Match Preview | vs Manchester City
Date: Wednesday, March 13th, kick off 7.30pm
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Venue: Adams Park, Hillbottom Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, Bucks
Post Code: HP12 4HJ
Wednesday night sees the first of two hugely important home fixtures in the space of five days for Kelly Chambers’ Reading side. Prior to next Sunday’s meeting with the red side of Manchester in the quarter finals of the FA Women’s Cup, the light blue side of the City will be at HP12 on Wednesday for a WSL fixture that is important for both sides. The Royals are without a league win since the 2-1 home success over Everton in late November. The side are currently seventh in the table and a good result against City will set the Royals up well for the final five league games of the campaign. City, who have played two games more than Reading, remain unbeaten in the WSL and top the table being two points clear of Arsenal. The North Londoners though do have two games in hand. City last month claimed the first domestic silverware of the season by defeating Arsenal in the League Cup final.
Reading’s best league result of the current season came on a cold Friday evening at City’s Academy Stadium last October. The hosts led at the interval through a goal by England starlet Georgia Stanway but the introduction at half time of Royals’ substitute Jade Moore changed the course of the game. Moore soon headed home the equaliser and thereafter Reading matched their hosts returning south with a well-earned point. Last season the Royals did even better at the same venue, goals from Remi Allen and skipper Kirsty Pearce securing a 2-0 away win – a score line that did much to scupper City’s title aspirations. City however had showed their power at Adams Park winning the reverse league fixture 5-2, Allen and Brooke Chaplen netting the Royals’ goals.
The strength of City’s squad is demonstrated by the fact they had 10 players called up for the original Lionesses squad in the recent She Believes Cup in the US. Four of the City stars, captain Steph Houghton, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Gemma Bonner helped England Women win that cup with a 3-0 success over Japan. Karen Bardsley, Abbie McManus, Nikita Parris and Demi Stokes were named on the bench. Youngster Lauren Hemp had been called-up to the senior squad for the first time for the trip, while Jill Scott had to withdraw through injury. Houghton has been England captain since 2014 earning her 100th cap last November. Parris, just turned 25, is the WSL’s all-time top goal scorer and already has 15 WSL goals in the current season. 20-year old Stanway is also in double figures with 11 WSL goals to date.She made her first team debut when aged just 16. Keira Walsh and Demi Stokes have both been shortlisted for February’s PFA Bristol Street Motors Player of the Month Award.
Clearly the Royals will need to be at their very best to get a positive result against such high-profile opponents. Your support this season, home and away, has been fantastic.Do come along and support the side on Wednesday as they take on the star-studded Manchester City side. Your support is very much appreciated by everyone at Reading Football Club.
You can purchase tickets online up to an hour prior to kick off here.