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Women edge cup tie

10 January 2013

Lewes Ladies 1 - 2 Reading FC Women

Reading FC Women came from behind to beat Lewes and set up an FA Cup third round tie at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Debutant Cheryl Williams came off the bench to cancel out Lewes' opener, before Fran Kirby notched the all-important winner.

The Royals dominated the first half and went close inside the opening ten minutes. Stacie Donnelly played in Kirby, but her effort flew over the bar.

Kirby continued to cause havoc but was denied a number of occasions by the inspired Lewes goalkeeper, and also saw chances go wide and hit the side netting.

The hosts capitalised on our profligacy and opened the scoring just before the interval. A well taken header from a corner left Grace Moloney with no chance, and the Royals were a goal down at half time.

Lewes' opener seemed to galvanise the hosts, and went in search of a second after the break but were denied by some good defending and solid saves from Moloney.

Williams soon came off the bench to make her debut for the Royals - and made a fantastic impact as her 67th minute strike hauled the Royals back into the game. Kirby pulled the ball back from the left, and Cheryl smashed home to equalise.

It seemed to spur Reading on to find a winner - and we nearly snatched it straight away when Palmer took advantage of a goalkeeping error, but her shot sailed wide. 

But after five minutes, our Ladies were in front. Rebecca Jane fed Kirby through one on one, our top scorer took it away from the goalkeeper and executed a delicate chip which found the back of the net.

The goal was, however, bittersweet as - in scoring the goal - Kirby took a tough knock from the 'keeper and had to be taken off the pitch. It was later confirmed the Frank has fractured her ankle.

Nonetheless, the Royals remained on top and almost made it three when Jane and Palmer has efforts on goal - but the Lewes goalkeeper was equal to both.

In the dying seconds, Lewes threw everything at us but thanks to a vital save from Moloney, the Royals clung on for the win - and will now face Brighton at home in the third round on 3rd February.

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