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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Select Car Leasing Stadium

Carter, Mjelde and Reiten see off spirited but limited Reading 3-1 to reach FA Cup semi-final

By Paul Lagan at Select Car Leasing Stadium

Reading 1 v Chelsea 3

Jess Carter, Maren Mjelde and Guro Reiten saw off a spirited yet limited Reading to progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

The reigning holders, a much-changed Chelsea side were the first to settle as they played without a recognised striker with Sam Kerr on the bench - a nod to the upcoming Champions League match in Lyon on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Niamh Charles and Reiten rotated the role and it was Charles who had the first real effort in goal, but her attempted chip from 20 yards out, on seven minutes, drifted wide of Grace Moloney’s right post.

Mjelde tried a thumper from a similar distance on 20 minutes, this effort from the central midfielder was not too far over the Reading crossbar.

But the dominance finally reaped dividends and after a long deep cross by Reiten to the far post.

Right back Carter was on hand to tuck the ball over the line to give the west Londoners a deserved lead.

A penalty was then awarded to the Blues on 24 minutes after a short back pass was pounced on Reiten who was duly bundled over for a spot kick.

Up stepped Mjelde who lashed the ball home into the corner sending Moloney the wrong way in the process to double the lead.

Reading nicked one back through Sanne Troelsgaard, but such was the obvious error made by the linesman, that the referee Martin Woods, sensing the error went to the linesman, and after a short discussion came to the correct decision and offside was given.

Charles made a bizarre and incorrect choice of action on 36 minutes when she cut through the Reading defence. With a one on one with Moloney on offer, she instead chose to pass the ball square to in-running Reiten, but the ball was easily intercepted.

Head coach Emma Hayes held her head in her hands in disbelief.

The second half started as the first, with the visitors in the ascendancy and within five minutes they had increased their lead - Reiten was on hand to tuck the ball home into the empty net.

With the game effectively won, Hayes decided to make a double substitution on 64 minutes - on came Ashanti Akpan and Aimee Claypole, off came Sophie Ingle and player of the match Reiten.

Inevitably with changes, a change of pace develops within the team and Reading took advantage, and on 71 minutes they snatched back a goal when Troelsgaard drove home an angled shot past Zecira Musovic after outmuscling Millie Bright.

Melanie Leupolz entered the fray to shore up any midfield holes, off came Charles with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Teams; Reading: Moloney, Bryson, Mukandi, Wellings, Eikeland, Hendrix, Mayi Kith, Moore, Rowe, Woodham, Troelsgaard

Subs: Burns, Evans, Wade, Caldwell, Jane, Vanhaevertmaet, Meadows-Tuson

Chelsea: Musovic, Bright, Ingle, Carter, Reiten, Eriksson, Fleming, Kaneryd, Charles, Abdullina

Subs: Berger, Leupolz, James, Kerr, Buchanan, Claypole, Akpan, Blades, Brown


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