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Match Reports

Royals earn point with strong performance against Gunners!

Chambers: "I thought it was a fantastic performance"

29 January 2018

Reading FC Women were resolute in defence against their Arsenal counterparts at Adams Park on Sunday afternoon, drawing 0-0 in the WSL1.

The visitors started the brighter of the two teams and went close seven minutes in when captain Jordan Nobbs' free kick was poked just wide by Dutch forward Vivianne Meidema.

Five minutes later the Royals had to be resolute to survive Arsenal pressure. First of all a perfectly-timed slide tackle by Harriet Scott denied Meidema getting a shot away from close range.

Moments later, a cross from the right found Meidema at the back post, whose header was clawed away from goal by Grace Moloney.

The hosts began to grow into the game as the first half progressed, with newly-named England manager, Phil Neville, in attendance.

The Royals almost took the lead five minutes before the break when Natasha Harding's dangerous delivery from the right was headed over by Lauren Bruton from eight yards.

Soon after, Moloney was called into action again, that time getting in the way of Louise Quinn's shot.

Moloney looked determined not to be beaten and another superb save denied Arsenal from taking the lead, this time reacting well to stop Miedema's low shot with her right leg.

Chances for Harding and former Arsenal midfielder Fara Williams went begging for the Royals before a thoroughly entertaining end-to-end final ten minutes, where both teams had chances to snatch all three points.

Brooke Chaplen made her way through a couple of challenges on the edge of the Arsenal box before forcing a good save from Sari Van Veenendaal, diving to her right.

The visitors then had opportunities of their own, most notably Beth Mead who cut in from the left and forced another magnificent save from Moloney, this time diving to her left and pushing it out for a corner.

With a minute of normal time remaining, some great link up play from the Royals’ forwards gave Lauren Bruton the space to get a shot away, but it was well charged down by a compact Gunners defence.

The last action of the game was an Arsenal break down the left, Mead got to the byline and pulled it back for Meidema, whose shot struck the side-netting.

A first league point and clean sheet of 2018 for Reading Women after an extremely tough run of January fixtures, and there were plenty of positives to take from a very controlled performance.

Here's what manager Kelly Chambers had to say: "I thought it was a fantastic performance. We made a few changes and did a bit of work in training. For the information the girls were given in such a short space of time, (for them) to deliver that was fantastic."

Referring to our 2-2 draw against Chelsea in November, Chambers continued: "It's now two top sides which have come here and we've managed to take points off them.

"It was important for us to bounce back and get some points on the board. We shut up shop and were defensively stronger today."

Reading: Moloney, Scott, Williams, Pearce, Furness, Allen, Bruton, Chaplen, Harding, Potter, Rowe.
Subs not used: Bartrip, Linnett, Fletcher, Green, Clifford

Yellow cards: Rowe 25, Furness 84

Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Williamson, Nobbs, Meidema, Quinn, O'Reilly, Evans, Janssen, Mead, Van De Donk.
Subs not used: Moorhouse, Scott, Carter, McCabe, Rose, James, Kuyken.

Yellow cards: Meidema 62, Evans 73, Nobbs 74 Red cards: None 

Referee: Helen Byrne

Attendance: 690


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