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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

06 December 2020 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Reading Women
1 - 1
Bristol City Women

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Match Previews

🔜 Preview | Royals women back at Madejski in front of fans

Reading FC Women take on Bristol City in league action

4 December 2020

Reading FC Women will welcome supporters back for the first time this season, as they take on Bristol City in the FA Barclay’s Women’s Super League this Sunday.

After another international break that saw a great showing for the usual Welsh quintet of Royals and a fantastic competitive debut for Republic of Ireland for Reading keeper Grace Moloney, Kelly Chambers’ side are back in league action for the first time since a mid-November draw away to Everton.

The Royals currently sit in 7th place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, just three points behind Manchester City in 5th, whereas opponents Bristol City currently sit bottom of the table.


Sunday’s Opponents

It has certainly been a difficult start to the WSL campaign for manager Tanya Oxtoby and her Bristol City side. Looking to improve on last season’s 10th place finish, a 4-0 home defeat to Everton on the opening day was the first of five straight league defeats. That run was almost extended to six but for a stoppage time goal from Ebony Salmon that salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw at home against Tottenham Hotspur in their last league outing three weeks ago, and as a result City sit bottom of the table. Away defeats have come in the form of a 9-0 score-line against Chelsea, 8-1 against Manchester City and 3-1 to Arsenal, and at home, a 4-0 loss to Birmingham City. However, Bristol have enjoyed success in the Continental Cup. Wins over Championship sides London Bees, Crystal Palace Women and Lewes FC Women have seen the Robins top their group to secure a position in the quarter-finals. Leading goal scorers both with four, are England U19 forward Ebony Salmon and Australian international midfielder Chloe Logarzo who joined City in January 2020.

The Bristol City squad remains similar to that of last season, but another Australian recruit is 28-year-old midfielder Ella Mastrantonio who joined from W-League side Western Sydney Wanderers. She has a wealth of experience with over 100 W-League appearances and six caps for the Matildas. 22-year old keeper Benedicte Haaland – who has represented Norway at U19 level – arrived in the West Country following the expiration of her deal with Swiss side, Lugano Femminile. The Northern Ireland international Laura Rafferty has joined on a season-long loan deal from fellow WSL side Brighton & Hove Albion, where she represented the Seagulls on 30 occasions. 18-year old midfielder Emma Bissell, a product of Manchester City's Regional Talent Centre programme, moved to Bristol after four seasons on the blue side of Manchester. Formerly with Liverpool, 23-year old Jemma Purfield can feature as full back or as a winger and has represented England at U19 level. Finally, 16-year old defender Naomi Layzell is a product of the Robins’ Regional Talent Centre and made her WSL debut against Manchester City last month.

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Previous Encounters

Since the Robins finished runners-up in WSL2 in 2016 thereby achieving promotion to the top-flight, they have always found the Royals extremely difficult opponents. The teams first met in the 2017 Spring Series and Reading won 3-1 at City’s Stoke Gifford Stadium, their goals coming from Rachel Furness, Rachel Rowe, and Melissa Fletcher. The Royals did even better when they returned to the same stadium in October 2017, triumphing 5-0 in the WSL. Rowe scored a well-taken double while Fara Williams, Remi Allen and Jade Moore were also on target. The following February, Reading completed the league double over the Robins with a 4-0 victory at Adams Park – the Royals’ first home league win since moving to the ground over two years earlier. There were two wonderful strikes from Williams with Kirsty Pearce and Brooke Chaplen also hitting the net. Moving into season 2018-19, the Royals again completed the league double over the Robins. In November at Adams Park, Williams again netted a memorable brace and Brooke Chaplen completed the scoring in a 3-0 victory. The following March, Chaplen scored the only goal at Stoke Gifford to ensure the Reading returned home with the three points. Last season’s only meeting came at the Madejski in November during the inaugural Women’s Football Weekend, where Bristol finally had some success. Early goals from Allen and Chaplen put the Royals in control but Charlie Wellings halved the deficit before the interval. Angharad James restored the Royals 2-goal advantage but within a minute Yana Daniels had replied for City. This gave the visitors confidence and Ebony Salmon’s late goal made the final score 3-3.

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The return of fans

For the first time since the Barclays FA Women’s Super League was disbanded earlier in the year before the end of the 2019-20 season, supporters will be attending a Reading FC Women match this weekend.

Upon the return to Madejski Stadium, your safety is absolutely top of the list. We want three points, we want a good performance, but more than any of that we want to ensure that our fans are safe and secure when they return to RG2.

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Click here to find out more about measures that have been put in place and how you can play a role in keeping your fellow supporters safe, too.



Print at home only tickets are still available to purchase here, until 12pm on Sunday.

After 5pm today (Friday) tickets can only be purchased online and not over the phone.

Parking will be available on the day for £10 contactless payments only.


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Reading FC Women v Bristol City Women | Sunday 6th December | 2pm | Madejski Stadium | Watch Live on the FA Player

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Match Reports

📓 Report | Royals share points with Bristol despite dominance

Attacking display in front of returning fans

6 December 2020

Reading FC Women were unlucky not to walk away with the win as fans returned to Madejski to watch the side draw 1-1 with Bristol City.

Over thirty attempts on goal for the Royals produced just one goal, in the form of Fara Williams’ second-half equaliser, after Emma Bissell gave the away-side the lead against the run of play with their only attack of the first-half.

Chances were had early on by the Royals, as Angharad James latched onto a well held-up ball from Danielle Carter and fired a shot at Bristol keeper Sophie Baggaley. Carter was very busy early on, causing the visiting defence problems as she powered through the middle and got onto the end of every ball she was fed.

Reading began doing their usual and forcing corner after corner, one of them resulting in one of the best early chances of the game, as Jess Fishlock forced a great save from Baggaley to deny her the opening goal.

Chance after chance came as the home-side dominated the possession and went forward again and again through Carter, Captain Natasha Harding and Amalie Eikeland.

It was the skipper Harding who came closest off all, as she received the ball after another break, and poked a shot goalward, but somehow Baggaley got just enough on it to push the ball onto the bar.

Carter went through on goal twice in very quick succession towards the end of the first-half. In the first instance, she did the legwork, but was pressured by the Bristol defence and the ball was picked up by the away-side. The second, moments later, saw Carter beat keeper Baggaley and turn, but she was unable to get a shot in before she was dispossessed.

Fishlock had another stinging effort that was once again brilliantly saved by Baggaley. The away side instantly broke as Ebony Salmon played a long one-two with Charlie Wellings who travelled before sliding a perfect pass into Emma Bissell, who powered towards goal and slotted the ball away to give Bristol the lead going into the break, against the run of play.

Half-time: Reading FC Women 0-1 Bristol City Women


After such a dominant display in the first-half, the Royals didn’t need to change the game plan, they just needed to hit the back of the net and with this in mind, they came out all guns blazing once again. Eikeland made way for Lauren Bruton at half-time and Reading carried on from where they left off.

It took just five minutes for the Royals to find the goal that had eluded them for the duration of the first-half, as an attack down the right hand side came out of the six yard area and found its way to Fara Williams who adjusted and hit a sweet shot into the back of the Bristol net.

Williams then hit the woodwork a minute later as her free-kick glanced the bar, after Fishlock was brought down outside the away-side’s area.

Carter, Harding and Bruton kept breaking through on goal, but their efforts were either cut out by the Bristol defence or Baggaley on each occasion.

Fishlock was the recipient of the final ball from another Reading attack around the 65-minute mark. She had a well-placed shot on goal, which took the merest of touches from Baggaley to have the ball trickle agonisingly wide of the post.

Carter, who had a very busy afternoon, was replaced by Emma Harries as the game approached the final 15-minutes, before Bethan Roberts made her first-team debut for the Royals when she replaced Fara Williams with ten minutes left on the clock.

Reading were relentless as they produced attack-after-attack, continually looking to get the winner, but it simply would not come before the referee blew the final whistle, signalling the end of a frustrating afternoon.

Full-time: Reading FC Women 1-1 Bristol City Women


Reading FC Women: Moloney., Leine, Woodham, Cooper, Bartrip, Fishlock, James, Harding, Williams (Roberts 80’), Eikeland (Bruton 45’), Carter (Harries 75’)

Substitutes not used: Nayler, Childerhouse.

Goals: Williams (50’)


Bristol City Women:

Baggley, Evans, Humphrey, Salmon, Daniels (Brysen 60’), Allen, Wellings, Bissel Bryl, Purfield, Layzell, Mastrantonio

Substitutes not used: Haaland, Rafferty, Collis, Wilson, Harrison, Jones

Goals: Bissell (43’)


Attendance: 254

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