Saturday 16 December 2017

Kirsty Linnett holds nerve to give Reading penalty win

Everton and Reading draw their quarter-final but Reading progress with penalty win

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup match
18:00, Saturday 16 December 2017
Select Security Stadium

Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Kelly ET:21'

Reading FC Women Goal Scorers: Linnett ET:4'

Kirsty Linnett’s goal-of-the-season contender in the first half of extra-time looked like it had sent Reading into the next round of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup.

But Everton had other ideas and Chloe Kelly popped up to convert Gabrielle George’s clever pass in the second half of extra-time.

Linnett wasn’t to be denied though and she settled the game in the penalty shoot-out, converting the decisive kick.

On a murky day on Merseyside, Reading’s fluorescent orange away kit brought a welcome brightness to proceedings.

Their quick passing was also bright. But it was Brooke Chaplen’s quick feet that nearly made the breakthrough, as her jinky run into the penalty area lead to a Fara Williams effort on goal.

Earlier good work by the Blue Girls’ Kelly saw her crossing for striker Courtney Sweetnam-Kirk who failed to convert.

Reading began to create the better chances - firstly it looked like Remi Allen had bundled the ball over the line then Jo Potter went close.

As the temperatures plummeted the match continued into extra-time and a moment of individual brilliance.

Nothing looked on when Reading second-half substitute Linnett picked the ball up 30 yards out but nevertheless she took the ball on and unleashed a thunderbolt from range into the roof of the net.

Then Kelly passed into an empty net with Grace Moloney stranded, and brought on the penalties.

In the shoot-out Kelly and Danielle Turner’s penalties were saved by Moloney - Lauren Bruton missed for Reading before it was left to Linnett to finish things.

Everton’s Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah said: “I think we played well, we’ve proved to people in the league how good we are and that we can compete with the best. Reading are a quality side and I feel that we put them through their paces just as much as they did to us.

“We had a good few chances that we should have put away. Obviously they had chances as well. But as a team we just kept going and we didn’t think we would lose the game.

“You have to watch out for their movement in midfield, they’re always moving around a lot. At times they broke us down but I think we did well on the whole.

“My legs were gone in extra time. But we kept going because we thought we could get the result, but to take a good quality side like them to penalties, you can’t complain.”

Reading goalscorer Kirsty Linnett commented: “Brooke [Chaplen] made a great run across me and I thought just smash it as hard as you can! I was obviously aiming high to beat the keeper but was delighted it went in.

“I’ve had a knock in the week so I have not trained in the last few days and they put me on pretty early so it was nice to get on and gave me time to get into the game and I got my rewards which was nice.

“Everyone put their hand up who wanted to take one (a penalty), although it was pretty much a done deal. “I normally take the first one, but this time I was asked to go fifth and I was happy about that. Well done to Grace [Moloney] who saved two penalties.”

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Everton 1 – 1 Reading a.e.t (0-0 at FT)

Reading win 4-3 on penalties

Everton (0) 1

Kelly 112

Penalties: Kelly (missed); Sweetnam-Kirk (scored); Green (scored); Turner (missed); Boye-Hlorkah (scored)

Reading (0) 1

Linnett 94

Penalties: Chaplen (scored); Fletcher (scored); Bruton (missed); Allen (scored); Linnett (scored)

Everton (4-2-3-1): Kirstie Levell; Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Siri Worm; Georgia Brougham, Gabrielle George; Angharad James, Jodie Brett; Danielle Turner ©, Simone Magill, Chloe Kelly; Courtney Sweetnam-Kirk.

Substitutes: Mollie Green for Magill 102

Substitutes not used: Lizzie Durack, Marthe Munsterman, Emma Doyle, Olivia Chance, Mollie Green, Faye Bryson, Elise Hughes.

Bookings: Kelly 97

Red Cards: None

Reading (4-1-3-2): Grace Moloney; Rebecca Jane, Harriet Scott, Kirsty Pearce ©, Jo Potter; Rachel Furness; Fara Williams, Rachel Rowe, Remi Allen; Lauren Bruton, Brooke Chaplen.

Substitutes: Kirsty Linnett for Williams 72, Anna Green for Scott 76, Mandy van den Berg for Potter 90, Melissa Fletcher for Pearce 119.

Substitutes not used: Mary Earps, Georgia Clifford.

Bookings: Bruton 26, Williams 56

Red Cards: None

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Attendance: 155