‘It’s funny how football can seem so hopeless’ then Rachel Rowe makes it better

Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham.
Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham.

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There’s an old football cliche that says “goals change games”. It’s probably true, most cliches are. But last Sunday Rachel Rowe by scoring a double and securing three points for Reading FC Women may well have invented another “two goals can change a season”.

While this saying isn’t as catchy, and is unlikely to join the football lexicon any time soon, it certainly feels true of Reading’s season.

Heading into injury time Reading were a goal down to a resolute Leicester side who had defended excellently all afternoon in the FA Women’s Super League clash.

The Royals were about to be on the end of a sixth defeat of the season and would, if the scores stayed the same, be heading into their next fixture rock bottom of the table on zero points. The next fixture for Reading would be Manchester City. That’s Lauren Hemp’s Manchester City. Chloe Kelly’s Manchester City. Bunny Shaw’s Manchester City. You get the picture.

Pure relief for Kelly Chambers after beating Leicester City.
Pure relief for Kelly Chambers after beating Leicester City. Photo: Neil Graham.

Thankfully one player in the stadium had other ideas, that person was Rachel Rowe. One word you can use for the Welsh international whether she is playing at full-back or in a more advanced role is direct. And that’s excactly what she showed with her two goals. The first scored directly from a corner. Sometimes the blunt brute force option can work best.

While Rowe’s first goal lacked a bit of finesse and beauty, the second one certainly made up for that. Dancing through the Leicester City midfield Rowe struck a perfect shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards out. Again, direct, but this time with a little more elegance than the first. An injury-time winner for Reading and quite probably the greatest moment at the Select Car Leasing Stadium for Reading in their time in the WSL.

Rachel Rowe faces the camera's after the Reading FC Women win over Leicester City. Photo: Neil Graham.
Rachel Rowe faces the camera’s after the Reading FC Women win over Leicester City. Photo: Neil Graham.

Leicester City’s players reacted to the last-minute winner with utter dejection. Reading’s players with jubilation. It would be Leicester City entering next weekend’s fixtures rock bottom on zero points. The next fixture for the Foxes will be Arsenal. That’s Vivianne Miedema’s Arsenal. Kim Little’s Arsenal. Beth Mead’s Arsenal. You get the picture!

It’s funny how football can seem so hopeless and a few minutes later Rachel Rowe has made it all seem better again.

Reading play Manchester City on Sunday at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. While it will certainly be a difficult game, the two goals from Rowe against Leicester have somehow made it seem a less daunting prospect. After all, two goals can change a season.

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