Wokingham Today

Back of the net! Royals beat City

Manchester City Women 0 Reading Women 2


REMI ALLEN’S spectacula­r overhead kick set Reading on their way to a landmark victory at Champions League semi-finalists Man City.

While the Royals have slowly taken steps up the league pyramid, this was the first time they have beaten a title hopeful in a league game since promotion to the top flight in 2016.

And it was thoroughly deserved with Allen’s effort added to by Kirsty Pearce’s second-half header and while reigning champions City piled on some late pressure following a red card for Jo Potter, Reading held on for a highly impressive 2-0 victory.

“The football we played and the way that we defended was outstandin­g,” said manager Kelly Chambers.

“I think the girls deserve the result. “Remi Allen has really kicked on this year, that’s six goals for her this season from midfield. It’s fantastic to see.

“We need to make sure that this run of form continues and we keep competing with the best in the country and see if we can finish as high as we can in the league.”

Reading came into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw at leaders Chelsea and a 3-0 midweek win over Yeovil Town, where Allen, Lauren Bruton and Kirsty Linnett all found the net.

And Chambers made just one change from the Yeovil game with Rachel Furness replacing Anna Green.

City, who won in the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek, came into the game having not lost a home league match since April 2015 and victory would have lifted them to the top of the WSL table.

The hosts enjoyed some early possession with Royals goalkeeper Mary Earps alert to deny Jane Ross a closerange header.

And Reading got the lead before half-time when the ball bobbled around following a corner before Allen hooked the ball over her head and into the bottom corner.

City looked dangerous after the restart with Nikita Parris missing the target and they were dealt a blow, falling 2-0 behind as Pearce headed past Ellie Roebuck.

Nick Cushing’s charges did not give in and went close to grabbing a goal when Georgia Stanway took aim, but fired over.

Reading were harshly reduced to 10 players with 10 minutes to play when Potter hauled down Parris and despite covering defenders, referee Helen

Conley showed her a straight red card for a profession­al foul.

But the visitors held firm to close out the victory in the final game before the internatio­nal break.

“You could say that the break is going to kill us a little bit, just because we are on a good run of form,” said Chambers.

“The players will go away, they will try and look after themselves, as hard as it is, because internatio­nal teams are preparing for some big games.”

Reading stay sixth, but just two points off fourth-placed Arsenal, who they face in the first game back on April 18.

READING: Earps, Rowe, Pearce (c), Potter, Harding, Allen, Moore, Furness, Williams, Bruton, Chaplen (Green 88).

Subs not used: Moloney, Gane, Fletcher, Linnett. Goals: Allen (34), Pearce (61)

Yellow card: Moore (74)

Red card: Potter (81)

MAN CITY: Roebuck, McManus, Houghton (c), Beattie, Stokes, Scott (Christians­en 49), Walsh, Stanway, Parris, Ross (Nadim 56), Lawley (Emslie 62).

Subs not used: Bardsley, Jans, Middag.

Referee: Helen Conley

Attendance: 1,274

n JADE MOORE has been called into the England squad for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Wales at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampto­n.

She is joined by Reading team-mates Mary Earps and Fara Williams while Tash Harding, Rachel Rowe, Charlie Estcourt and Melissa Fletcher are all in the Wales squad.

 ?? Pictures: Neil Graham ?? Above: Remi Allen took her goals tally to six for the season with two more this week
Left: Royals celebrate
Pictures: Neil Graham Above: Remi Allen took her goals tally to six for the season with two more this week Left: Royals celebrate
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