Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers gives her thoughts on an impressive 3-1 win against Aston Villa in RG2 and three well-earned points.
The dominant performance saw Chambers’ Royals take the lead in the 24th minute through Norwegian striker Amalie Eikeland, before Lauren Bruton netted to mark her first start for the side since the 2018-19 season. Fara Williams’ coolly taken penalty on the stroke of half-time meant the Royals went into the break with a three-goal advantage. However, the home side didn’t take their foot off the pedal and continued to press throughout the second-half with a barrage of chances, but alas more goals didn’t come. The three points were, however, secured and the memory of the defeat at the hands of league leaders Arsenal on the opening weekend was placed firmly in the rear-view mirror.
“It was important that we bounce back and that we didn’t get too deflated from last week,” Chambers said. “But most important was that we went and got those three-points. I’m happy for the girls and they’re over the moon that they did that.”
Chambers’ side had the majority of the game, with huge attacking returns; 29 shots on the Villa goal with 13 on target. “We knew how we wanted to create the chances,” Chambers said. “We knew what we had to do and we were happy with the first-half performance. With the second-half performance, even though it was good, we needed to be more ruthless in front of goal and if we had been, the game would have been dead-and-buried within the first fifteen-minutes of the second-half. But we didn’t do that, and that’s what put us under the cosh as Aston Villa got a little bit of momentum just from the fact that we weren’t finishing those chances. Even though we scored three goals, which we are happy with, it should have been more, and we should have put the game to bed earlier.”
On the Women’s Super League, in which Arsenal currently sit top, scoring 15 goals in the first two games of the campaign, Chambers knows that it will require hard work to compete with the top sides. “Everybody’s added to their squad, but the teams at the top really seem to have added a bit better. It’s going to be tough, but when you look at Manchester City drawing with Brighton, it just shows how competitive the league can be.
“With the long layoff, it’s just the case for us – and every other team – of getting as many match minutes into the girls, building on the momentum and getting results. It’s going to be an interesting season, especially with a lot of team’s loaned players going back in December, it’ll be a tale of two seasons, almost; first and second half. As I say, it’ll be incredibly interesting and a case of who turns up on the day. Anything can happen.”
Chambers’ side are next in action following the international break, when they take on West Ham in a league clash at Chigwell Constructions Stadium on Sunday October 4th.