Reading FC Women came away from Manchester City with a point in a bag, coming from behind to earn a draw on Friday night.
In front of the BT Sport cameras, Georgia Stanway netted a stunning goal – only for second-half sub Jade Moore to head the Royals level and give our side a share of the spoils.
It was a difficult first period for Reading. Opportunities to get into the hosts’ box were limited, meaning that shots were restricted to efforts from range – Charlie Estcourt had the best of the efforts but Ellie Roebuck was untroubled.
City, on the other hand, were profiting from a direct approach and Jill Scott’s curling shot was only narrowly wide after Steph Houghton fed the ball forward.
Stanway – who had notched a hat-trick last time out against Brighton – came close to breaking the deadlock when he played a quick one-two with Keira Walsh but Grace Moloney saved with her legs.
But the Irish stopper had no chance when Caroline Wear’s corner was cleared to the edge of the box and Stanway cracked in a swerving half-volley from distance – Man City led.
Moore was introduced at half-time, making her first appearance of the new season due to an ankle injury. And five minutes after joining the action, she found space to head Fara Williams’ corner past Ellie Roebuck and in.
City attacked Nikita Parris was looking for a goal that would have taken her level as all-time WSL leading goalscorer, but Moloney made some smart stops – and the Royals goalie even took a loose boot in the face from Parris as she bravely gathered at her feet. After mopping up the blood, she was okay to continue.
A well-contested and even game might have gone the hosts’ way right at the death when Tessa Wullaert struck from 20 yards and saw her shot cannon away off the crossbar.
Even it ended as the Royals took a well-merited point.
Full-time: Man City Women 1-1 Reading FC Women
Man City Women: Roebuck, Bonner, McManus, Beattie, Houghton, Scott, Weir, Walsh, Wullaert, Stanway, Parris.
Unused subs: Jans, Lawley, Nadim, Beckie, Stenson, Emslie, Morgan.
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Jane, Harding, Pearce, Potter, Estcourt (Moore HT), Furness, Allen, Bruton, Williams, Chaplen.
Unused subs: Laws, Davison, Pacheco, Bartrip, Woodham.