Reading lacked a cutting edge admits Emma Follis
The Royals remain behind the Belles in FA WSL 2 after Katie Wilkinson's equaliser for Aston Villa
Emma Follis may have scored against her former team but the striker was left ruing Reading’s missed opportunities after Aston Villa denied them a return to the top of FA WSL 2.
Follis nudged the Royals ahead in the second half, only for impressive teenager Katie Wilkinson to win and score her own penalty and gain a share of the spoils for Villa.
It leaves Reading two points behind FA Women’s Super League 2 with BT Sport leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles.
And Follis said: "We're gutted, really disappointed we didn't get the three points. It was in our hands really and I feel like we should have capitalised on the many clear cut chances we had.
"Fair play to Villa, they were tough to break down, but really we should have put away the goals, so it's disappointing.
"I was nervous before the game playing against my former team, but once we got going then it was ok and it was nice to score against them.
"I just want to keep scoring and show that I can hit the back of the net. It should have been more than one today. There were too many clear cut chances that we're going to regret, but we didn't lose so we move on to the next one."
Villa had the ball in the net after nine minutes, but Bethan Merrick saw her far-post header disallowed for a push on Rebecca Jane.
Reading then nearly pounced in the 35th minute, Lauren Bruton's shot from just outside the penalty area dealt with by Jessica Myers in the Villa goal.
Myers was called into action twice on the stroke of half-time, first denying Follis before saving the follow-up from Laura-May Walkley.
Reading kept pushing in the second half, Bruton hitting the bar ten minutes in following good work on the left-wing by Follis.
And they took the lead on the hour mark with Follis latching on to Ward's low cross into the area.
Soon after Grace Moloney made a smart stop from Wilkinson, who then went on to be fouled by Kirsty McGee in the box before coolly dispatching the equalising penalty.
And Wilkinson said: "We came here for a win, but getting a draw and coming from one nil down, we're happy with that now.
"After missing a penalty against Bristol Academy during the week, I've been practising a bit more! I'm happy that it went in the bottom corner.
"I'm on set pieces so I have to practise those a lot, but I'm just glad following mid-week it went in.
"There's a couple of us who have come from Birmingham, so there's going to be a few mixed emotions when we play them in the Continental Tyres Cup.
“But it's at home so hopefully the crowd will get behind us, we can get the three points and kick on in that competition."
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Reading (4-3-3) Grace Moloney, Rebecca Jane, Harriet Scott, Kylie Davies, Kirsty McGee, Rachel Rowe, Bonnie Horwood, Laura-May Walkley (Lois Roche 80) Emma Follis, Helen Ward, Lauren Bruton
Subs Not Used: Georgie Giddings, Molly Bartrip, Charlie Estcourt, Nia Jones, Nikki Watts, Chloe Sansom
Yellow Cards: Bonnie Horwood (69)
Aston Villa (4-4-2) Jessica Myers, Hannah George, Emily Owen (Elisha N'Dow 66) Lauren Haynes, Maddy Cusack, Bethan Merrick (Abigail Cottam 66) Alicia Robinson, Sherry McCue, Katy Moran, Olivia Fergusson, Katie Wilkinson
Subs Not Used: Caitlin Leach, Laura Cooper, Amy West, Mollie Rouse, Abby Stringer
Yellow Cards: Maddy Cusack (22) Lauren Haynes (46) Katy Moran (82)
Referee: Craig Green