FA WSL Spring Series Adams Park Att:579 Sunday, May 7, 2017 1:00:00 PM
Reading FC Women2
Parris 6', 76'
Reading FC Women:
- McGee (c)
- Potter Van Den Berg 80’
- Unused subs
- Jane, Lahmari, Van Den Berg, Estcourt, Fletcher, Moloney.
Man City :
- Houghton (c)
- Beattie Campbell 74’
- Middag Christiansen 60’
- Ross Scott 64’
- Unused subs
- Roebuck, Duggan, McManus, Asllani.
Man City Women produced an incredible comeback to claim their first Spring Series win.
Super sub Megan Campbell inspired the victory, coming off the bench and creating two assists within minutes, courtesy of her outrageous long throw-ins.
A Jade Moore screamer and Lauren Bruton penalty had handed the hosts the lead, after Parris had opened the scoring early on, but the reigning champions rallied to turn the game on its head for a second time.
Following their opening 1-1 draw with Birmingham, City were keen to kickstart their Spring Series campaign and the Blues started brightly at a ground which holds fond memories of their very first trophy win in 2014.
Parris had already looked dangerous, almost converting Georgia Stanway’s cross at the backpost, before she broke the deadlock by heading home the rebound after Jane Ross had forced Mary Earps into a smart stop.
The lead was almost doubled within five minutes, as the Reading shot-stopper again did well to deny Ross.
Parris had the ball in the net again, curling an effort into the far corner, but the offside flag was raised, while Earps was called into action to thwart Jen Beattie and Carli Lloyd.
Reading grew in confidence and enjoyed a spell of pressure towards the end of the half. Remi Allen fired over and Rachel Furness headed wide in the last major action of the half.
The home side threatened more after the break and levelled the score with a screamer from the edge of the area, as Moore smashed a first-time strike past Karen Bardsley.
Substitute Izzy Christiansen almost made an immediate impact within two minutes, heading goalward only for Earps to tip onto the crossbar.
Inspired, Reading pushed for their second and were awarded a penalty as Kirsty Linnett went to ground under pressure from Steph Houghton and Beattie. Bruton converted the spot-kick.
Manager Nick Cushing introduced Campbell straight away and amazingly within three minutes, the pendulum had swung back into City’s favour.
The Irish defender played a key role, launching two trademark set-pieces into the area for Parris and Scott to convert.
It was a superb comeback against a resilient side and a crucial victory for the Blues’ hopes of retaining their title.
What it means…
City leapfrog Reading in the Spring Series table, moving up to fifth.
The Blues travel to Bristol City on Tuesday 9 May (7pm) before they face Birmingham in the FA Women's Cup final at Wembley on Saturday 13 May (5:15pm).
How they lined up…
Cushing made four changes to the side that drew in midweek, as Bardsley, Demi Stokes, Ross and Parris returned to the starting XI.
Bardsley was shielded by a backline of Lucy Bronze, Houghton, Beattie and Stokes with Keira Walsh operating in a defensive role.
Tessel Middag and Lloyd were employed in the middle, while Parris and Stanway navigated the wings. Ross led the line upfront.