Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has been giving her thoughts on Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Madejski Stadium in front of the returning Royals fans.
Chambers’ side dominated the game with over thirty attempts on the Bristol City goal, but only managed to walk away with a single goal and point, despite putting on such an attacking display for supporters in attendance.
The Reading goal came from Fara Williams, who made a triumphant return to the starting line-up after several weeks out due to illness. Williams’ strike came early in the second-half, but Reading were unable to add a much needed second goal to their tally despite the constant barrage of attempts on goal.
“I look at it and think, what else can we do?” Chambers said. “If we’re not creating the chances then there’s problems and we need to change things and approach things differently, but with the sheer amount of chances that we had, we need to be scoring more than one goal.”
“The problem is that at the moment we can’t put the ball in the back of the net and that’s costing us points on the board, so we need to find a way of fixing that. It’s obviously not the easiest thing to fix, but we are in the process of building; we’ve had a lot of changes of personnel in the team this season, so that stuff will always take a bit of time, but right now, when you’re creating that many chances, you’ve got to be scoring goals.”
The Bristol City goal came from a counter-attack involving Ebony Salmon and Charlie Wellings, who fed the ball into Emma Bissell to score the opening goal against the run of play. On Bissell’s goal, Chambers said, “When the opposition have one chance and score a goal, we really need to be defending those moments better. We knew the only way they were going to score was from a counter-attack, we knew that Ebony Salmon is incredibly fast and we looked at that during the week, but for us, we need to be scoring goals, that’s the long-and-short of it. That’s the most frustrating part.”
With top of the league Manchester United up next at Madejski this Sunday, Chambers knows that her side need to start hitting the back of the net. “I believe that when we do score, when we find that flurry, then we’ll kick-on and go up another gear, but at the moment, that’s what’s costing us the points. We’ll be looking to work hard to change that as we look forward to the Manchester United game, because we won’t get as many chances against United, but we need to make the chances we do get, count.”
Finally, on the return of fans for the very first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic, Chambers beamed as she said “It was fantastic to see them all.
"You could hear them in the stands. It was quite emotional seeing them as we came out of the tunnel and I know it meant so much to the girls to have them back and showing such great support. It was just a shame that we didn’t get the result that we wanted for them.”
Reading FC Women take on Manchester United on Sunday at Madejski for a 12.30pm kick-off. Tickets are on General Sale and can be purchased here. The cut-off to receive your tickets in the post is Thursday at 3pm, after that time you will only be able to Print-at-Home.