Royals thrash Doncaster Belles to earn their first win of the season.Reading FC Women took a large step towards guaranteeing their place in WSL1 next season with a 4-1 hammering of Doncaster Belles on Saturday evening.
The two FA WSL 2 rivals from 2015 were both winless coming into the contest, but bottom club Doncaster didn’t take long to succumb to the early Royals pressure, when Emma Follis opened the scoring for the visitors. Follis arrived at the back post to tap in from close range and hand Reading an early and deserved lead in Yorkshire.
Doncaster looked to respond quickly with midfielder Samantha Tierney missing a great a chance to draw the hosts level, but the Royals weathered the storm however and created an opening of their own through a superbly worked free-kick which was brilliantly cleared off the line. Just as Doncaster thought they had cleared the danger the ball fell for Nia Jones who was in the right place at the right time to knock home the rebound, netting her first of the campaign.
The Royals went into the break two goals to the good and looking on course to secure their first three points of the season, but a strong start to the second half from their opponents briefly put that in jeopardy.
It was Emily Simpkins who dragged her side back into the game, when she fired home her first of the season within a minute of the restart. Just as the hosts threatened to build up some momentum pushing forward for an equaliser, Follis’ brilliant individual effort restored Reading’s two-goal advantage.
The midfielder broke forward with pace beating two Doncaster defenders in the process before curling a superb effort beyond Belles goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs from outside the area.
An injury was to end Follis’ game 15 minutes from time and deny her the opportunity for a hat-trick, but her replacement Rachel Rowe caused an impact of her own. It was Rowe sealed the game with five minutes to play when her low finish evaded Hobbs to cap off an impressive away performance from the Royals.
Full Time: Doncaster Belles 1-4 Reading FC Women
Doncaster Belles: Nicola Hobbs; Sophie Barker, Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Mayumi Pacheco, Samantha Tierney (Carla Humphrey 69), Emily Simpkins, Kasia Lipka, Katrin Omarsdottir (Bethany O’Donnell), Christie Murray (Rebecca Rayner 79), Marta Bakowska-Mathews
Unused Subs: Anna Moorhouse, Lauren Cresswell, Rachel Newborough
Bookings: Barker 44
Reading: Mary Earps, Rebecca Jane, Nia Jones (Amber Stobbs 83), Kayleigh Hines, Harriet Scott; Emma Follis (Rachel Rowe 74), Remi Allen, Kirsty McGee, Molly Bartrip (Helen Ward 77), Lauren Bruton, Melissa Fletcher
Unused Subs: Jade Boho-Sayo, Chloe Sansom