On a bitterly cold evening in Sussex, a Remi Allen 95th-minute equaliser gave Reading a deserved point against Brighton & Hove Albion in a 2-2 draw at The People’s Pension Stadium.
The home side had fought back from going behind to lead until disaster stuck at the death in Crawley.
Brighton & Hove Albion lead at half-time
After a cagey start to the game it was Reading who took the lead on 15 minutes. A Fara Williams corner was not dealt with by home keeper Megan Walsh, with the goalkeeper palming the ball into the back of her own net. Brighton & Hove Albion hit back three minutes later through Aileen Whelen. The forward’s glancing header beating Grace Moloney in the Reading goal.
Lea Le Garrec’s long range effort saw The Seagulls go close before they took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Nigerian international striker, Ini Umotong who had been recalled to the starting XI, raced onto a perfectly timed through ball by Le Garrec. Umotong, calmly placed the ball beyond Moloney in the Reading goal to score her first FA Women’s Super League goal of the season.
Heartbreak for The Seagulls
The Seagulls took a 2-1 lead into half-time but it was The Royals who started the second half on the front foot and as a result, created a number of chances which included a Fara Williams free-kick from the edge of the box. The Reading captain’s effort went just wide of the post with Brighton & Hove Albion keeper Walsh left stranded. The Royals continued to apply pressure on the Brighton & Hove Albion defence and consequently hit the bar twice in the space of five minutes, first through midfielder Brooke Chaplen and then from a great strike by Allen from 20 yards out. The Albion looked on course to hold on for victory, however, after a dramatic goalmouth scramble, Allen was on hand to stab the ball over the line from close range.
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Hope Powell will certainly be disappointed with the result but will be happy with her side’s first half display. The Albion travel to London next Sunday to face Tottenham Hotspur who take on Birmingham City on Wednesday evening.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION: Walsh, Barton, Kerkdijk, Williams, Gibbons, Natkiel, Bowman (Le Tissier), Le Garrec (Nilden), Whelen, Umotong, Green
Substitutes: Nilden, Lundorf, Harris, Simpkins, Le Tissier, Bance
READING: Moloney, James, Leine, Howard (Potter), Pacheco, Moore, Allen, Eikeland, Williams, Chaplen, Farrow (Utland)
Substitutes: Utland, Bennink, Potter, Laws, Reynolds, Quirk