Colchester United Ladies 1-0 Reading FC Women
Sunday 3rd March 2013
Reading missed out on the chance to move to the top of the table after they were beaten 1-0 at Colchester United.
A first half wonder strike from Zoe Rushen was enough to earn the home side all three points in a scrappy game at the Hawthorns.
Neither team made it out of the blocks particularly well, with chances few and far between in what was a relatively dull first half.
The games' first half-chance came in the opening ten minutes when Reading’s in-form Cheryl Williams collected a poor clearance on the edge of the area, however her shot was straight at goalkeeper Nikitia Runnacles.
The deadlock was broken in the 33rd minute in spectacular style. Reading failed to close down Rushen 30 yards out - allowing the midfielder to fire a shot into the top right hand corner, with goalkeeper Grace Moloney rooted to the spot.
The goal seemed to rally Colchester and they went into the second half with confidence of doubling their lead.
Reading were lucky not to go two down when Emily Heaslip’s 53rd minute strike rattled the underside of the bar and bounced out.
As the game hit the hour mark Reading started to press for the equaliser. Runnacles was equal to Beth Lloyd’s acute shot before Williams attempted a lobbed shot only to see it evade the right hand post.
Colchester had centre-back Megan Jiggins to thank for keeping the scoreline in tact with ten minutes remaining. Jiggins bravely headed Williams’ cross out for a corner at the near post, just as Alice Palmer was about head towards goal.
The final chance of the game fell to Reading’s Stacey Donnelly. The tenacious Palmer did well to create space and whip in an in-swinging cross towards the unmarked Donnelly, whose glanced header bounced just beyond the far post - to the relief of the Colchester players.
Reading will now look forward to next week's home match with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Colchester United Ladies: Runnacles, Diss, Lawler, Heaslip, Jiggins, Smith, Rodney, Rushen, Nash, Shorten (Gibbs 88), Doyle (C) (Codling 83).
Reading FC Women: Moloney (c), Jane, Wiggins, Haines, Donovan (Jones 87), Lane, Palmer, Donnelly, Lloyd (Newborough 60), Roche, Williams.