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Match Reports

Royals Women edged to defeat in first match of season

Royals lose out to Sunderland in WSL open

25 September 2017

Reading FC Women got off to a disappointing start to their WSL1 season with a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland at Adams Park on Sunday.

Striker Simona Koren capitalised on a rare error from goalkeeper Mary Earps to net the only goal of the game after just six minutes against the run of play in Wycombe.

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Sunderland were happy to let Kelly Chambers’ side keep possession and impose their play for much of the 90 minutes, absorbing the pressure and breaking on the counter-attack, and their game plan came off after Reading could not convert any of their 15 shots on goal.

The Royals were put onto the back foot after Earps' clearance was misdirected towards Simona Koren, who then rounded the England keeper and put the ball into the empty net to give the visitors the lead.

Despite this early setback the Royals looked promising going forward and created a number of chances in an attempt to open up Sunderland’s backline.

The best opportunity in the first half fell to Mandy van den Berg, whose free-kick on the edge of the box curved round the wall, but straight into the arms of Anke Pruess.

Reading carried on pressing Sunderland and towards the end of the first half started to play with their brand of flowing football, but a resolute Black Cats' defence stopped them converting their chances.

England international Fara Williams signs autographs for young fans as she makes her Reading debut.

In the second half Molly Bartrip, who was playing in the slightly unfamiliar right back position, whipped in a fantastic cross, but substitute Rachel Furness fired over.

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In the closing stages of the match Sunderland broke forward for rare chances in the game, the energetic Abbey Joice fired her shot straight at Earps, before skipper Lucy Staniforth tried her luck from inside her own half. Fortunately for the Royals, the alert Earps tracked back well to ensure a comfortable catch.

'Frustration' was the over-riding emotion from the Royals having dominated the majority of the match, but they hope for the right result next time around by moving on quickly.

Speaking after the match, Reading defender Bartrip commented; "Frustration kicked in early on us today, and that we need to learn from that.

"We need to move on now, we know we are capable and that is the frustrating thing”.

Manager Chambers commented; “I’m frustrated & annoyed, we dominated the game, but we did not have the end product today. We need to move on very quickly and make sure we are ready for Friday'.

Reading hope to put Sunday's result right on Friday night as they travel to Widnes to take on Liverpool Ladies in the WSL1.

Reading: Earps, Bartrip, Pearce, Van den Berg, Rowe, Moore, Williams, Allen, Bruton, Linnet, Chaplen (Furness 69').
Substitutes not used: Scott, Green, Moloney, O'Rourke, Clifford.

Sunderland: Preuss, Stewart, Williams, Sharp, Wyne, Bruinenberg, Lipka, Sjoman, Staniforth, Joice, Koren (Brown 73').
Substitutes not used: Laws, Young, Galloway, Lambert.

Referee: Stacey Pearson

Attendance: 502

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