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Too hot to handle

8 October 2012

Reading Ladies 3 Millwall Lionesses 0

Manager Alberto Kurti said: “We knew it was going to be difficult today as we were missing four key players through suspension and injuries. Credit goes to the girls as we fought hard and dug deep versus a very strong Reading side. At this level, if you finish your chances you will go far and that's what Reading have done.”
Whilst they kept up the pressure, Reading notched a breakaway third late-on to inflict The Lionesses first League defeat of the season. 
With 70 minutes on the clock, however, and against the run of play, the hosts killed the game off with a vital second. Josie Roche’s cross-come-shot nestled in the top corner of the net to the dismay of the visitors. 
Not to be deterred, The Lionesses began the second-half well. Nicha Dyett’s header saw Abigail Igbavboia race clear on goal, forcing the Reading keeper into a smart save low to her left. They maintained a fierce tempo and came agonisingly close to finding the crucial equaliser when Dionne Lennon’s header was met by the in-form Reading stopper.
The stalemate didn’t last into the interval, however. On 41 minutes, Reading’s Francesca Kirby cleverly beat Ellie Manning; her low cross met by a team-mate who converted to give the hosts the lead. 
Both sides continued to press but were each met by some superb defending, and when chances were carved out, both goalkeepers excelled to keep the scores level.
The Lionesses continued where they had left off the week before, keeping possession of the ball well. Shauni Grifiths, in particular, demonstrated her ability on numerous occasions; one powerful run saw her past three players before striking just wide of the post.
A strong Reading side could have opened the scoring in the 5th minute but Becky Jane’s shot was well saved by Francesca Gibbs. 
In what turned out to be an entertaining game throughout, both sides started with the confidence gained from their respective starts to the season.
A rampant Reading side put an end to Millwall Lionesses 100 per cent League record record in this highly-anticipated encounter. 
Francesca Gibbs, Dionne Lennon (C), Ellie Manning, Joanna Woodgates, Francesca Strugnell, Nicha Dyett (Abby Dawson, 70’), Ciara Sherwood (Fern Colepio, 80’), Alicia Ferguson, Kayligh Xidhas (Nikki Payne, 60’), Shauni Grifiths, Abigail Igbavboia. Subs not used:  Josie Elliot.Team:

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