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Kick off 14:30 (UK)

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20 December 2020 Venue The People's Pension Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:30 (UK)

Brighton and Hove Albion Women
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Reading Women

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Match Previews

🔜 Preview | Royals travel to Brighton for final match of 2020

Reading FC Women take on Seagulls on Sunday

17 December 2020

Reading FC Women travel to The People’s Pension Stadium on Sunday to take on Brighton & Hove Albion for a 2.30pm kick-off in Barclays FA Women’s Super League action for their final match of 2020, and the match is live on BT Sport.

Kelly Chambers side are coming off a disappointing loss against an undefeated Manchester United last Sunday at Madejski Stadium, when top of the league United walked away with a narrow 2-1 victory.

A first-half goal from the visiting side courtesy of Leah Galton was cancelled out in the second-half by a strike from Jess Fishlock, however, with just over five minutes remaining, Haylee Ladd nodded in from a set piece to seal the victory for the visiting side to ensure they remain unbeaten in the league.

Before Ladd netted the winner on the 82nd minute, it looked as if Reading were heading for a fifth straight 1-1 draw in the FA Barclays Women’s Super League, having walked away from matches against Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton and Bristol with the same score-line.

Recent results see Reading FC Women sat in 6th place in the Women’s Super League table, just four points behind Everton in fifth, whereas Brighton are currently in 9th.

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Since the Royals’ 2-0 Continental Cup win at Crawley on Nov 18th, Hope Powell’s side had a trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Dec 6th which ended in a 3-1 defeat, the Seagulls’ goal coming from a penalty converted by Inessa Kaagman. Last Sunday they entertained Chelsea and were on the wrong side of a 1-0 score-line, Sam Kerr’s first half strike settling the contest. Head coach Powell believed her side’s performance warranted a point and they were unlucky not to score when Kaagman hit the crossbar in the second period. Powell commented, “Apart from the result itself, I thought we did very, very well. The girls tried really hard to execute the game plan and for 99 per cent of the time they did apart from the goal”.

Brighton have won two of their first nine Women’s Super League fixtures this season. On the opening day they enjoyed a 2-0 home victory over Birmingham City, their goals coming from Megan Connolly and Kaagman. Then in mid-November they won 1-0 at West Ham, Rianna Jarrett’s second half goal securing the three points. Their other points have come from away draws at Manchester City and Everton.

The Brighton Squad

The Seagulls’ line-up against Chelsea last weekend was similar to that which faced Reading in last month’s cup meeting. However, in the recent fixture at Tottenham, striker Ellie Brazil made her return after over a year out during which she underwent three knee operations. Netherlands international Kaagman, who joined from WSL rivals Everton, has two of the six goals that Brighton have scored so far in league competition. Another player returning to the squad is defender Victoria Williams, formerly with Sunderland, she has represented England at U23 level.

Midfielder Denise O’Sullivan is on loan from NWSL side North Carolina Courage and has almost 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland. South Korea international striker Lee Geum-min was signed on a season long loan from Manchester City. Midfielder Nora Heroum joined from A C Milan and has over 70 Finland caps. Finally, Centre back Rebekah Stott signed a one-year deal after leaving Melbourne City and has over 70 caps for New Zealand.  

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Previous encounters

The most recent meeting between the Royals and Brighton was the aforementioned Continental Cup clash at Crawley four and a half weeks ago when Kelly Chambers’ side returned with a 2-0 victory after an excellent all round team performance. The Royals’ goals on the night came from Natasha Harding and Amalie Eikeland. Meetings in the Women’s Super League commenced in the 2018-19 season, In November 2018, the Royals won 4-1 at Albion’s Broadfield Stadium with goals from Brooke Chaplen, Fara Williams, Gemma Davison and an own goal. They completed the double with a 1-0 victory at the Madejski in April 2019, Rachel Furness scoring the decider in the 49th minute. The only meeting last season took place at the Broadfield Stadium in November. Fara Williams gave the Royals an early advantage, scoring directly from a corner, but before the interval the hosts had turned things round through goals from Aileen Whelan and Ini Umotong. The Royals pressed hard and showed typical never-say-die spirit in the second half and were finally rewarded in the 4th minute of added time when Remi Allen netted to make the final score 2-2.

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A few words

“We’re going into the game with confidence,” manager Kelly Chambers said on Sunday’s encounter.

“Obviously, it’ll be a different game to when we played them in the cup a few weeks ago, but hopefully we can learn from the United game.

“We have used the week to get ready and hopefully get three points going into Christmas and enjoy the break. We need to stick together, we’re performing well and we just now need to turn it into three points against Brighton.”

Brighton & Hove Albion Women v Reading FC Women | Sunday 20 December | The People's Pension Stadium | 2.30pm | Watch live on BT Sport and the FA Player 

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Reading FC Women are next in action at Madejski on January 10th when Chelsea pay a visit to RG2 for a 2pm kick-off in FA Barclays Women’s Super League action.

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Match Reports

📝Report | Royals sign off year with 3-1 win at Brighton

Triumphant final game of 2020 for Reading FC Women

20 December 2020

Reading FC Women ended the unparalleled year of 2020 with an impressive 3-1 away win against Brighton & Hove Albion to enter the Christmas break with three well deserved points.

Two first-half goals from Player of the Match Jess Fishlock came either side of a converted spot-kick from Brighton’s Inessa Kaagman, before Rachel Rowe put the icing on the Christmas cake with a goal in stoppage time to seal the 3-1 victory for Kelly Chambers’ Royals.

Both sides were hungry to end the year with their third league win, and it showed throughout the contest as it began as scrappy and fast-paced as it remained.

The scoring opened just after the quarter-of-an-hour mark, as Jess Fishlock picked up on a loose ball from the Brighton defence and drove forward towards the home-side’s area. She had Natasha Harding in support to her left, but Fishlock went alone and fired a low, hard shot to Cecile Fiskerstrand’s right to open the scoring.

Reading had a brief spell in complete control as they looked to ride the wave of momentum following their first goal, but less than five minutes later, Brighton broke into the box, where Deanna Cooper stretched for the ball and brought down Ellie Brazil, meaning the home-side were awarded a penalty. Ingssa Kaagman stepped up and converted coolly to Moloney’s right to pull the home-side level.

It was Brighton that went on to ride the momentum as they took control for a spell, looking to get in front, but couldn’t produce the quality needed before Reading composed themselves and took back control of the half.

Skipper Harding was replaced by Lauren Bruton after receiving treatment on the field for a potential hamstring injury. Fishlock then went down too and received treatment, after a clash with Guemmin Lee.

However, Fishlock could not be kept down and in the 44th minute, Reading capitalised on another mistake by Brighton when Lily Woodham dispossessed her player and put a cross in, which ended up bouncing in front of Fishlock. The Welsh international took her time – and a touch – before firing into the back of the Brighton net to ensure Reading went into the break ahead.

Half-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – 2 Reading FC Women

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The home-side came out all guns blazing in the second-half, Hope Powell clearly doing a good job of whipping her side up during half-time, as Felicity Gibbons forced a great save from Moloney mere seconds after the half began.

Reading had their moments too, as Emma Harries used her pace to get past her markers constantly, as Fishlock remained a threat throughout, coming mere inches away from getting her hat-trick, but her shot going just the wrong side of the post.

Brighton turned up the intensity and began frantically searching for the equaliser. They came close through Denise O’Sullivan and began forcing corners in what seemed to be heading to a frighteningly familiar scenario for Reading.

However, any worries were firmly put in the rear-view mirror on the ninety minute mark, as Fishlock strode towards the Brighton area, as she did so often in the afternoon, and laid a ball off to her fellow Welsh international, substitute Rachel Rowe. Rowe met the perfectly times pass and chipped over the advancing Brighton keeper. Her shot dinked off the post and rolled just behind the line before the ball came back out again. There was a moment of confusion as the Royals – and Rowe herself – didn’t know whether the ball had crossed the line, but the referee indicated the goal stood and Reading signed off the 2020 with the victory and a fantastic three points on the road.

Full-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – 3 Reading FC Women

 

Brighton & Hove Albion Women: Fiskerstrand, Gibbons, Bowman, Le Tissier, Whealan, Guemmin, O’Sullivan, Stott (Kerkdijk 76’), Brazil, Williams, Kaagman (Simpkins 86’).

Substitutes not used: Walsh, Connelly, Green, Jarrett, Rance, Barton.

Goals: Kaagman (22’)

Reading FC Women: Moloney, Leine, Cooper, Bartrip, Woodham, James, Fishlock, Williams (Rowe 66’), Harding (Bruton ’29), Eikeland, Harries.

Substitutes not used: Nayler, Roberts, Childerhouse, Carter.

Goals: Fishlock (17’, 44’) Rowe (90+2)

Yellow Cards: Leine (23’) Bartrip (61’) Carter (86’)

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