Tottenham Hotspur defeated Reading 3-2 thanks to an extra time winner in the fourth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup at The Madejski Stadium this afternoon.
The two sides could not be separated until Tottenham Hotspur’s Jessica Naz scored an extra-time winner to take the North Londoners into the fifth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Reading started off as if they’d failed to learn from their heavy 5-0 defeat to West Ham United last time out as midfielder Fara Williams provided a sloppy back pass to keeper Grace Moloney which provided Rachel Williams with a great chance to open the scoring. Luckily for Reading’s Williams, defender Lily Woodham was there to clear for a corner.
A minute later, Spurs went close again with midfielder Cho rattling the home side’s crossbar. The visitors’ bright start was ended by Spurs keeper Rebecca Spencer whose clearance fell straight to Fara Williams. The 37-year-old responded with a well taken lob from 25 yards to record her fifth goal of the season.
In the 18th minute, the North Londoners were left furious by the referee’s premature whistle. As Spurs midfielder Alanna Kennedy was brought down, the official blew the whistle just as forward Rachel Williams chased onto the ball to rifle it into the back of the net. Yet, Kennedy saved the referee’s blushes, smashing the resulting free-kick over the wall and past a straddling Moloney.
Soon after, forward Rachel Williams drove through The Royals defence, going one-on-one with Moloney but she lifted the ball over the bar.
Rehanne Skinner’s side had a dream start to the second half with Rachel Williams robbing Fara Williams before guiding the ball into the back of the net. Reading didn’t get too down hearted by this with Rachel Rowe responding quickly, finishing into the bottom right corner.
The away side began to dominate proceedings and just before the hour, Rachel Williams cushioned the ball into the path of Rianna Dean but she was unable to beat Moloney. Reading’s keeper was back in the action soon after as Kit Graham played Rachel Williams through once more, however, Moloney was there again to make a crucial save.
Neither team were able to create any major chances in the final 20 minutes with the game being forced into extra-time.
Spurs made one change going into extra-time with full-back Ashleigh Neville returning from injury. This turned out to be an inspired change from Tottenham Hotspur boss Skinner as Neville made an instant impact. The Spurs full-back charged through the field, chipping a delightful ball to forward Naz, who placed it past an outstretched Moloney, making it 3-2 to the visitors.
Reading piled on the pressure in the remaining minutes but they were unable to respond as they exited the competition.
Tottenham Hotspur will now face Sheffield United in the fifth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup at The Hive.