It was a bizzare game yesterday evening. The pitch was not in good shape, not helping to play fluent attacking football. The teams were a bit rusty after the break, that was more or less expected to be fair. The match was full of fouling, kicking, probably with the highest number of fouls I have seen in a long time. The funniest thing is the referee did not whistle everything otherwise the count would have been even worse.
Both side tried really hard to create something but did not manage to in the 1st half, so the game was really flat. A couple of bookings due to the previously mentionned problems and a red card to entertain us. One Villa player was booked on an attacking free kick probably for hitting or pushing a Reading defender and 3 minutes, she just kicked a player running past her to stop her. Second booking early shower and Villa to play 50 minutes with 10 v 11.
Villa played very well with 10 girls and should probably have gone home with a point. They frustrated Reading for a long time but got let down by the lack of discipline by giving away silly free kicks and penalty. The game had 0-0 written all over it with Reading unable to get behind or around the Villa defense and also in danger with counter attacks. Then with around 10 minutes to go, Bruton was found unmarked on the left wing and managed to lob the goalkeeper 1-0.
Most of the spectators thought that would be it, but Villa did not agree and equalised very quickly with a screamer from 20 yards that went top corner. We then entered injury and 1-1 was a fair result.
Unfortunately for Villa they gave away a couple of free kicks on the edge of the penalty area. The first one of the left went nowhere, but the second one on the right near the edge penalty area was perflectly set -up for a let footed player and Shelley Cox duly delivered and placed it top corner at the far post. 2-1, this was wll into injury time and then the referee gave even more time and Reading got a penalty for a foul inside the penalty area. Lauren Bruton dispatched it for a double and it ended 3-1.
Reading definitely missed Fran Kirby and found it difficult to create chances without her. They had to win to keep chasing Sunderland who won earlier in the day and are therefore 7 points behind the leaders.