Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has spoken about her side’s never-say-die win against Tottenham on Sunday, which sees them head into the Christmas break on a fine run of form.
The 3-1 victory against Spurs at Adams Park was typical of recent performances, which saw the Royals 1-0 down with less than 15 minutes of the game to play. In a similar display as the game against West Ham in late November, which saw a 10-women Reading come from 2-0 down to win 3-2, they kept battling until the very end against Tottenham, even sealing the deal with a 99th minute goal from Norway international Amalie Eikeland.
“We’re ecstatic to get the 3 points, that’s what we wanted to do,” said Chambers of the win which helped the Royals leapfrog Tottenham in the league. “We weren’t happy with the first-half, there were opportunities we could have capitalised on that probably could have put the game to bed. We allowed them to get back into the game in the first-half, but we changed a few things at halftime and credit to the girls; halfway through the second-half we changed shape and they adapted to that and I believe that’s where the goals came from as we started to threaten Spurs a lot more.”
On what is becoming a trademark of her side getting very late goals after agonising spells of constantly going close to scoring, Chambers said, “It is difficult to keep patience, especially with the amount of opportunities we had, particularly in the second-half. Full credit to Tottenham, they defended their box really well but it is one of those games where you have to be patient and we got a couple of goals from set-pieces, but there were a lot more chances that we should have scored from open play, so if there’s one frustrating thing that has come from the game it’s that we aren’t taking enough of the chances we are getting, at the minute.”
Chambers felt confident with her side’s chances of winning the game, even when they were 1-0 down with just 13 minutes of the match remaining, and she puts that down to the team’s recent performances. “After the week we’ve had, the performances against Arsenal and then Chelsea midweek, we knew we had to take those performances into the Tottenham game and I truly believed, even when we were 1-0 down, once we had changed shape and noticed the gaps in the game that we needed to utilise, we knew the result would come.”
With a positive final run of games in 2019, Chambers is grateful of her team’s mentality, but feels the break isn’t overly well timed, with such positive energy in the camp. “The girls have a game plan to put into place and over the last 3 games they’ve done that and that’s credit to them, and it shows that when they do that, the performances they can put in and results they can get. We won penalties against Chelsea and 3 points against Tottenham, it’s a shame that we’ve got a break really, as we’re just building momentum, but it’ll be good for the girls. Hopefully they can come back in refreshed and ready to go again.”
Reading FC Women are next in action on January 5th against Chelsea at Kingsmeadow with a recently changed kick-off time of 12:30pm for broadcast on the BBC Red Button service. Chambers knows the dangers the blues, who currently sit 3rd in the Barclays FA WSL table, pose. “We’ve got Chelsea first game back and we know that’s going to be a difficult game, especially as we took points off them mid-week in the Conti Cup. But we need to come in, all guns blazing on the front foot, ready to go after that Christmas break.”