Unlike in previous weeks, the frustration of not being able to make all the attacking chances count was somewhat eradicated, as Reading got on the scoreboard 3 times, with goals from Remi Allen, Brooke Chaplen and Angharad James. Unfortunately, so did opponents Bristol City who came back from being 3-1 down to level the final score 3-3 on Women’s Football Weekend.
Brooke Chaplen was busy early on, putting a clever ball through for Fara Williams into the box, but Williams was just unable to latch onto it before Sophie Baggaley collected it. Shortly after, Chaplen weaved her own way into the Bristol area, but her pass went across the box unanswered.
Williams found herself in a great position in front of goal minutes later as the Reading chances kept coming, but with a Bristol defender obstructing her view of goal, Williams lashed the ball wide. The Lionesses record cap holder was involved in another chance shotrtly after, when floated a clever free-kick to put Amalie Eikeland in over on the right, who crossed the ball to the back post, but it was just too high for Kristine Leine to get her head on.
The best chance of the early stage before the scoring opened fell to Rachel Rowe, who connected well with a badly cleared ball from Bristol, but her shot was just wide of the visitor’s goal.
At the quarter hour mark, Remi Allen found herself through on goal after a long ball from Leine was flicked on by Angharad James, with Williams to her left, Allen decided to go alone and slotted low past the advancing Baggaley to give the home side the lead.
Before the celebrating Royals fans in attendance had a chance to stop cheering, a wayward clearance from Bristol found it’s way to Chaplen, who raced into the area; she went around Baggaley and slotted home neatly to double Reading’s lead.
Reading maintained long periods of control with nicely crafted link-up play in the final third, but the next goal came from Bristol, as Wellings turned away from her marker and fired into the bottom of the Reading net.
Just before half time, a last of a barrage of Royals’ attacks almost paid off when Leine found herself at the back post again, the ball dropped to her, but her shot was high and it soared over the City bar.
Half-Time: Reading FC Women 2 – 1 Bristol City Women
Reading made their intentions known from the outset, winning a corner after Chaplen threatened the Bristol goal. The corner came in courtesy of Williams and was received by James who headed home for Reading’s third and her first for the club.
Minutes later, the visitors answered as Ebony Salmon broke free on the left, putting a ball into the six-yard box for substitute Yana Daniels to get a boot on and bring City within just one goal of the Royals again.
Williams and Leine linked up again for another close chance when the latter got on the end of the former’s corner and glanced a header just over the bar, as Reading continued to look for another goal to put the game out of Bristol’s reach. This was nearly achieved minutes later as Allen found herself, once again, bounding towards goal, she tried to place the ball to the right of Baggaley again, but this time she was just wide.
Rachel Rowe had her eye on goal again as she broke down the right hand side, but her shot was wide of the mark and Reading continued to search for another goal, in what was beginning to feel like a familiar story.
Blue and White frustrations grew to a fever pitch as Salmon, who had been causing Reading problems all afternoon, was released into space and beat Grace Moloney, before slotting the ball away and Bristol pulled the game level for the first time since the 16th minute.
The pressure continued for Reading as the final minutes ticked down, but the winning goal didn’t come and despite the goals scored, there was a familiar feeling of deserving more from a game.
Full-Time: Reading FC Women 3 – 3 Bristol City Women
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Leine, Pacheco, Williams, James (Farrow 83), Allen, Eikeland (Utland 90), Moore, Chaplen, Rowe, Howard
Subs not used: Bennink, Laws, Skeels, Reynolds, Cruickshank
Scorers: Allen (16), Chaplen (18), James (48)
Yellow cards: Howard
Bristol City Women: Baggaley, Dykes, Evans, Brown, Humphrey, Salmon (Reilly), Wellings, Allen, Sargeant, Wilson (Chance), Harrison (Daniels)
Subs not used: Matthews, Cumings, Stripple, Robinson
Scorers: Wellings (37), Daniels (49), Salmon (83)
Yellow Card: Brown