Reading WSL relegation worries rise after Everton defeat

Reading manager Kelly Chambers looks on during a match
READING, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Kelly Chambers, Manager of Reading, looks on prior to 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)

Reading have been dealt a blow in their mission to stay above the Women’s Super League relegation zone following their latest loss against Everton.

The Royals hosted the Toffees at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Sunday in a thrilling five-goal fiesta. However, despite taking an early 2-0 lead thanks to a Justine Vanhaevermaet double, the Toffees fought their way from behind to snatch the win.

Hanna Bennison, Katja Snoeijs, and Nicoline Sørensen were on song to force the comeback and bank Everton’s eighth league win of the season.

Reading vs Everton — Starting XIs


Moloney, Mukandi (c), Wellings, Eikeland, Harries, Mayi Kith, Caldwell, Rowe, Vanhaevermaet, Primmer, Troelsgaard


Brosnan; Bjorn, Wheeler, Bennison, Park, Sorensen, Hope (c), Finnigan, Snoeijs, Stenevik, Holmgaard

Reading in relegation danger after Everton loss

After just two minutes of play, Reading had already made their mark on what was a must-win match. Charlie Wellings was brought down in the box, leading the referee to award a spot kick. Vanhaevermaet duly converted the penalty, giving her side a welcome early lead.

Barely 15 minutes later and the Belgian doubled her goal tally. A strong play from Sanne Troelsgaard saw the midfielder find a comfortable pocket of space. From there, the Danish international slipped the ball through to Vanhaevermaet who slotted it home to gain a huge two-goal advantage.

However, Everton were able to get a foot back into the match just four minutes before half-time. After catching Reading on the counter-attack, Bennison slipped the ball under Grace Moloney to score the first Blues goal of the afternoon.

Another penalty was awarded in the 61st minute but this time to the visitors. Snoeijs converted the spot kick following a foul in the penalty area.

Not content with a draw, Everton went on to find a late winner through Sørensen. The Danish international snatched the three points in the 83rd minute from a well-worked solo run into the box followed by a composed finish.

Everton’s win puts them on 27 points for the season, leaving Reading just one point above the drop zone. Leicester have a game in-hand over the Royals, which if they win, will move Chambers and her team to the bottom.

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