Reading Women 1 Sunderland Ladies 1
A POWERFUL second-half drive from Northern Ireland international Rachel Furness ensured that Sunderland Ladies avoided their first WSL loss of the season away to Reading.
Reading began brightly as Fran Kirby laid the ball into Lois Roche’s path after two minutes, but the midfielder lifted her shot over.
Roche came closer moments later, when a carefully placed 30-yard free-kick whistled on to the roof of Rachael Laws’ net.
Sunderland looked surprisingly disjointed and the lively Kirby capitalized on the stroke of half-time – skipping past two defenders and firing a delightful 25-yard strike past a helpless Laws.
The Lady Black Cats emerged reinvigorated for the second period, as Vicki Greenwell’s long-range effort was tipped over by Royals keeper Nicky Davies.
The visitors arrived protecting an unbeaten league record, and their enterprising play after the interval was rewarded just shy of the hour-mark when Furness rifled in Keira Ramshaw’s lay-off to level.
Furness then nearly completed the turnaround but her ambitious 40-yard volley flew narrowly over.
Both sides searched for a winner, with Cheryl Williams’ shot coming closest for the hosts, while Beth Mead’s cross was nearly converted by the dangerous Furness in reply.
Reading: Davies, Jane, Cox, Bartrip, McGee, Giddings, Horwood, Bruton, Roche (Williams 67), Haines (Fletcher 37), Kirby. Subs not used: Moloney, May-Walkely, Bragg, Keown, Scott. Bookings: Horwood.
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Sharp, Greenwell. Furness, McDougall. Bass (Beer 86), Ramshaw (Kelly 79), Williams, Mead. Subs not used: Alderson, Wilson, Joice, Briggs, McCubbin. Bookings: Holmes, Furness.
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