Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has given her thought on her side’s shock exit of the FA Cup at the hands of Leicester and the team’s goal of another top 4 finish in the Women’s Super League.
After a convincing 5-0 away win against London City Lionesses in the Fourth-Round of the Women’s FA Cup, the Royals were looking to book their place in the Quarter-Finals of the competition by defeating Leicester City in the Fifth Round. However, the adage of ‘the magic of the cup’ was very much in play at Farley Way Stadium, as the Championship side walked away with a 2-1 win after extra-time to progress in Reading’s place.
Brooke Chaplen opened the scoring from the spot, coolly converting a penalty to give the Royals the lead, but a 25-yard effort in the second half from Paige Bailey-Gayle forced the tie into extra-time, with Bailey-Gayle scoring again as her shot was deemed to have crossed the line after it beat Grace Moloney and hit the underside of the bar. Leicester booked their spot in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup against Manchester City and Reading made the journey back from the East Midlands with their focus shifted to the Women’s Super League.
On the loss to Leicester, Chambers said: "It was difficult. We just weren’t good enough on the night, but it certainly wasn’t a typical performance from us. Leicester wanted it a lot and I guess that’s the magic of the cup. There was a bit of controversy around their goal in extra-time, but credit to them, they gave us a good game and we wish them luck in the quarter-final."
Reading currently sit in fifth place in the Barclays Women’s Super League, just two points behind Manchester United in four, and a top-4 finish is now very much the focus of the club, according to Chambers.
“We have that fourth spot in our sights,” she said, “We were fourth just last week and have been in-and-around that position all season.
"The margins are very small from fourth down to sixth or seventh, which makes the league very exciting. But I am confident in the girls, confident that we have the strength of character within the squad to challenge the likes of Manchester United and Everton and finish in a very respectable place this season.
"It’s a position we have finished in before and one that I definitely feel we can finish in again. It’s the final push now to make sure that we get that top 4 finish."
Tickets for Reading FC Women’s final 3 home games of the 2019-20 season, against Brighton on 22nd March, Liverpool 29th March and Chelsea on 26th April are available here for £6 Adults, £3 Children/Concessions and £12 Family (2 Adults/2 Children).