Fara Williams hat trick rescues Reading Women

Fara Williams. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Fara Williams. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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Reading Women returned to the Madejski Stadium to host Championship side Lewes on Sunday in the group stage of the Continental Cup.

Lewes were beaten 3-2 as the Royals made it two wins from two in Group D thanks in no small part to a Fara Williams hat trick.

On the day, the Royals handed a first team debut to 18-year-old Academy captain and former Burghfield player Kiera Skeels having recently played for England under 19s.

Speaking to the Reading FC website about Skeels, match winner Williams said: “It was fantastic. In the Madejski Stadium, it’s big pressure. I think she handled herself very well and had a brilliant performance”.

Kiera Skeels (centre) with fellow academy graduate Bethan Roberts. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Kelly Chambers side didn’t have it all their own way however, despite taking the lead after 16 minutes through Fara Williams, the first half didn’t follow the script with Lewes frustrating and Emily Donovan pegging back the home team on 27, then taking the lead through Ellie’s Noble’s 30 yard strike on 34.

Reading manager Chambers made a double substitution at half time, Maz Pacheco and Rakel Hönnudóttir for Jade Moore and Amalie Eikeland in a bid to secure all three points.

Rakel Hönnudóttir. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Eikeland’s pace made an instant impact with a driving cross to the far post, but Utland couldn’t convert the chance. With Lewes being forced back further and further is wasn’t long before Reading levelled from a Williams strike which Baker pushed into her goal on 55, 2-2

Chambers made another change on 68, Millie Farrow for Utland. With Farrow and Eikeland putting Lewes defenders under increasing pressure, Williams was on hand to head home the winning for her hat-trick in injury time to secure all three 3 points and to put Reading top in group D.

Full credit to Lewes who almost pulled off the upset.

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Full time: Reading Women 3-2 Lewes Women

Reading: Laws, Leine, Pacheco (Moore 45), Williams, James, Hönnudóttir (Eikeland 45), Utland (Farrow 68), Chaplen, Rowe, Howard, Skeels. Subs not used: Moloney, Roberts.

Lewes: Baker, Cleverley, Hayes, Taylor (Howell 90), Noble, Ness, King (Rowbotham 85), Powell, Donovan, O’Rourke, Savva. Subs not used: Jones, Lane, Rood.

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