Fara fires Roy­als to two more big wins

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT - By TOM CROCKER at Adams Park

Arse­nal Women 1 Read­ing Women 2

FARA WILLIAMS scored a stun­ning goal from the half­way line as Read­ing con­tin­ued their fine form with vic­tory at Arse­nal.

The Roy­als are now un­beaten in five matches, win­ning four, and pre­served their per­fect start to the Conti Cup cam­paign.

After a goal­less first half, Williams broke the dead­lock against her for­mer club with a close-range fin­ish, only for Beth Mead to quickly level.

How­ever, Williams net­ted im­me­di­ately from the restart, shoot­ing from kick-off and bril­liantly lob­bing the ball over the head of goal­keeper Anna Moor­house to seal a 2-1 win.

“That just shows the cal­i­bre of player she is,” man­ager Kelly Cham­bers (pic­tured) said when asked about Williams’ won­der goal.

“She’s been a great ad­di­tion for us and that’s shown by how many goals she’s got so far.

“She looks like she’s got a new lease of life. She’s scor­ing goals, she’s con­fi­dent and she’s en­joy­ing her foot­ball so long may it con­tinue.”

Cham­bers made four changes to the side which beat Wat­ford in mid­week with Becky Jane, Kirsty Pearce, Har­riet Scott and Brooke Chaplen all earn­ing re­calls.

It was a lively start from both but Read­ing had the first open­ing when cap­tain Pearce tried her luck fol­low­ing a corner.

Vi­vianne Miedema was played through one-on-one for Arse­nal on the half hour mark, but Grace Moloney spread her­self well to deny the Hol­land in­ter­na­tional, while Jo Pot­ter’s free-kick just cleared the cross­bar. The hosts be­gan the sec­ond half well with Jodie Tay­lor go­ing close, but Read­ing moved ahead when Williams poked in a Lau­ren Bru­ton cross from the left.

Sub­sti­tute Mead equalised, stroking the ball past Moloney, but the mo­ment of the match was about to ar­rive as Williams lined up an ef­fort straight from the kick-off to stun the Gun­ners.

Moloney was called into ac­tion to thwart Danielle Carter late on, but Read­ing held on.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic win,” said Cham­bers.

“We knew it wasn’t go­ing to be an easy game but it was im­por­tant for us to show how far we’ve come and that we can com­pete with the likes of Arse­nal.

“I’m re­ally happy for the girls.

“Any man­ager knows that once you’ve got mo­men­tum it’s very hard to break and we’ve got great mo­men­tum and great con­fi­dence at the minute and we’re tak­ing that into ev­ery game.

“We were able to mix it with the nice and the ugly and it’s got us a re­sult.”

Read­ing host WSL 1 lead­ers Chelsea on Sun­day (12.35pm) in the league.

READ­ING: Moloney, Jane, Pearce (c), Pot­ter, H. Scott, Williams, Allen, Bar­trip (Lin­nett 72), Chaplen (Rowe 77), Bru­ton (Green

90), Fur­ness.

Subs not used: Earps, van den Berg, Clifford.

Goals: Williams x2 (54,62)

Yel­low cards: Bru­ton (29), Allen (33)

ARSE­NAL: Moor­house, Rose, Quinn (Carter 62), Wil­liamson (Janssen 38), Mitchell, van de Donk, Nobbs, O’Reilly, James, Miedema, Tay­lor (Mead 57).

Subs not used: van Vee­nen­daal, A. Scott, Evans, Hinds.

Goal: Mead (61)

Yel­low card: Quinn (49)

Ref­eree: Matt Buonas­sisi

Read­ing Women 4 Wat­ford Ladies 0

KELLY CHAM­BERS says she ex­pected more from her side, de­spite a dom­i­nant 4-0 vic­tory over Wat­ford which ended Read­ing’s 20-month win­less home run.

Roy­als had won just once since per­ma­nently mov­ing to Adams Park, in their first game there way back in March 2016 against Mill­wall Lionesses.

But they fi­nally ended the un­wanted streak thanks to goals from Fara Williams, Molly Bar­trip and Kirsty Lin­nett, as well as a Mer­rick Will own goal, to make a per­fect start to their Con­ti­nen­tal Cup cam­paign.

Yet Cham­bers, whose side are un­beaten since the open­ing day of the sea­son, wanted to see a bet­ter dis­play.

“It’s an­other four goals and an­other clean sheet for us with a num­ber of changes to the start­ing 11,” said the man­ager.

“So on that side of it re­ally pleased, but per­for­mance wise I ex­pected bet­ter.

“I thought we took our foot off the pedal after the first goal. I think we should’ve kept the pres­sure on and maybe got a cou­ple more.

“But I know what it’s like when you make a num­ber of changes to a team and you play against a team that’s in the league be­low.

“We’re build­ing and you can see that in our per­for­mances and our re­sults.”

Cham­bers did make some changes from the week­end 5-0 league win over Bris­tol City with Mandy van den Berg, Anna Green, Rachel Fur­ness and Lin­nett all earn­ing re­calls, as well as a rare start for goal­keeper Grace Moloney.

But she would have lit­tle to do for the en­tirety of the con­test.

Read­ing took an early lead with less than five min­utes on the clock as Williams guided the ball into the bot­tom corner from close range.

But any hopes that the hosts would run riot were quickly quelled as Wat­ford dug in and made Read­ing work.

The game was be­ing played al­most en­tirely in the Wat­ford half with Rachel Rowe see­ing a shot blocked while Williams was de­nied by goal­keeper Fran Kitch­ing and Kirsty Lin­nett blazed wide when she should have done bet­ter.

The visi­tors did make one dan­ger­ous break for­wards through Rin­sola Baba­jide, but van den Berg re­cov­ered well to make a strong chal­lenge.

And the lead was dou­bled on the stroke of half-time when a deep cross to the back post was met by the un­marked Bar­trip to head home.

Cham­bers made two switches at the break, bring­ing on Becky Jane and Brooke Chaplen for Rowe and Allen and again Read­ing be­gan the half brightly.

A short corner from Jo Pot­ter was fired over from 20 yards by Williams be­fore a golden chance was wasted as sub­sti­tute Chaplen some­how scooped over from close range with an open goal at her mercy.

And the Roy­als con­tin­ued to turn the screw as Wat­ford tired with Lin­nett hav­ing a goal ruled out and be­ing de­nied by a fine Kitch­ing stop be­fore fi­nally net­ting her first Read­ing goal with a well-placed ef­fort.

Read­ing were not done there, al­most adding a fourth when Fur­ness’s header hit the cross­bar.

The visi­tors nearly grabbed a con­so­la­tion when Baba­jide curled to­wards the bot­tom corner, but the ball crept just wide of the post.

But it was Read­ing who got a fourth when a low cross from Green was turned into her own net by Will in stop­page time.

“I think it was im­por­tant for Kirsty (Lin­nett) to get off the mark,” said Cham­bers.

“We know that she’s a nat­u­ral goalscorer. We knew that she had to get that one and get off the mark and she’s done that.

“Hope­fully now we’ll see her flour­ish.”

READ­ING: Moloney; Rowe (Jane 45), Pot­ter (c), van den Berg, Green; Bar­trip, Allen (Chaplen 45), Fur­ness; Bru­ton, Williams, Lin­nett.

Subs not used: Earps, Scott, Pearce, Clifford. Goals: Williams (5), Bar­trip (45), Lin­nett (68), Will (OG) (90+1)

WAT­FORD: Kitch­ing; Cudone (Ward 66), Nut­tall (c), McCarthy, Jones, McKeag; Maple (Fatuga-Dada 66), Will, Pud­de­foot; Mur­ray (Petkova 79), Baba­jide.

Subs not used: Bara­nowska, Kerr, Bell.

Yel­low card: Mur­ray (70)

Ref­eree: Sian Massey-El­lis

At­ten­dance: 211

Jo Pot­ter leads the Roy­als out at Adams Park

Fara Williams opens the scor­ing

Jo Pot­ter leads the Roy­als out at Adams Park

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