After going one player and two goals down, Kelly Chambers’ 10-Woman Reading made the comeback of the season so far, scoring 3 goals in fifteen minutes to seal a remarkable away victory at West Ham.
“Three points, that’s enough for me,” laughed Chambers, “I’m proud of the girls, they needed to deliver a big second-half performance on Sunday and that’s exactly what they did”.
By the time the second-half began, 10-women Reading were firmly on the back foot. West Ham took the lead in the 4th minute through a close range free-kick, awarded after an unfortunate back-pass between Angharad James and Grace Moloney. In the dying moments of the first-half the odds were stacked even further against Reading as Rachel Rowe was dismissed by referee Lloyd Wood. Then, against the run of play, West Ham doubled their lead in the 65th minute, leaving the outcome seeming all but determined for Chambers’ side.
“If anything, we were thinking ‘if we get a point, we’ll take a point’. When you go 2-0 down, you’re thinking the game is done.”
However, on the 75th minute, the comeback began in earnest when defender Kristine Leine – who scored her first Royals goal 3 days previously in the 6-0 victory against Crystal Palace – netted her second of the week when she converted from closer range after a Fara Williams corner.
Just one minute later, Williams floated a beautiful ball through the middle onto Brooke Chaplen who nodded it on for herself, beating her marker and slotting the ball home, past Anna Moorhouse to bring the score level.
Not content with a hard-earned point, and where many sides would have sat back and played for the draw, Reading kept pushing, hitting the bar twice through Williams and Sophie Howard, whose 25-yard effort would have been a goal of the season contender had it dipped a centimetre lower.
But in the 88th minute, the winner did come, as another Williams corner made it’s way to the outside post, where Amalie Eikeland played the ball back across goal for Jade Moore to tuck away to round off an incredible team performance.
“The girls showed great character and great desire to make sure that we got something out of the game and I’m extremely proud of them. The fight and desire were unbelievable. Now, with Brighton on Friday, it’s time to recover, reflect and build on that performance.”
Reading FC Women travel to the People’s Pension Stadium on Friday where they meet Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA WSL for a 7.45pm kick off. With the 6-0 victory against Crystal Palace and the heroic effort against West Ham in the rear-view mirror, the side will be looking to capitalise on the huge momentum on Friday before they return to Adams Park against Arsenal on Sunday December 8th.
Tickets for all Reading FC Women matches are available here.