Reading FC Women played host to West Ham United in the FA Women’s Super League at the Select Car Leasing Stadium in their penultimate game at home this season and it wasn’t the result Kelly Chambers or any Royals fan was hoping for. The pair entered into the game with 24 points a piece occupying seventh and eighth in the table with goal difference the only thing separating the two.
Chambers took the decision to play three up front pushing Sanne Troelsgaard into a more forward position alongside Rachel Rowe and Deanne Rose and played starting positively with the pair linking up well.
West Ham got the first share of the spoils as Kate Longhurst was brought down just outside the 18 yard box but it was blocked by the Reading defensive wall and Gemma Evans once more as the rebound was blasted in.
Grace Moloney was kept busy by the visitors and the first bit of action came for the Republic of Ireland international when the ball was struck at close range before she was able to strike the ball high into the air. Dagny Brynjarsdottir was alert to the chance however and headed home before the chance was ruled offside by the linesman.
West Ham were the dominant force in the first half an hour of the scrap with Canadian Adriana Leon threatening in front of goal on multiple occasions, testing Moloney at every opportunity.
It wasn’t all the Hammers as a smart passage of play from Amalie Eikeland, Rowe and Lily Woodham linked up well resulting in a Woodham shot, but it was well saved by Mackenzie Arnold.
HT Reading 0-0 West Ham
With just a minute on the clock and West Ham made quick, clinical passes to catch out the Reading defence and Emma Snerle was through on goal to break the deadlock. Reading 0-1 West Ham.
Reading’s press looked a little improved after the goal but found themselves in the offside position on multiple occasions.
West Ham put the game to bed in the 86th as Lisa Evans commanded the right wing before crossing the ball into the box for You Hasawega who danced around the defence with some silky footwork before she smashed it in past Moloney. Reading 0-2.
The Hammer might have been expecting to leave with 2 goals and a clean sheet to their name but Faye Bryson went on a inspire run down the right before cutting inside and slotting one past Arnold in a consolation effort in the 95th minute. Reading looked desperate for an equaliser in the added time but it was to be.
FT: Reading 1-2 West Ham
Chambers post-match thoughts
On her general reflection of the team performance, ‘We were lucky after the first 45 minutes that we were still in the game…to concede that quickly after half time, it’s unacceptable and we can’t be doing that and we’re on the back foot then…we could’ve got something but everything was too little, too late”
On conceding so quickly into the second half, “So frustrating, annoying, especially when we’ve just had that conversation at half time”.
On the progress from the same fixture last season (West Ham won 5-0), “It’s been a challenging season…but we’ve rode challenges well and had a good period in the season but this is still not acceptable for us”
On Sanne Troelsgaard playing in a more forward role, “She’s good in and around goal, she likes to get in the box, it’s something we’ve been looking at, I know she plays higher up the pitch for Denmark as well, I need to get her to settle as a player as well to see the best of her”
On Faye Bryson scoring her first goal for Reading, “We’ve been trying to progress Faye as a player, we’re coaches, yes we want to win games but as well we want to develop the players because if the players are developing the team is going to get better. It was nice for Faye because she gives me the defensive side, the die hard side and I thought she had a good game and it was nice for her to get on the scoresheet”.
Reading will travel to Sutton Park for their final away game of the season as they face relegation battle side Leicester City on Sunday the 1st of May. Kick off at 2pm.