The Wokingham Paper

Everton Women 1-1 Reading Women: Royals recover as Harding strike earns away point

29/09/2020, Reading FCW Training, Bearwood Training
29/09/2020, Reading FCW Training, Bearwood Training

Reading skipper Natasha Harding earned Reading a third successive draw in the Women’s Super League with a stunning equaliser to cancel out Simone Magill’s opener for Everton.

The Toffees went ahead in the 39th minute through Magill’s close range header, but the Royals hit back just three minutes later with a superbly executed lob from Harding.

The Royals looked more likely to snatch a winner in the second half but had to settle for a point, which leaves them in seventh in the Women’s Super League table.

Everton came flying out the traps and should have got on the scoresheet just 45 second into the game.

A low cross bobbled its way to the back post where Nicoline Sorensen was unmarked, but from just six yards out she blazed her shot over the bar as she squandered the opportunity to give the hosts a perfect start.

The Toffees then tested the Reading defence as they won three corners in quick succession as the Royals backline stayed disciplined to get in front of the efforts to protect their goalkeeper.

The wet and windy conditions caused problems for both sides who looked to get the ball down and play, but Reading eventually found their feet as they adjusted to the difficult weather as Jess Fishlock began to control proceedings in the middle of the park.

Grace Moloney came out to smother the ball from Raso who looked to get in behind as the Reading keeper took a knock to the face for her troubles.

Fishlock’s influence on the game gave the Royals the upper hand in the contest as they started to create chances as her innovative outside of the foot cross almost found the run of Natasha Harding in the box, but Everton stayed switched on at the back to clear.

Kelly Chambers side worked a short corner routine which saw Fishlock and Danielle Carter trade passes before Fishlock cut inside onto her right foot and fizzed an effort towards goal which travelled thorugh a host of bodies before being parried out by Sandy MacIver.

Reading continued to forge chances as Brooke Chaplen found Emma Mitchell on the left wing who surged forward from left-back and skipped into the box and found Angharad James on the edge of the box who scuffed an effort wide of the target.

Brooke Chaplen then tried her luck from 20 yards out against her former side when but missed the target when the better option may have been to slip the ball to Carter on the right wing.

But despite having the better chances, Reading were made to pay for their lack of finishing as Everton took the lead against the run of play in the 39th minute.

Moloney kept out Sorensen’s shot at the near post but could only parry the ball to Simone Magill as the ball popped up kindly for her to head home the rebound from just a few yards out.

But the Royals weren’t behind for long as they struck back with an equaliser just before the break.

Reading’s captain, Harding, caught out MacIver who may have been expecting a cross to be delivered to Carter in the middle, but instead the Welsh international spotted the Toffees keeper out of position and looped the ball into the far corner with a super finish.

Chambers made a change at the break as Lily Woodham replaced Mitchell who picked up an injury at the end of the half.

Everton pressed forward early in the second half and Rowe did well to avert danger by turning Raso’s testing delivery over the crossbar from close range.

The Royals then won two corners in quick succession which tested the resolve of MaIcer who stood up to the test to punch two set pieces away after Fishlock’s delivery deep into the area with a cluster of player’s fighting to head the ball.

MacIver again impressed when she moved quickly off her line to intercept a through ball from Fishlock which was almost perfectly weighted for Carter.

Reading made two more changes on the hour mark when Lauren Bruton and Fara Williams replaced Carter and Chaplen.

Williams made an instant impact as her free kick delivery was met by the head of Kristine Leine but fell just inches wide of the far post.

Moloney made an outstanding save i the final minute of the game as the Toffees won a free kick which found Finnigan at the back post but the Royals keeper flew to her right to keep Everton from stealing the points.

Both sides ran out of steam with few chances created in the final 15 minutes of the match as it ended in a stalemate with the points shared.

Everton: MacIver, Wold, Finnigan, Sevecke, Turner, Christansen, Graham, Emslie, Magill, Raso, Sorenson
Subs: Boye-Hlorkah, Egurrola, Stringer, Pike, Clemaron, Kropela, Clinton, Pattinson, Pedersen

Reading: Moloney, Rowe, Leine, Bartrip, Mitchell, Fishlock, Chaplin, James, Eikeland, Carter, Harding
Subs: Williams, Bruton, Nayler, Woodham, Sekeels, Roberts, Childerhouse, Harries

Reading: Moloney, Rowe, Leine, Bartrip, Mitchell, Fishlock, Chaplen, James, Eikeland, Carter, Harding
Subs: Williams, Bruton, Nayler, Woodham, Sekeels, Roberts, Childerhouse, Harries

Goals: Magill 39′, Harding 42′

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