Berks & Bucks FA Women’s County Cup semi-final
Sunday, 17th of February 2013
Reading FC Women were made to work for their place in the County Cup final as they were forced into extra-time in their semi-final clash against a resilient Chesham United side.
A fantastic brace from Cheryl Williams saw her side through the tie, which in reality should've been a far more flattering score line for the home side but for a whole host of missed opportunities and good saves from the away keeper.
The Royals were the quicker team out of the blocks and could’ve easily been a goal up within the first minute; Rebecca Jane was played through one-on-one but blazed her shot over the crossbar from just inside the box.
The home team continued to dominate possession and forced a number of good saves from Chesham’s keeper Katie McGloin. The best chance for an opener came in the 15th minute after a clever cutback from Reading’s Stacie Donnelly found Alice Palmer, but her near post effort was tipped round the post for a corner.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 23rd minute and it was the Royals who took the lead with a fantastic solo goal from midfielder Cheryl Williams. Williams picked the ball up just inside the opposition half and unleashed a 40 yard screamer which sailed over the keeper and dipped into the back of the net.
A Reading goal had been coming and they continued to look impressive, but failed to convert their decent play into a second goal. The away side managed to get into the break with just a one-goal deficit, keeping their hopes of a comeback very much alive.
But it was Reading who began the second half stronger, piling on some good early pressure and nearly doubling their lead in the 55th minute, the ball falling to their right back Stacey Wiggins at the back post but her shot sailed just over the crossbar.
Reading should’ve had the game and their place in the final all wrapped up - but were eventually made to rue all their missed chances in the 82nd minute with Chesham Ladies scoring a dramatic late equaliser.
Chesham’s Kate Bowers struck a great free kick, rattling the crossbar and falling into the six-yard box resulting in a huge goalmouth scramble which eventually saw the ball bundled into the back of the net with it unclear who got the final touch.
The goal saw the game enter extra-time and gave the away side a real hope of a cup upset, with Reading failing to turn their dominance in possession into goals.
But it took the home side just seven minutes into extra-time to retake the lead, again through Cheryl Williams. A great low cross from Alice Palmer on the right wing found Williams 10 yards out from goal and she calmly finished into the far right corner to give her team a 2-1 lead.
The Royals had a great chance to grab a third and finish the game off just minutes later but defender Rosanna Lane headed just wide at the back post following a corner from the right.
The miss didn’t prove costly though as Reading FC held on win the game 2-1 after extra-time - booking their place in the County Cup final where they will face Bracknell Town Ladies.