Reading FC Women conjured up an impressive performance to seal a 3-1 victory in their first home match of the 2020-21 FA Women’s Super League season.
All 3 goals were scored in the first half, as Amalie Eikeland, Lauren Bruton and Fara Williams netted, but Kelly Chambers’ side never took their feet off the gas pedal, with an astonishing 29 chances on goal that saw them seal the victory and 3 well deserved points.
The Royals controlled the game early, with the inaugural chance on goal coming within the first two minutes. Jess Fishlock played a beautiful through ball to Bruton, who couldn’t quite get on the end of it, but the ball eventually fell to Eikeland who got a shot on goal, but Villa keeper Lisa Weiss got a hand to it.
Eikeland got another chance when captain Natasha Harding burst forward and played a clever ball around the Villa defence, however Eikeland was just unable to stretch far enough before Weiss collected.
On the 20-minute mark, Fara Williams fired a long-range effort at the Villa goal that rattled the side-netting as Kelly Chambers’ side came closer and closer to opening the scoring.
Reading’s persistency paid off on the 24th minute when Williams broke down the middle and spread the play out to Angharad James on the right, who put a clean ball straight into the path of the approaching Eikeland who slotted it into the Villa net.
The Royals turned up the heat then and Harding began breaking down the right-hand side, while Williams started doing what she does best by shooting from 30-plus yards. Villa also threatened the Royals net on a couple of occasions in between spells of blue and white possession.
Goal two came when Bruton found herself at the back post after yet another attack from the home side and slotted in coolly to mark her return to the starting line-up for the first time since the 2018-19 season due to injury.
As the Fourth Official indicated that an additional three-minutes would be played at the end of the first half, Danielle Carter was brought down whilst jockeying the ball in the Villa area and the referee pointed to the spot. Step up Fara Williams, who sent Weiss the wrong way with a cheeky chip to see the Royals go into the break with a three-goal advantage.
Half time: Reading FC Women 3 – 0 Aston Villa Women
Reading began the second half the same way they spent the majority of the first; in control and constantly threatening the Villa goal.
Carter came close on a couple of occasions, able to turn her marker inside-out and get a shot in, but both efforts ended up over the Villa crossbar.
Close to the hour-mark, Eikeland went galloping down the right and threaded a nice ball into Bruton, who in turn fed the ball across goal to Fishlock, who was able to get a shot in, but Weiss got herself in front of it to block.
Emma Mitchell conceded a foul in the Villa box with 10 minutes of the game left, and Stine Larsen put the ball low and to Grace Moloney’s right to get Villa off the mark.
However, Reading didn’t falter and continued to press, both Carter and Eikeland going close in the dying minutes, looking for the fourth goal. Alas it eluded the Royals and referee Emily Heaslip blew for full time, three valuable points secured through a dominant display.
Full time: Reading FC Women 3 – 1 Aston Villa Women
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Mitchell, Williams, Bartrip, James, Fishlock (Rowe 75’), Eikeland, Bruton, Harding, Cooper, Carter
Subs not used: Nayler, Leine, Jeon, Skeels, Quirk, Woodham, Roberts, Harries.
Goals: Eikeland (24’), Bruton (40’), Williams (45’)
Yellow cards: Bruton (65’)
Aston Villa Women: Weiss, Franklin-Fraiture, N’Dow (Ale 70’), Haigh, Siems (Haywood 65’), Arthur, Ewers, Petzelberger (Syme 70’), Follis, Larsen, Silva
Subs not used: Rogers, Asante, Hutton, Hanssen, Hayles, West
Goals: Larson (79’)
Yellow cards: Larson (90’)