WSL: Reading v Everton
Reading surrender a 2-0 lead as the Toffees come from behind to win 3-2, denying the hosts a much needed three points.
Reading FC Women
23 April 2023
Kelly Chambers made four changes to the side that lost to relegation rivals Leicester City two weeks earlier. Chambers named three changes to her backline from the last game, with Lily Woodham being forced out via injury. Brain Sørensen also named four changes, with the game coming just four days after the disappointing defeat to Brighton.
Reading started the game on the front foot, and with less than a minute on the clock Charlie Wellings was brought down in the box by Lucy Hope to give the hosts an early penalty. Justine Vanhaevermaet buried the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to give the hosts an early lead.
The home side capitalised on their positive start and enjoyed the majority of possession early on. Sanne Troelsgaard did well to find space down the left wing, but the end product was missing as her cross was fired past the penalty area.
Everton looked to exploit the Reading defence on the counterattack and goalkeeper Grace Moloney was called into action on a few occasions but did well to prevent an equaliser. A great piece of defending was required by Easther Mayi Kith at the far post to put a deep cross behind for a corner.
Following a spell of possession, the hosts looked threatening and midway through the first half Vanhaevermaet got her second of the game. A great piece of skill by Troelsgaard allowed her to get away from the defender, to then square it to the Belgium international who calmly slotted it into the bottom corner.
Everton continued to look to break on the counterattack and their best chance of the half fell to Katja Snoeijs on the half an hour mark. Snoeijs connected well with the volley from midway in the penalty area, but Moloney did well to catch.
The chance by Snoeijs seemed to spark the visitors into life who were being spurred on by a small crowd of vocal travelling supporters.
The visitors reduced the deficit five minutes before halftime. Hope latched onto a ball and drove into the penalty box, before finding Hanna Bennison who was left unmarked in the middle to slot it past Moloney.
Halftime: Reading 2-1 Everton
Everton came out at half time the more threatening of the two sides. With Reading on the back foot, the visitors looked to capitalise but struggled to find the end product. Jess Park’s through ball from the halfway line to Hope was the closet the visitors came but Hope’s effort was just wide.
With half an hour to go the visitors found the equaliser via a penalty. Diane Caldwell brought down Jess Park in the box, allowing Soneijs to send Moloney the wrong way with a well taken penalty into the bottom corner.
With the momentum swinging towards the Toffees, Moloney made great save from close range to deny the visitors taking the lead. Another great save from Moloney denied substitute Rikkie Sevecke a goal, as she took on an effort from just inside the penalty area, but the Reading keeper did well to turn if behind for a corner.
With pressure building for the hosts, Everton took the lead with ten minutes to go. Nicoline Sørensen cut in from the right side to fire the visitors ahead with a great curling effort from 18 yards out.
With ten minutes of time added on to the second half, Reading threatened as they looked for the equaliser. Wellings went closest as she latched onto a header from Brooke Hendrix, but her effort went put over the crossbar.
Wellings continued to work down the right side, and delivered a great ball across the box, but Harries was arriving late and couldn’t put in past Courtney Brosnan for the equaliser.
Fulltime: Reading 2-3 Everton
This result leaves Reading just one point ahead of bottom placed Leicester City who have a game in hand. While Everton remain in sixth place, three points behind Aston Villa.
Reading: Moloney (GK), Mayi Kith (72’), Caldwell, Mukandi (C), Primmer (59’), Troelsgaard (85’), Vanhaevermaet, Harries, Eikeland, Rowe, Wellings
Subs: Poulter (GK), Bryson (59’), Evans, Hendrix (72’), Jane, Alexander, Perry (85’)
Goals: Vanhaevermaet 1’ 17’
Booked: Rowe 44’
Everton: Brosnan (GK), Stenevik (45’), Bjorn, Finnigan, Hope (C), Bennison (90+8’), Wheeler, Holmgaard (73’), Park (73’), Snoeijs (87’), Sørensen
Subs: Ramsey (GK), Sevecke (45’), Christiansen (87’), Beaver Jones (73’), Maier, Galli (73’), Holmgaard (90+8’)
Goal: Bennison 41’, Snoeijs 62’, Sørensen 83’