REPORT: Reading Women 2 Blues Women 1
Birmingham City Women crashed out of the Women’s FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Reading Women.
After a goalless first-half, goals from Kirsty Pearce and Rakel Honnudottir ensured the Royals’ place in the quarter-finals despite an Aoife Mannion penalty.
Marta Tejedor made three changes to the side that faced Yeovil Town last weekend, with Sarah Mayling, Paige Williams and Charlie Wellings making way for Harriet Scott, Meaghan Sargeant and Claudia Walker.
Blues came out of the blocks the quickest, as Emma Follis and Lucy Quinn had early sights on goal.
Quinn was on the hunt from the off as she intercepted a sloppy back pass, running it down the wing. Her deep cross into the path of Follis was brilliantly blocked by Molly Bartrip, denying Blues an early goal.
Sargeant picked up the ball in her own half before releasing Quinn with a lovely cross field ball. The forward went through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but it was Grace Moloney who came out on top with a fine save.
However, Reading began to gain momentum in the game. Remi Allen’s audacious acrobatic bicycle kick was their first opportunity to test Hannah Hampton, before Brooke Chaplen tried a back heel.
The teams though went into half time on an equal pegging with neither team making the breakthrough.
The Royals took the lead in the 69th minute when a well worked free-kick, played into the box was met by the head of Kirsty Pearce. The goal had been coming after sustained pressure on the Blues’ box.
But it was Blues who fought back. Harriet Scott played a great ball down the line which was pounced on by second-half substitute Ellen White, who in turn was pounced on by ‘keeper Moloney. The referee pointed to the spot as the striker went down.
Aoife Mannion confidently stepped up and slotted it into the left-hand corner to give Blues a lifeline.
Reading though continued their pressure on the Blues back four and reaped their rewards when substitute Rakel Honnudottir slotted in a powerful drive beyond Hampton.
Reading: Grace Moloney, Meyumi Pacheco, Fara Williams, Molly Bartrip, Rachel Furness, Remi Allen, Lauren Bruton, Natasha Harding, Jade Moore (Kirsty Pearce h/t), Brooke Chaplen (Rakel Honnudottir 81’), Jo Potter.
Substitutes (not used): Rebecca Jane, Gemma Davison, Jade Bailey, Sophie Howard, Rachel Laws.
Goals: Pearce 69’, Honnudottir 84’
Bookings: Pacheco 45’, Allen 52’, Honnudottir 90+3'
Blues: Hannah Hampton, Meaghan Sargeant, Hayley Ladd, Kerys Harrop, Chloe Arthur, Lucy Quinn (Ellen White h/t), Emma Follis, Claudia Walker (Charlie Wellings 66’), Harriet Scott, Aoife Mannion, Lucy Staniforth.
Substitutes (not used): Alex Brooks, Paige Williams, Sarah Mayling, Marisa Ewers, Connie Scofield.
Goals: Mannion 77’
Referee: Alex Blake