Reading Women 1-1 Manchester United Women: Williams strikes from the spot to earn a point

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Fara Williams reduced the arrears
Fara Williams

FARA WILLIAMS scored from the penalty spot from the second time of asking to earn Reading a point against Manchester United. 

Williams missed her first penalty but was successful with her second of the game to level the game just 10 minutes before time to cancel out Lauren James’ opener.  

Kelly Chambers’ side are in sixth place in the FA Women’s Super League, just a point behind Man United in fourth. 

James gathered a loose ball just inside the Reading half and used her blistering pace to break behind the defence and work her way into the box, firing the ball between the legs of Rachael Laws to give United a lead after 30 minutes. 

United thought they had extended their advantage just before half-time when Jessica Sigworth sneaked in behind the defence from a set piece to nod the ball into the bottom corner, but she was denied by the offside flag. 

Williams bent in an inviting delivery from a corner as the Royals looked to level early in the second half which was tipped onto the far post from United goalkeeper Mary Earps. 

Reading’s set pieces continued to cause the visitors problems and won them a penalty kick when Remi Allen was dragged down by a defender while trying to reach Williams’ outswinging corner. 

The usually reliable Williams took responsibility but saw her penalty saved as Earps flew low to her right to keep out the midfielder’s spot kick with a spectacular stop, with United preserving their lead. 

United pushed on to try and find a crucial second goal as James found her way in behind the Royals defence again, but Laws stayed alert to hang out her right boot to deflect her effort away from goal. 

The Royals were awarded a lifeline with just 10 minutes to go as the referee decided that Katie Zelem had handled in the box, giving Reading a second chance from the spot. 

Williams bravely stepped up to take her second penalty of the game and this time found the back of the net, lashing the ball high past the reach of Earps into the top left hand corner. 

Reading face an away trip to bottom of the table Bristol City Women, who have won just one league game this season, on Sunday afternoon. 

Reading: Laws, Leine, Bartrip, Potter, Harding (Chaplen 84’), James (Utland 45’), Allen, Moore, Rowe, Williams, Eikeland.
Subs: Moloney, Pacheco, Farrow, Utland, Chaplen, Howard, Skeels. 

Goals: James 30’, Williams 80’ pen

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