Reading FC Women boss Kelly Chambers has been talking about Sunday’s close defeat at the hands of top of the league Manchester United at Madejski Stadium, and her side’s outstanding performance.
A first-half goal from the visiting side courtesy of Leah Galton was cancelled out in the second-half by a strike from Jess Fishlock, however, with just over five minutes remaining, Haylee Ladd nodded in from a set piece to seal the victory for the visiting side to ensure they remain unbeaten.
“To take nothing out of the game was hard,” Chambers said. “I think that we were superb from start to finish, there were a lot of times where we were on top, but unfortunately, when you’re playing top of the league and you give them an opportunity, nine times out of ten they’re going to take them. It’s disappointing that we‘ve conceded from a set-piece to lose the game.”
Chambers heaped praise on her team, who controlled large portions of the game and were unlucky not to score more. “Credit to my girls, they were outstanding, their performance was spot on, as it has been the last couple of weeks. It’s just finding that moment where we can turn it into three points.
“United are a great side and they have great momentum at the moment if you look at where they are in the league and the wins they’ve been picking up against top sides. We knew that we’d have to be at the top of our game, which I felt that we were. We were comfortable on the ball, we were great in terms of playing out and dealing with their press and I feel that we were great at all those aspects.”
Before Ladd netted the winner on the 82nd minute, it looked as if Reading were heading for a fifth straight 1-1 draw in the FA Barclays Women’s Super League, having walked away from matches against Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton and Bristol with the same score-line.
On recent results not necessarily reflecting the positive performances, Chambers said, “Our performances have been magnificent, but there needs to be a turning point where we were turning those games into results. Whether that’s a team nicking a draw that should have been our win as it was against Bristol, or losing a game when we should have got something out of it, like we should have against United.
“In previous games, we haven’t been taking our chances to get the three points when we should have, which makes us put pressure on ourselves to get something against top of the league. If we’d have got the win against Bristol in the last game, as we should have done, the loss to United would still be a tough one to take, but we’d have that win to fall back on.”
Next up for Reading FC Women is the final game of the calendar year, as they travel to The People’s Pension Stadium on Sunday against Brighton & Hove Albion for a 2.30pm kick-off. Reading last played Brighton on November 18th in the Continental Cup, where they left 2-0 victors after goals in each half from Natasha Harding and Amalie Eikeland, respectively.
“We need to stick together with Brighton coming up,” Chambers said. “As I’ve said, we’re performing well and we just now need to turn it into three points against Brighton on Sunday and hopefully go into the Christmas break with a win.”
Reading FC Women are next in action at Madejski on January 10th when Chelsea pay a visit to RG2 for a 2pm kick-off in FA Barclays Women’s Super League action.