Semis beckon for Roy­als

Ever­ton Ladies 1 Read­ing Women 1 (Read­ing win 4-3 on pens.)

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT - Pic­ture: Neil Gra­ham

KIRSTY LIN­NETT was the hero as Read­ing Women beat Ever­ton Ladies on penal­ties to book their spot in the Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup semi-fi­nals.

Lin­nett has strug­gled for goals this sea­son for the Roy­als, but she pro­duced when it re­ally mat­tered, com­ing off the bench to lash home from 25 yards.

Af­ter a goal­less 90 min­utes this strike in ex­tra time looked like be­ing enough, only for Ever­ton to equalise in the 112th minute through Chloe Kelly.

The game moved to a shoot-out and while Lau­ren Bru­ton missed, with Brooke Chaplen, Mel Fletcher and Remi Allen all scor­ing and Grace Moloney sav­ing two kicks from the hosts, all eyes turned to Lin­nett.

The striker stepped up and tucked home her spot kick to send Kelly Cham­bers’ side into the last four where they will play Arsenal at Adams Park in Jan­uary.

“I had a knock in the week so had not trained in the few days be­fore the match,” ex­plained Lin­nett.

“They put me on pretty early so it was nice to get on and gave me time to get into the game and I got my re­wards.

“I nor­mally take the first penalty, but this time I was asked to go fifth and I was happy about that.”

Cham­bers made just one change from the side which beat Mill­wall 5-0 last time out with Har­riet Scott re­plac­ing Molly Bar­trip in de­fence.

And Read­ing started well in Mersey­side with Fara Wil­liams go­ing close while at the other end Court­ney Sweet­man-Kirk failed to con­vert.

Allen looked to have given Roy­als the lead as she tried to bun­dle in, but ref­eree Ben­jamin Speedie deemed the ball to have not crossed the line.

Jo Pot­ter also went close to seal­ing a win­ner in nor­mal time but the game needed an ex­tra 30 min­utes.

Lin­nett then struck four min­utes af­ter the restart, lash­ing high into the net from out­side the box for just her sec­ond goal of the sea­son.

But Kelly lev­elled up towards the end of ex­tra time, tuck­ing home from close range to send the game to spot kicks where Moloney and Lin­nett en­sured pro­gres­sion to the last four.

“We didn’t per­form very well,” said man­ager Cham­bers.

“I’m just glad we’ve man­aged to grind out a re­sult even if it’s through penal­ties.

“It just shows the char­ac­ter we have in our team and mak­ing sure we’re in a semi­fi­nal.”

Read­ing now take a break from ac­tion un­til host­ing Manch­ester City in WSL 1 on Jan­uary 7.

READ­ING: Moloney, Jane, Scott (A. Green 76), Pearce (c) (Fletcher 119), Pot­ter (van den Berg 90), Fur­ness, Wil­liams (Lin­nett 72), Rowe, Allen, Bru­ton, Chaplen.

Subs not used: Earps, Clif­ford.

Goal: Lin­nett (94)

Yel­low cards: Bru­ton (26), Wil­liams (56)

Pens: Chaplen (scored), Fletcher (scored), Bru­ton (missed), Allen (scored), Lin­nett (scored)

EVER­TON: Lev­ell, Boye-Hlorkah, Worm, Brougham, Ge­orge, James, Brett, Turner (c), Mag­ill (M. Green 102), Kelly, Sweet­man-Kirk. Subs not used: Du­rack, Mun­ster­man, Doyle, Chance, Bryson, Hughes. Goal: Kelly (112)

Yel­low card: Kelly (97) Pens: Kelly (missed), Sweet­man-Kirk (scored), Green (scored), Turner (missed), Boye-Hlorkah (scored)

Ref­eree: Ben­jamin Speedie At­ten­dance: 155

Kirsty Lin­nett helped Read­ing beat Ever­ton on penal­ties.

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