Reading FC Women swept Charlton Athletic aside with a dominant performance and resulting scoreline in a friendly at Bisham Abbey on Sunday. The victory marked the Royals’ first match of their pre-season schedule after returning to training last month.
The Royals were keeping the early possession and conjured a first shot of the game when Fara Williams set Rachel Furness on the edge of the area but the latter drove wide.
Against the run of play, moments later Charlton broke the deadlock. A goalmouth scramble following a low delivery eventually fell to Charlie Clifford who fired home across goal after a neat ball roll.
Despite falling behind, it was still the Royals dominating the play. After a penalty claim was waved away, Furness and Jo Potter both forced saves from the Charlton goalkeeper.
Eventually the increasing pressure on the Charlton goal led to two goals in four minutes as the game was turned on its head. Potter’s deep cross from the right found Furness at the back post and she powered a header back across goal. Four minutes later and the comeback was complete as Millie Farrow picked up the ball and found the near corner from just inside the box.
Reading were finding gaps with much more ease after going ahead. After drawing a save, Williams found the net with a simple header from close range following Farrow’s loft over the Charlton ‘keeper.
Half time: Reading FC Women 3-1 Charlton Athletic Women
The Royals started the second half as they ended the first and just before the hour mark it was 4-1 as Williams curled an effort into the corner from the edge of the penalty area.
No more than a minute after the fourth, Reading cut Charlton apart to score a beautifully worked fifth. Substitute Sophie Howard swept a pass inside to Williams who teed up Farrow and she finished low having skipped past a defender inside the box.
Brooke Chaplen hit the post soon after coming off the bench as the domination continued. Another substitute in Rachel Rowe marked her long-awaited return from injury with an assist as the Royals notched a 6th goal. She drove into the penalty area before playing Natasha Harding through and her fellow Welsh International slammed home across goal.
Full time: Reading FC Women 6-1 Charlton Athletic Women
Reading FC Women: Laws, Leine, Pacheco (Rowe), Williams, James, Furness, Allen (Chaplen), Harding, Farrow, Hönnudóttir (Howard), Potter.
Goals: Furness, Farrow (2), Williams (2), Harding.