Reading boss Kelly Chambers was hoping to make it two clean sheets in as many games but was left disappointed after her side conceded a late goal as they drew 1-1 with Everton on Sunday.
The Royals were looking to follow up their impenetrable performance against Manchester United when they faced Willie Kirk’s Everton on Sunday afternoon at The Madejski Stadium. After taking the lead through a Rachel Rowe volley, Reading were on course to record another clean sheet but Nicoline Sorensen ended their hopes of a shutout and maximum points by scoring a headed equaliser in the 77th-minute.
When discussing Everton’s spirited second half display in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Reading boss Kelly Chambers said “Everton turned it into a different game, they went a lot longer and direct in the second half and that put us on the back foot.
“That makes it hard to get into rhythm and a flow in possession.
“I thought the first half we were fully in control and should have been further ahead at the break.”
Reading have been solid performers this season but a lack of wins has left the club well-adrift of those sides above chasing European qualification. Chambers went on to explain the challenges that her side have faced this season.
“It’s been tough, we’ve had a big turnover of players this season” said Chambers. “We’ve had injuries and illnesses, you look back and you’ve got two of your top goalscorers from previous seasons, in Fara (Williams) and Brooke (Chaplen) out for pretty much the whole season and that’s been tough.”
With the international break coming up, Reading have three weeks before travelling to Twerton Park to face bottom side Bristol City. The Royals boss Chambers is hoping to work with the majority of her squad to improve on her side’s position in the Barclays FA Womens Super League table.
She said “We haven’t actually got that many players away this time.
“We’ve got a solid group here that we can get on and do some work, which is exciting.
“For us, it’s just a case of looking back across the last couple of games and picking out the stuff that we need to work on and hopefully, we can go into the Bristol game being a bit more solid, whether that’s in possession or out of possession and we can really tighten up on the things that we need to.”
An important part of Reading’s game that they’ll be looking to improve on is being able to see out games after taking the lead. As seen against Arsenal, Aston Villa and now Everton, The Royals have taken the lead but have failed to complete the game with a clean sheet and three points. When asked by FAWSL Full-Time whether this was something that the Berkshire side needed to improve on, Chambers stated “To be fair, the last couple of weeks, it has be something we have worked heavily on.
“You see that against Manchester United, they had a lot more clear-cut chances than Everton and it was disappointing to concede the way that we did today.
“It’s something we know we want to be better at.”
With the Barclays FA Womens Super League having been hit with a number of postponements this season, Reading are one of the clubs to have played the most games. Chambers hailed the facilities on offer at The Madejski Stadium and the club for following the rules throughout the campaign.
She said “Whether it has been the facilities or whether we’ve been spot of with our COVID procedures, we’ve played every game that we’ve needed to at this point.
“It’s obviously frustrating that we haven’t had everyone fit to do that, but we are definitely thankful to play at The Madejski and make sure games go ahead.”
Reading currently sit sixth in the Barclays FA Womens Super League table and will be looking to improve on their position when they face Bristol City in their next match on Sunday 7 March.