Reading FC Women triumph over West Ham at Adams Park
Goals from Jade Moore and Brooke Chaplen either side of half-time earned Reading all three points as they saw off West Ham, winning 2-0.
England international Moore nodded the Royals in front midway through the first half, before Chaplen sealed the win shortly after the hour mark.
Victory lifts Reading up to fourth in the Barclays FA WSL table, while West Ham sit eighth after their second successive league defeat.
It was a cagey opening on a chilly evening at Adams Park. The Hammers were looking to break forward quickly and use wide areas but that came with little reward as a few early crosses were claimed by Rachel Laws in the Royals goal.
West Ham goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse was called into action for the first time on 15 minutes as she denied an unmarked Chaplen from close range.
Reading then broke the deadlock with an intelligently-worked free-kick midway through the first half. Fara Williams chipped a cute ball into the area, which was flicked on by Amalie Eikeland and it was Moore who applied the finishing touch with a delicate header past Moorhouse into the corner of her net.
Just before half-time the hosts had a golden opportunity to double their advantage as Moore’s low cross found Remi Allen. The midfielder’s deft flick hit the post before bouncing off Eikeland and going agonisingly wide.
It was Chaplen who doubled Reading’s tally on 63 minutes with a calm, poked finish underneath Moorhouse, following a tenacious forward run as she held off Grace Fisk’s challenge.
Moore drove a fierce shot just wide as the Royals pushed for a third soon after Chaplen scored.
Then, with eight minutes to go, Moorhouse managed to pluck the ball from Eikeland as the forward, who was through on goal, attempted to take it around her.
Reading’s Brooke Chaplen said: “It’s important for us to pick up points off teams who are around us in the league and West Ham are definitely one of those teams, so to get a clean sheet and to put in a professional performance was nice. I think we deserved the win today.
“You want to dominate every game and there will be oppositions that you can and can’t do that against. I thought we used the ball well tonight and we were patient and we dictated the pace of the game, which is important for how we play. We’re just delighted to get the three points and we look forward to the FA Cup on Sunday.
“We’ve not been as consistent this season as we would have liked to have been, so to have a good performance today is really important. We need to continue this going forward and keep playing as well as this for the rest of the season.”
West Ham’s Kate Longhurst said: “I don’t think we did ourselves justice, and we’re going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment.
“I think it showed that we lack a bit of confidence, once we conceded that first goal I don’t think we really created anything. We got into a few attacking areas but didn’t actually get any shots away. That’s frustrating and we also switched off for their two goals.
“When you go onto the pitch you’re not trying to think about past results and we’ve had a good week of training. Matt’s got us focused and put a game plan out there that we didn’t follow in the first half, which is on us as players.
“When it’s going badly it’s hard to sometimes turn things around. We just need a little bit of luck and maybe we can bounce back in the next game.”
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