Manager Kelly Chambers has given her thoughts on Sunday’s victory against Birmingham City at Adams Park, that saw her Royals side climb to 4th in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
Reading started the New Year with a 3-1 defeat to undefeated Chelsea at Kingsmeadow in a match that the Royals were winning before goalkeeper Grace Moloney was shown a red card for a challenge on Sam Kerr.
“We needed to bounce back,” Chambers said. “The Chelsea performance was hard, because we went down to 10 players, but it was important for us to get 3 points on the board against Birmingham and that’s pushed us up to 4th”.
The match wasn’t the typical exciting encounter that Reading FC Women fans have grown accustom to this season, as Birmingham, who finished 4th in 2018-19, made the game difficult. However, there was the similar theme of the side creating great chances in front of goal, but just unable to convert them.
“I don’t think we capitalised on much during the first 25-minutes when we were on top,” Chambers continued. “We needed to do more there. When we went 1-0 up, it gives you a bit of a cushion. We had chances to score more, but credit to the girls, they defended well to make sure we went away with the 3 points”.
For the second game in a row, Captain Natasha Harding made an appearance after an injury that has seen her side-lined for several months. The match also saw the first minutes this season for Molly Bartrip, who was also one of the long list of injuries Chambers has had to deal with so far in 2019-20.
On Captain Harding, Chambers said, “She’s not far away from returning fully. We know what she brings and we know what Molly brings, but that’s the good thing about the squad; we can rotate. We’ve got players back from injury and it’s nice now that we have the depth back in the squad so we can make changes that we need to, especially having 3 games this week. They’re big games, so no doubt those players will be used this week”.
Reading FC Women are next in action on Wednesday evening when they take on Arsenal at Meadow Park in the knockout stage of the Continental Cup, before travelling to The Pure Stadium on Sunday to take on Everton in the WSL in a match that will have clear ramifications in the chase for a top 4 finish.