Ladies' fightback not quite enough
The Royals’ Ladies nearly completed a valiant comeback against Cardiff but narrowly lost in their second League Cup group stage match.
Premier League Cardiff opened the scoring lead early on, and doubled their lead just before the break after Reading had a penalty saved.
Alice Palmer hit one back for the Royals in the second-half, but Cardiff struck again to ensure that a late flurry from Reading – rewarded by a Rebecca Jane goal – was to be too late.
Having not played for two weeks because of the West Ham postponement, it was perhaps an understandably slow start from RFC’s Women - who fell behind to Cardiff early on.
The Royals responded well, though, with Palmer linking up well with Jane and top scorer Fran Kirby – who earned a penalty when the striker was brought down in the box.
But City’s goalkeeper guessed the right way to deny Reading a deserved equaliser – and made Reading pay by scoring at the other end to double their lead.
Approaching half-time, our Women continued to press with Kirby going close before Palmer’s strike flew over the bar.
A resurgent Royals side came out in the second-half and nearly scored straight from the restart when Lois Roche found Kirby who set up Palmer – who was unlucky not to score.
The pressure was soon rewarded when Charlotte Chard’s floating corner was met by Palmer who found the net with a bullet diving header.
Going in search of an equaliser, Reading pressed high up the pitch but left gaps in the defence and, inevitably, Cardiff caught the Royals out and restored their two-goal cushion.
But Reading didn’t give in – Jane managed to get on the end of Kirby’s cross to make it 3-2, but that’s how it finished despite RFC’s Women pushing until the final whistle.
The Women are next in action against Tottenham Hotspur LFC in the league on Sunday.