Reading and Arsenal set for crucial cup semi-final
A spot in the final against Manchester City or Chelsea awaits the winners of this semi-final.
A place in the FA Women’s Super League Continental Tyres Cup awaits either Reading or Arsenal, with the two set to meet in a semi-final showdown at Adams Park on Sunday.
The victor will face Chelsea or Manchester City in the first cup final of this season but the sides will know a big 90-minute performance is required before then.
Reading topped Group One South, which included Arsenal, with four wins from four but required penalties to see off Everton in the quarter-finals.
A 1-1 draw after extra time sent the game into a shootout, with Kirsty Linnett eventually finding the back of the net with the crucial spot-kick.
The Royals were beaten last weekend by Manchester City in the league while Arsenal head to Wycombe off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea.
Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Reading in the group stage but managed to qualify as a group runner-up before seeing off Sunderland 3-1 in a quarter-final tie.
The Gunners’ only previous meeting with Reading this season was in this competition when Fara Williams hit a sensational strike from the halfway line to give her side a 2-1 win.
Williams, against her former club, had opened the scoring earlier in the match, with Beth Mead grabbing an equaliser for Arsenal.
These two teams face a pair of league meetings in the near future but will be looking to book a place in the final of the Continental Tyres Cup first.
ONE TO WATCH – Fara Williams (Reading)
After her outstanding showing against Arsenal in the group stage, Williams is surely one that the Gunners need to keep an eye on once again.
A former Arsenal player, Williams is no stranger to Sunday’s opponents and she has five goals in all competitions for Reading so far this year.
WHAT THEY SAID
Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs said: “We want to win every trophy we can. It was disappointing to drop points in our last game but whatever we play in, it’s a big game.
“Cup games are always special for us.
“There were positives against Chelsea that we can take forward into this game. We’ll need to tighten up on a few things because we can’t concede three goals again.
“Joe (Montemurro, manager) coming in and pushing us as players has been fantastic and our last performance showed that. We just need to take our chances and I’m sure we can win.”
Reading manager Kelly Chambers added: “I think we played excellently (against Manchester City) and it’s probably our best footballing display in a first half this season.
“She (Natasha Harding, who made her Reading debut against City after joining the Royals from Liverpool) is a fantastic player and she adds a different dimension to the squad, and that's what I needed to go forward for the rest of the season.
“We’ll get her involved more and get her playing – definitely.”
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By Road: Traffic is often heavy around Adams Park on matchdays so drivers are advised to allow plenty of time. Adams Park is signposted from the M40 with brown football / stadium signs.
Leave the M40 at Junction 4 and take the A4010 (John Hall Way, signposted Aylesbury). Cross over three small roundabouts into New Road continuing down the hill to two mini roundabouts at the bottom. Turn sharp left at the first into Lane End Road and continue to the next mini roundabout at which turn right into Hillbottom Road. Adams Park is situated at the very end of the road. By Bus: Arriva operate bus services to & from Adams Park area, please visit Arriva website for more information. https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/?gclid=CjwKEAiAkb-zBRC... By Rail: The nearest railway station is High Wycombe, which is approximately 2.5 miles from the stadium. Chiltern Railways operate services to High Wycombe from Birmingham Snow Hill to London Marylebone, Aylesbury and Banbury. Visit the Chiltern Railways website for timetables and further information.
General Parking: There are parking facilities at the ground and access before and after the game is often busy. Upper tier parking in official club car park at £2*. Street parking is also available in the vicinity of the ground, however, supporters are warned that traffic wardens patrol the area regularly and we would ask you to park sensibly, respecting our neighbours in the Sands area.
*please note that the capacity of the upper car park may be reduced in adverse weather conditions.