The website dedicated to women's football across the country, at ALL levels of the game
Get the mag!
Comeback Royals record breakers
Reading FC Women 3 Birmingham City 2
Reading set a club record for consecutive wins in the Barclay's FA WSL, overturning a two-
Things looked bleak for the hosts especially when goalkeeper Grace Moloney was seriously injured in trying to prevent the second Blues goal on 35 minutes. The longest serving Reading player received lengthy treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital. To the relief of everyone, it was later reported that Grace was able to return home for recuperation the same evening.
The visitors started much the better and were ahead on 3 minutes when a right side Lucy Quinn corner was met with a powerful header by Gemma Lawley at the far post for the Academy product's first ever senior goal. Birmingham continued to dominate with tenacious pressing preventing the hosts from building any sort of early momentum.
The Royals forced a couple of corners around the quarter hour as they tested the defensive resolve of the bottom club. However the visitors nearly added a second from a left side Veatriki Sarri corner on 22 minutes, the low ball bobbling around the goal before Rebecca Holloway shot wide.
The second Birmingham goal came when Libby Smith threaded a ball for the onrushing Jade Pennock who slotted home before a sickening collision with the advancing keeper. Pennock was able to continue after treatment but Rhiannon Stewart replaced Moloney after a 12 minute break in play.
Crucially, Reading halved the deficit with their first attempt on target five minutes into added time before the break. A free kick some 35 out was met by Justine Vanhaevermaet who sent a looping header from 12 yards beyond Emily Ramsey's reach.
A penalty brought Reading level within three minutes of the restart as Emma Harries was tripped after a clever turn between two defenders. Natasha Dowie converted, sending Ramsey the wrong way.
The impetus was now with the home team and they soon hit the front with a delightful goal on 55 minutes. Canadian international Deanne Rose got clear on the left and curled an inviting ball about ten yards from goal at waist height. Harries showed a deft touch in guiding a right foot cushioned volley back across the diving Ramsey.
A trio of goals in less than twenty minutes left the visitors chasing the game but of course this left gaps for the dangerous Royals front line to exploit. Play became more stretched as Lucy Quinn nearly equalised with a clever free kick which hit the post and Ramsey made a fine reaction save from a close range Dowie effort as the outcome remained in the balance.
Despite late Blues pressure replacement keeper Stewart was well protected and handled well when called upon. Birmingham were unable to rescue a crucial point in their relegation battle despite a spirited display whilst Reading completed the double over Birmingham and a fourth straight top flight win prior to next week's Vitality FA Cup ties for both clubs.
Reading FC Women: Grace Moloney, Faye Bryson, Lily Woodham, Natasha Harding, Gemma Evans, Justine Vanhaevermaet, Emma Harries, Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen, Deanne Rose, Natasha Dowie, Amalie Eikeland. Subs: Rhiannon Stewart, Bethan Roberts, Leila Lister, Sophie Baigent, Taylor MacDonald, Tia Primmer, Hannah Poulter.
Birmingham City: Emily Ramsey, Jamie Finn, Harriet Scott, Louise Quinn, Gemma Lawley, Lucy Quinn, Veatriki Sarri, Libby Smith, Rebecca Holloway, Christie Murray, Jade Pennock. Subs: Lisa Robertson, Sarah Ewens, Lucy Whipp, Eleanor Ryan-