Rachel Rowe’s late strike gives Reading a much-needed win over West Ham

READING, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Rachel Rowe of Reading celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's second goal during the FA Women's Super League match between Reading and West Ham United at Madejski Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Reading, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

With Reading just two points above the drop zone, they welcomed West Ham to the Select Car Leasing Stadium. The two sides have met 10 times across all competitions before today’s fixture, with West Ham winning half of the previous matches.

A win for the Royals would see them leapfrog Liverpool in the standings. A West Ham victory would put them in a tie with Everton. How would this match turn out?

Starting XIs

Reading 

Moloney; Bryson, Mukandi (c), Evans, Wellings, Eikeland, Harries (Troelsgaard, 71’), Mayi Kith, Moore, Rowe, Vanhaevermaet

West Ham

Arnold; Smith, Shimizu, Snerle (Atkinson, 71’), Longhurst, Thestrup (Evans, 79’), Parker, Hayashi, Fisk, Cissoko (c), Asseyi

Reading vs West Ham — How it went

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Reading defeated West Ham on a late strike from Rachel Rowe. Copyright: Nick Potts

The opening few minutes of the match promised a competitive tie. It would take 15 shots between the two sides before the deadlock would finally be broken. Throughout the match, both sides were consistently evenly weighted. Neither side could find the clinical edge to find the opener until well into the second half.

Charlie Wellings’ 66th minute goal would ultimately be what separated the two sides. Barely 11 minutes after the opener for Reading, West Ham found a reply. Viviane Asseyi converted Isibeal Atkinson’s cross to bring the scoreline level. Not content to see the victory slip away, Rachel Rowe found Reading’s second just five minutes before the final whistle. Ultimately the tie finished with Reading enjoying all three points after a tightly fought competition.

Up next

Reading will next travel to face Arsenal in the league before welcoming Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final. 

West Ham will host Aston Villa before making the trip north to face Manchester United.

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