Match Report: Reading 1-0 Leicester City

Photo: @ReadingFCWomen
With Missy Goodwin and Freya Gregory joining Leicester City and both being involved in the matchday squad it would have been rude not to attend and cheer them on as they played Reading. It would be my second time at the Select Car Leasing Stadium after we had a journey there for Villa earlier in the season. It was a very cold day for sure with the Sun beaming in that couldn’t even warm up the Stadium. The team news came in and both players were on the bench for Leicester so it would be a hopeful we would see both in action.
The game got underway and Leicester were the first team to create a chance as the ball found its way into Grace Moloney’s safe hands after an Abbie McManus header. But it was Reading who took the lead on the 11th minute as the ball fell to Tash Dowie, and if you give Tash Dowie any time and any room she will punish you. This was no different as she pulled off the perfect lofted chip that left Demi Lambourne unable to get a hand to it. 
Reading took an early lead and it was all to do for Leicester from the start. The game was played with a fairly even and split start but it was nearly a disaster when Abbie McManus brought down Tash Dowie in the area as she tried to win the ball and a penalty was given. At the half hour mark, it was Demi Lambourne who became the hero as she dived with a strong hand to save Tash Dowie’s penalty to keep the score at 1-0 still. 
Leicester were playing some good football but couldn’t quite get the final touch with some crosses being pulled back too far or zipping across the box. But it was a game where the next goal would be so important to what would happen in the remaining minutes of the game. But for all of Leicester’s good play, it was nearly 2-0 before the half time whistle. As another lofted shot hit the outside of the bar by Emma Harries and the rebound fell to a Reading player but the effort was snatched wide. The half time whistle went with the score at 1-0 and a big 45 minutes ahead.
Freya Gregory was a half time substitute and as soon as she had entered the pitch looked on a real mission and Leicester seemed to have more sting in their play. Playing direct driving at the defence of Reading with skill and pace. Shannon O’Brien who had been fantastic all game hit a great long-range shot but it was too close to Grace Moloney to cause her any real trouble. And it was the two named before that nearly combined to bring Leicester level when it looked as if Freya Gregory was about to open her account on her debut but she couldn’t find the finish to get the goal. 
With Reading attacking then Leicester attacking but it was Tash Dowie again who was looking to ease the pressure bringing Demi Lambourne into the action once again to keep the score at 1-0. Leicester were looking to get back on level terms and were the better team through spells of the game but couldn’t find the goal. I can’t help but think that another substitute would have helped drive Leicester forward, Missy Goodwin was being screamed for in this game but Lydia Bedford stuck with just the one change.
Molly Pike looked to have the last chance of the game when her effort went wide of the target and the game played out with Tash Dowie’s goal being the deciding factor of the game. It was a good watch with both teams attacking each other throughout the game. Still believe Leicester have alot more to give on the pitch and off it. Missy Goodwin is the league’s best-kept secret, this is for sure. Freya Gregory looks back to her best that saw at Villa last season. 
Leicester City’s next game is at home to Manchester City in the Continental Cup on Wednesday before they play Brighton at home on Sunday.
Reading – Grace Moloney, Tash Harding, Gemma Evans, Deanna Cooper (Bethan Roberts 45), Lily Woodham, Emma Harries, Justine Vanhaevermaet, Sanne Troelsgaard, Amalie Ekikeland, Tash Dowie, Deanne Rose (Tia Primmer 80)
Leicester City – Demi Lambourne, Ashleigh Plumptre, Sam Tierney, Abbie McManus, Sophie Howard, Shannon O’Brien, Sophie Barker, Molly Pike, Esmee De Graaf, Jemma Purfield, Abbi Grant (Freya Gregory 45)
Photo: @ReadingFCWomen
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