Reading FC Women start their Vitality Women’s FA Cup campaign this Sunday as they take on Tottenham in the fourth round at Madejski Stadium.
Kelly Chambers’ side will be in action for the first time in a fortnight following an incredibly disappointing league defeat to West Ham last time out. It will also be the first time that Reading have competed in the FA Cup for fourteen-months, since their last fixture in February of 2020, mere weeks before the very first national lockdown.
The Royals have, however, played Sunday’s opponents Tottenham much more recently, as Spurs visited Madejski just last month, with both sides sharing the spoils following a 0-0 draw.
Tottenham’s recent form guide
In the five weeks since the goalless league meeting between the clubs at the Madejski on March 14th, Tottenham have played three WSL fixtures. Their home game with Bristol City at The Hive started promisingly when they led through a 3rd minute goal from Siri Worm. City, though, hit back and a second-half goal from Gemma Evans made the final score line 1-1. Six days later the Tottenham Hotspur stadium was the venue for the North London derby. Visitors Arsenal ran out comfortable winners 3-0, their goals coming from Foord, Miedema and McCabe. Spurs’ most recent outing was a fortnight ago when they entertained Manchester City at The Hive. Again, the outcome was a 3-0 home defeat, City’s goals coming from Janine Beckie, Caroline Weir and an unfortunate own goal from Becky Spencer. Tottenham are currently 8th place in the league table, one place below the Royals. Both clubs have played 19 fixtures with Reading gaining three more points over the campaign. Tottenham have scored a total of 22 League and Cup goals this season, with Angela Addison their top scorer with 3 goals.
The Tottenham squad – three to look out for
Shelina Zadorsky – defender, squad number #3.
The 28-year-old initially joined last August on loan from Orlando Pride and has now signed a contract until the end of the season. The experienced Canadian international has quickly become an integral part of the backline. She played in Australia and Sweden before moving to Washington Spirit where she made 32 appearances before joining Orlando Pride in January 2018. She has 69 caps for Canada, winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Angela Addison – forward, squad number #14.
Addison is a highly rated 21-year-old forward who joined from C&K Basildon in 2018. She netted 6 goals in the FA Women’s Championship in 2018-19 and 4 goals last season including a four-minute hat trick in a 6-0 win over Lewes in the Conti Cup. She recently penned a new contract pledging her future to Spurs until the summer of 2022 with the option of a future year. This season she has netted against Brighton and Everton in the WSL and against London City Lionesses in the Conti Cup.
Alanna Kennedy – midfield, squad number #18
Like Zadorsky, the Australian international joined on loan from Orlando Pride and has now agreed a deal to stay until the end of the current season. The 26-year-old played for several clubs in Australia before moving to the States in 2016, joining Western New York Flash and then Orlando Pride for whom she has made some 60 appearances with 8 goals. She made her debut for the Matildas back in 2012 and has accrued some 87 appearances and featured in both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.
A look back at the FA Women’s FA Cup in 2019-20
Both Reading and Tottenham enjoyed some limited success in last season’s competition. Both entered the competition at the 4th round stage, and both were paired with lower ranked opponents. Tottenham had a home tie against Barnsley from the FA Women's National League Division 1 North. Three goals in seven first-half minutes put Spurs firmly in control and they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners. Their goals came from Rianna Dean (2), Siri Worm, Gemma Davison, and Elisha Sulola.
The Royals meanwhile had a journey up the M40 to take on London City Lionesses from the FA Women’s Championship. They also triumphed 5-0. They led comfortably at the interval through strikes from Fara Williams, Jo Potter and Maz Pacheco. In the second half Williams netted a penalty and Lisa-Marie Utland also got on the scoresheet. In Round 5, Tottenham enjoyed another 5-0 success this time at Championship side Coventry United. Rianna Dean netted three times including two penalties, with Siri Worm and Lucia Leon also hitting the target.
Reading were also away to Championship opponents in the form of Leicester City Women. It initially went well for the Royals. After having two goals disallowed for offside, Brooke Chaplen scored from the penalty spot. The Royals held the advantage until the 79th minute when 18-year-old Paige Bailey-Gayle’s shot from 25 yards went in off the post. Then, with penalties looming, Bailey-Gayle hammered home her second goal via the crossbar to settle the contest. Tottenham were now in the quarter finals but with the season curtailed by the pandemic this was held over to late September 2020. An away trip to Arsenal ended Spurs’ Wembley aspirations, the Gunners cruising home 4-0.
Reading FC Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women | Sunday 18th April | 2pm | Madejski Stadium