Reading Women 1-1 Everton Women: Royals pegged back as search for home victory continues

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

Rachel Rowe’s first-half strike was cancelled out by a 77th Nicoline Sorensen equaliser as Reading had to settle for a point against Everton at the Madejski Stadium.

Rowe scored the opening goal of the game, in the 35th minute, but the Royals couldn’t hold on after a spell of Everton pressure finally paid off to share the points.

Reading stay in sixth position in the Women’s Super League table, behind Everton on goal difference and have now gone seven matches at home since their last victory.

Kelly Chambers’ side were looking to build after last weekend’s spectacular away win at Manchester United.

The Royals had the first big chance of the match with five minutes on the clock when Amalie Eikeland was slipped through into the box by Danielle Carter, but Everton goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela made a super stop before the Toffees defence got organised to block Rachel Rowe’s follow up.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

Reading keeper Grace Moloney was called into action to deal with a cross as she beat Valerie Gauvin to the ball and plucked the ball out of the air with relative ease.

Emma Mitchell then burst down the right and put in a dangerous delivery, Korpela punched the ball away but only to Carter, who looked poised to shoot but slipped at the crucial moment as the chance passed her by.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

Eikeland then tried her luck form the edge of the box as she looked to curl it into the bottom right corner but Korpela made a simple stop down low to her right.

Reading came inches away from taking the lead in the 25th minute when Rowe whipped a beautiful delivery deep into the box from a 40-yard free-kick to find Eikeland at the back post, but she was denied by the post after meeting the ball at the back post before Megan Finnigan hooked the ball off the line and over for a corner.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

The visitors then had two half chances just after the half hour mark as Gauvin glanced a header wide before Izzy Christiansen dragged a shot wide of the target after Everton had worked a high press to win the ball deep in the Royals’ half.

An excellent display of pace saw Eikeland break through a handful of Everton players wide on the left and burst into the box, and the Everton keeper could only punch the ball out to Rowe who latched onto the looseball and volleyed into the empty net to give Reading the lead after 35 minutes.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

Rowe continued to pose a threat every time she ventured forward and drilled a low cross to try and find Tash Harding in the middle, but a small deflection took the ball away from the Reading skipper.

Everton came forward in search of an equaliser in the second half and had Reading under the cosh in the first 15 minutes of the second-half. But the Royals stayed resolute in defence as Cooper threw her body in the way of Christiansen’s shot to protect her goalkeeper.

The Toffees were dominating possession with Reading having to soak up plenty of pressure and they managed to frustrate Everton for large periods as they struggled to create many clear cut chances.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

Chambers made her first switch in the 73rd minute as Kristine Leine replaced Woodham in the back-line.

Everton finally snatched an equaliser having pressed all half, in the 77th minute. A cross to the back post found Nicoline Sorensen unmarked, who looped the ball over Moloney with a header to level the match.

Chambers reacted to the equaliser by bringing Lauren Bruton off the bench to replace Carter for the final 10 minutes of the match.

14/2/2021, Reading FCW vs Everton WFC _ NG Sports Photography

The hosts were pinned back for much of the second-half and struggled to get forward, despite Rower trying her luck from distance in the 88th minute, which forced a save from the keeper who did well to hold on to the ball.

Cooper the had a brilliant chance to snatch the points in stoppage time but flicked the ball just wide of the post after Jess Fishlock’s free-kick found her in the middle unmarked.

Reading are away from home in their next fixture, against Bristol City Women on Sunday, March 7.

Reading Women: Moloney, Mitchell, Cooper, Bartrip, Woodham, James, Fishlock, Eikeland, Rowe, Harding (c), Carter
Subs: Nayler, Leine, Roberts, Childerhouse, Flores, Bruton

Everton Women: Korpela, Moe Wold, Turner, Sevecke, Christiansen, Lehmann, Emslie, Stringer, Scott, Gauvin, Finnigan
Subs: Pedersen, George, Boye-Hlorkah, Magill, Sorensen, Raso, Graham, Clemaron, Clinton

Goals: Rowe 35′, Sorensen 77′

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