Despite an epic four and a half hour bus and train journey to Adams Park home to Reading Woman. I was full of hope of seeing my Bristol City Women getting a result against a Royals team with an identical record as us this season with 8 points, despite a 4-0 loss to champions-elect Arsenal last time out I thought we played some good stuff and I felt 2 late goals flattered them a little.
On arrival at the ground and meeting up with three other Vixens fans that were in attendance today which for a Women’s Super League team worries me slightly we made our into the stadium ,the main stand was made available for this match and was relatively full, and despite there not being a tremendous atmosphere and buzz about the place there was a good contingent of local girls groups & teams eager to support there Reading heroes which had legends such as Tash Harding, Fara Williams and Jade Moore, Bristol once again set out by Tanya Oxtoby with 5 at the back and were unchanged although I was suspecting Julliette Kempi would be benched for one of the younger girls although she kept her place.
Reading immediately seized the initiative putting the Vixens on the back foot with crisp attacking play and more than once the Vixens resolute defence and award-winning keeper Sophie Baggaley were called into action, especially against the evergreen Welsh playmaker Harding.
Bristol’s defence was finally unlocked on the half-hour mark when a thunderbolt of a shot by Williams went into the top right-hand corner beating a despairing diving Baggerley.
The second half began and within five minutes Reading had doubled there lead when Harding played in Williams for her second. Oxtoby changed things around in an effort to make the Vixens more attacking and it worked Kiwi attacker Katie Rood was brought on and played very well. I was very impressed with her performance seen as her last game was her disappointing outing in the Conti cup match against Manchester City almost two months ago.
The Bristol midfield was more creative in the second half and Lucy Graham and Ella Rutherford had decent chances but couldn’t get past a very organised Reading defence. Brooke Chaplen finally put the game out of our sight in the 65th minute with a goal to end a very disappointing afternoon for Bristol. I thought we would be much more competitive and as our dejected players trudged off the pitch I shared their pain, although we did play some good stuff at times.
After the international break we play an improving Liverpool Women at home and a well organised West Ham United Women team. After Yeovil Town Ladies‘ superb win at the weekend, we need to pick up points in those games to maintain a cushion and avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.
Reading: Moloney; Pacheco (Woodham 78), Williams, Bartrip (Davison 66), Pearce (C), Allen, Bruton, Harding, Moore (Furness 61), Chaplen, Potter.
Subs not used: Jane, Estcourt, Laws
Bristol City: Baggaley; Dykes, Evans, Brown, Kerkdijk, Pattinson (Payne 75), Humphrey, Kemppi (Rood 66), Rutherford, Graham, Biesmans.
Subs not used: Watson, Johnson, Wilson, Robinson, Woolley