Reading FC Women v Notts County Ladies
2pm kick-off, Adams Park
£6 Adult £3 Concession
“We’ve shown that we can compete with the best with some good points away from home, so hopefully now we have a good couple of home games coming up, we can push on and keep getting more points.”– Lauren Bruton (Reading FC)
“Reading are not a team to underestimate. We drew with them at home, they made it really difficult for us, and we’re fully expecting it to be the same when we go to them. We have to go into that game and be as ruthless as we can.”– Jess Clarke (Notts County)
Reading FC Women return to action on Sunday afternoon as they take on Notts County Ladies in the FAWSL 1. It will be the second time the two sides have met this season, following their 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane.
Currently finding themselves eighth in the table, the Royals are still looking for their elusive first win of the campaign. The side did, however, draw their fifth game of the season last weekend against Birmingham City Ladies and continue to look competitive. After letting the lead slip twice in their last game against Notts County, the Reading players will be determined to secure three points in front of their home crowd.
Sixth placed Notts County will want to put their last fixture behind them after they suffered the heaviest defeat in their history. On the back of a 5-1 drubbing against league leaders Manchester City Women, the Magpies will also be determined to bounce back immediately. That being said, there will arguably be no better time for Reading to record their first victory with Notts County winning only one of their last five WSL 1 games.
The Royals will know what to expect when taking on a Notts County side that includes the likes of Ellen White, Jess Clarke, Jade Moore, Jo Potter and Laura Bassett who are all big names in the England squad.
That being said, Reading have a fair few capped players themselves including the all-time top Welsh goalscorer Helen Ward as well as fellow Welsh internationals Melissa Fletcher, Rachel Rowe, Kylie Davies, Nia Jones and Laura-May Walkley. The Royals continue to show that they are capable of going toe to toe with anyone and are earning themselves an ever increasing number of fans in the process.
The key player for Reading will be Emma Follis, who continues to impress. Follis is Reading’s top goalscorer this season with three goals and is one of the more creative players in the squad. The Royals have struggled to convert as many goals as many of their league rivals but if they are to score against Notts County, players like Follis will be important to have in the squad.
While other clubs have been seemingly shipping goals, the maximum number that Reading have conceded in a single game so far is three. Defensively, therefore, it can be said that Reading have got it nearly spot on. If they can start knocking the goals in at the other end, then they will surely start rising up the table.
Another aspect working in Reading’s favour is Notts County’s away form. The Magpies have lost three of their away league fixtures so far this season and drawn one. They have subsequently not won on the road in the league in 2016. Reading, meanwhile, have lost only once at home in the league so far against Arsenal Ladies.
With two of their next three upcoming fixtures against the ever impressive Manchester City, it would be a huge confidence boost for the Royals ahead of those games if they were to record their first win of the campaign. Just a week after giving birth, there will also be no better added bonus for Reading manager Kelly Chambers than three points on the board for her side. With home advantage-among many factors- in their favour, Reading should be confident that this is their moment to shine.