Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers has been speaking about her side’s triumphant trip to Brighton last night that saw the Royals leave Crawley with a 2-0 win and three points in the final Conti Cup group game.
A first-half header from skipper Natasha Harding and a second-half strike from Amalie Eikeland saw Reading walk away with the win, in a well-rounded team performance.
On the victory at the People’s Pension Stadium, Chambers said, “It was nice that we got the result that we feel we have deserved over the last couple of weeks, and also that we had another good performance. I felt that our performance was outstanding from the word go, so it was nice to top that off with a win as well.”
“Brighton are a very organised team,” Chambers continued, discussing Reading’s fellow Women’s Super League side. “We knew how organised they are and we knew exactly what threats they would pose, but to be fair, I think the girls just found a bit more confidence and showed that in the way that they played in getting on the ball, passing and moving. But the crucial part that we have been missing is goalscoring and it’s been brilliant to be able to add that to our game of late, and hopefully continue that.”
Captain Natasha Harding’s goal against Brighton was her second in as many games, following a fantastic goal-of-the-season contender against Everton in the Women’s Super League last Sunday. Chambers spoke on the skipper’s new, more attacking role with the Royals. “I know Tash is known as a striker to everybody outside, and it was something that we wanted to try. But something that Tash always gives is sheer hard work and determination defensively, and as much as she’s giving now; in-possession and scoring goals, she still gives us a massive out-of-possession work rate as well.”
The match against Brighton was also noteworthy for being defender Lily Woodham’s first start for the club. Welsh international Woodham, who scored on her debut for her national side last month, started at left back ahead of Emma Mitchell, whom she replaced against Everton last weekend against Everton when Mitchell took a knock which preceded Everton’s goal.
“I thought Lily was outstanding,” Chambers said. “In somebody that was hit with injuries a lot last season in loan spells, for her to come in and work so hard; she deserves the time she got. Obviously, she came on against Everton last weekend and was outstanding then as well, and she’s taken that confidence and has delivered once again against Brighton.”
An international break follows, before Reading return to action in December for three games before the end of the year, two of them being played at home, something Reading FC Women didn’t do for the entire month of November.
“It’s a real shame there’s an international break. We’ve had some really good performances, and now we’ve found that win, we have to stop again. If we can take confidence from the victory against Brighton and take it forward, through the international break and onwards, when we finally have some home games, then I feel that will be great for us to see out the rest of the calendar year.”
Reading FC Women are next in action on December 6th when they take on Bristol City at Madejski Stadium in their first home match since the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on October 18th.