence. Bruton picked herself off of the floor and placed the ball onto the spot. She steadied herself and blasted the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net, past the desperate reach of Haynes.
It took just seven minutes for Reading to find their second goal. This time a poor back pass was closed down by Fran Kirby, who stole the ball from the keeper and simply slotted the ball home from two yards out.
The momentum was definitely with Reading as they pressed for a third before half time. Bianca Bragg took a quick free kick to Kirby wide on the left flank. Kirby used her great close control to run into the box before crossing to Bruton who shot just wide of the mark.
Yeovil then turned up the tempo just before half time and forced a corner. Blizzard whipped the corner to the back post which was headed back into the mix. Natalie Haigh found herself unmarked and simply nodded in from close range to level for Yeovil.
Jayne Ludlow made a change for the Royals at half time with Ashleigh Goddard replacing Harriet Scott. Goddard made an instant impact to the game, she had two great chances in as many minutes early in the second half. Both times she picked up the ball wide on the left and cut back inside to strike at goal but both times the Yeovil keeper pulled out great saves to deny Goddard of a perfect entrance to the game.
Yeovil weren't going to go down without a fight though, Nicky Davies had to be on her toes and made two excellent stops to deny Yeovil taking the lead for the second time.
The second half was much tighter with both sides proving strong in defence. Bianca Bragg impressed throughout the game, she was able to control the possession in midfield and linked well with Lois Roche to set up Kirby and Bruton. Bragg, herself, had a chance just after the hour mark after she wriggled free of the Yeovil defence but her shot was covered by Haynes in the Yeovil goal.
Reading looked extremely vulnerable from set pieces, much to the delight of the home support. In the 71st minute Blizzard curled in another corner which was eventually scrambled away by a strong clearance from Kirsty McGee.
Going into the final 15 minutes the game seemed destined for a draw, it was either going to take something brilliant or something lucky for a winner to be scored. In the 79th minute Kirby drove the ball into the Yeovil half. She shaped to shoot but unselfishly set up Bruton just outside of the box. Bruton took one touch before firing in her shot, hard and low, which took a wicked deflection and the Yeovil keeper could only watch the ball bobble into the back of the net. It was harsh way to concede for the hosts but wonderful for Reading as they once again took the lead.
The last 10 minutes of the game were nailbiting for the Royals as Yeovil looked to equalise for the second time. Fran Kirby showed incredible pace and stamina right until the final whistle and she chased down every 50-50 ball.
With just one minute of stoppage time remaining, Yeovil threw everything at the Reading defence and created their last chance of the game. Again it was Helen Bleazard who fired in a shot from eight yards in a crowded penalty area but once more Nicky Davies was equal to it and clutched the ball gratefully to her chest.
The frantic second half came to an end and the Royals managed to hold on for three priceless points at Sherborne Town FC. Reading have now gone 11 games unbeaten in the WSL 2 and keep the pressure on Doncaster in second place.
Yeovil Town: Charlotte Haynes, Helen Bleazard, Nicola Cousins, Paige Stewart, Rachael Edwards, Natalie Haigh, Ellie Curson, Jade Radburn-Lorton, Katie Cook, Sarah Wiltshire, Stacey Pearson. Subs not used: Laura Bray, Kirsty Whitton, Jemma Tewkesbury, Bow Jackson, Vera Bernabe Payol, Shauna Cossens, Ebony Dover.
Reading FC Women: Nicola Davies, Rebecca Jane, Shelly Cox, Bonnie Horwood, Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGee, Lauren Bruton, Bianca Bragg (sub Cheryl Williams 73mins), Harriet Scott (sub Ashleigh Goddard 45mins), Lois Roche, Francesca Kirby. Subs not used: Grace Moloney, Georgie Giddings, Laura May Walkley, Leigh Nicol, Eloise Wilson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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