Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Patten, Wubben-Moy, Quinn, Janssen, Nobbs, Williamson (McCabe 81), Carter, Van de Donk, O’Reilly (Kelly 74), Mead (Williams 60)
Subs not used: Moorhouse, Scott, Humphrey, Taylor
Reading: Earps, Jane, Scott, Bartrip, McGee, Furness (Moore 46), Allen, Bruton, Lahmari (Hines 73), Green (Fletcher 64), Linnett
Subs not used: Van den Berg, Estcourt, Moloney, O’Rourke
We continued our fine run of form with a second 1-0 win in four days, this time seeing off Reading at The Hive.
Danielle Carter’s close-range finish in the 40th minute proved to be enough for the win, with the Royals failing to find a way past Sari van Veenendaal.
Jordan Nobbs – who captained the side for the first time – twice went close to finding the back of the net, only to be denied by Mary Earps.
The result means that avoiding defeat to Bristol at the weekend would ensure an unbeaten Spring Series campaign.
SETTING THE SCENE
Van Veenendaal continued in goal after keeping a clean sheet against Manchester City at the weekend.
Nobbs was once again joined in central midfield by Leah Williamson.
Beth Mead was given another chance to lead our attack, supported by Carter, Danielle van de Donk and Heather O’Reilly.
The first chance of the game fell for Reading when Kirsty Linnett darted in from the left before sending a curling effort at goal, only for Van Veenendaal to save.
Mead then smacked a left-footed effort against the inside of the post, but was left frustrated when her strike bounced clear of the danger area.
However, Mead was at the heart of the game’s only goal, combining with O’Reilly on the left flank with the American squaring for Carter to tap home.
We looked to quickly find a second after the restart but Van de Donk fired wide after linking up with Mead and Nobbs on the edge of the area.
Reading had appeals for a penalty turned down, with O’Reilly seeing a sliding effort saved shortly after getting onto the end of a Nobbs cross.
Nobbs went close again late on, but in the end one goal proved enough to claim all three points for Pedro Martinez Losa’s side.
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