Arsenal stay unbeaten with narrow Reading win
The Gunners go into the final day of the Spring Series with a chance of taking the title
FA WSL 1 match
19:30, Wednesday 31 May 2017
Arsenal Goal Scorers: Carter 40'
Arsenal’s title hopes are still on track after they saw off a stubborn Reading 1-0 in a closely-fought game at The Hive thanks to Danielle Carter’s goal.
The forward’s one goal was enough to keep their unbeaten FA Women’s Super League 1 Spring Series campaign in tact ahead of the weekend’s final fixtures.
Arsenal went close after 15 minutes but Beth Mead’s effort struck the post and they remained frustrated as Mead, Jordan Nobbs and Leah Williamson all went close shortly after.
However, five minutes before half time they went ahead as Mead combined with Hannah O'Reilly down the left, with the latter reaching the byline and squaring the ball across the box to the unmarked Carter, who tapped home.
Both sides began the second hald with the bit between their teeth but as Reading searched for the equaliser, Arsenal went close with Danielle Van de Donk firing wide.
As the game sparked into life Nobbs again went close for Arsenal and Reading goalkeeper Mary Earps then palmed away a fierce Fara Williams drive.
The Royals then went even closer when Lauren Bruton's volley from the edge of the box went inches wide, but Carter's goal was enough as Arsenal climbed up to third in the table.
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WHAT THEY SAID
Arsenal captain Jordan Nobbs:
"I think overall it was a good performance.
"We should have scored more goals in the first half especially, and in the second half we were a bit more defensive.
"But, we also take that as a positive because it shows as a team we can change our game to suit the situation, and to make sure that we get all three points and secure the win.
"It wasn't because we were nervous, the manager gives us the instructions on how to play and how to defend, and that's the best way to deal with the scenario we are in.
"We followed that and we executed it well and managed to get the three points."
Reading captain Kirsty McGee:
"I think we've been unlucky really, we worked really hard and fought very well.
"We brought in a few different players for this game and I think it shows what we are building here, that they all came in and played really well.
"We have been building all season, that was the message from the manager and the staff that we just wanted to build this Spring Series, and I think we have done that.
"I think we should have got on the score sheet today and we are disappointed that we didn't, but we can take confidence from the game, that we gave them a really good game and hopefully we can take that forwards into next season."
Arsenal (4-4-2): Sari Van Veenendaal, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Louise Quinn, Dominique Janssen, Jordan Nobbs, Leah Williamson, Danielle Carter, Danielle Van de Donk, Heather O'Reilly, Beth Mead
Substitutes: Fara Williams for Mead 59, Chloe Kelly for O'Reilly 73, Katie McCabe for Williamson 80
Substitutes not used: Anna Moorhouse, Alex Scott, Carla Humphrey, Jodie Taylor
Red cards: None
Reading (4-5-1): Mary Earps, Rebecca Jane, Harriet Scott, Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGee, Rachel Furness, Remi Allen, Lauren Bruton, Anissa Lahmari, Anna Green, Kirsty Linnet
Substitutes: Jade Moore for Furness 45, Melissa Fletcher for Green 63, Kayleigh Hines for Anissa Lahmari 73
Substitutes not used: Mandy van den Berg, Charlie Estcourt, Grace Moloney, Sophie O'Rourke
Bookings: McGee 36, Scott, 58
Red cards: None
Referee: Alan Dale