Reading 3-0 Aston Villa: First-half blitz lifts Royals to first win of the season

Natasha Dowie
Natasha Dowie wrapped up the win for Reading with a superb strike on the stroke of half time

Three first-half goals gave Reading a much-needed first win of the Women’s Super League season after a clinical display against Aston Villa.

Amalie Eikeland opened the scoring on 16 minutes when her shot looped over Villa keeper Hannah Hampton.

Rachel Rowe’s rasping drive doubled the Royals’ lead three minutes later before Natasha Dowie’s superb strike followed on the stroke of half time.

Reading move up to 10th while Villa drop down a place to seventh.

Reading came into the game at the Madejski Stadium rooted to the foot of the table after four successive defeats.

But they got the perfect start when Norway winger Eikeland lifted the ball over Hampton for the home side’s first goal of the campaign.

They had a second when Rowe collected Eikeland’s pass and blasted the ball past Hampton at her near post.

Villa failed to fashion a chance from several set-piece opportunities and were punished when Dowie struck a brilliant third, rifling her shot high into the net from Deanne Rose’s through-ball. It was her first goal since joining from AC Milan in the summer.

The visitors failed to trouble Reading goalkeeper Grace Moloney in the second half, with Alisha Lehmann coming closest for the visitors when her shot clipped the post as Reading comfortably saw out the game.

Prior to kick-off, both sets of players joined arms in solidarity with players in the US who have made sexual misconduct allegations against English coach Paul Riley, which he has denied.


Reading Women

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Moloney
  • 2Bryson
  • 14Cooper
  • 5Evans
  • 11Harding
  • 9Eikeland
  • 27VanhaevermaetBooked at 73mins
  • 19Chaplen
  • 23RoweSubstituted forPeplowat 88′minutes
  • 10Dowie
  • 6RoseSubstituted forHarriesat 67′minutes


  • 4Peplow
  • 12Harries
  • 21Stewart
  • 28Woodham
  • 31Roberts
  • 33Lister

Aston Villa Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hampton
  • 2Mayling
  • 3Sargeant
  • 6Asante
  • 33Pacheco
  • 8ArthurSubstituted forMcLoughlinat 76′minutes
  • 10Petzelberger
  • 7LehmannSubstituted forBlindkildeat 76′minutes
  • 4Allen
  • 22HaylesSubstituted forDavisonat 58′minutes
  • 11Boye-Hlorkah


  • 5N’Dow
  • 12Hutton
  • 16McLoughlin
  • 19Blindkilde
  • 20Davison
  • 21Ewers
  • 23Rogers

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