Reading FC Women travel to the People’s Pension Stadium this evening in the final group game in the Continental Cup against Brighton & Hove Albion, where a win assures them of qualification to the quarter-finals.
Kelly Chambers’ Royals make the trip down to Crawley this evening with hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Conti Cup for the fourth straight time, as a victory against their Women’s Super League rivals under the lights will be enough to see them qualify.
Reading had the perfect start to the campaign, defeating Charlton 4-0, with a first-half strike from Danielle Carter, one within a minute of coming on from skipper Natasha Harding, a goal from Amalie Eikeland and a last-minute effort from Brooke Chaplen. However, a frustrating and disappointing affair against West Ham earlier this month means that Reading’s qualification can only be assured with a win.
Brighton have one point from their 2-2 home draw with West Ham, with the visitors claiming the extra point due to their success in the penalty shoot-out. The Seagulls second fixture against Charlton Athletic was postponed, meaning that they currently sit in third position in Group D.
Last season, Chambers’ Royals qualified in second place in their group, behind Chelsea, who Reading beat in the aforementioned penalty-shootout after a 1-1 draw in the final group-stage game. West Ham were part of Reading’s qualifying group that season too and were just behind the Royals in their attempts at qualifying. Reading eventually bowed out in the Quarter-Finals to Arsenal due to a late Kim Little goal for the eventual-finalists. The Quarter-Final made it three straight appearances in the knock-out stages for the Royals since the change in format, having reached the same stage the previous year and the Semi-Final in 2017-18.
Reading have met Brighton on three occasions since the South Coast side joined the Women’s Super League in time for the 2018-19 campaign. 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 over Hope Powell’s side with a 1-0 victory at The Madejski in April 2019. Due to the pandemic just one meeting took place last season. The fixture was at the Broadfield Stadium in late November. Fara Williams gave the Royals an early advantage, scoring directly from a corner, but before the interval the hosts had turned the game around through goals from Aileen Whelan and Ini Umotong. The Royals pressed hard 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.
94’— Reading FC Women (@ReadingFCWomen) November 29, 2019
After a goalmouth scramble, Remi Allen puts the ball in the net with the LAST KICK of the game!
Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading FC Women | Wednesday 18th November | 7.30pm | People’s Pension Stadium | Highlights will be available on the FA Player from Thursday 19th November.