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Women's Football News
Reading FC Women sealed the South West Combination title and promotion to the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over a strong Plymouth Argyle side in front of a large vocal crowd at Didcot Town F.C.
Plymouth arrived knowing that they needed a victory to keep the title race open, but Reading showed their intentions from the first minute when Tash Caswell turned inside the penalty area and saw her shot flash past the post.
The opening period was competitive with each side seeking to gain the upper hand, but it was Reading who took the lead just after the half hour when leading scorer Laura Woodley took her season's league tally to 24, scoring from the move of the match. Sahara Osborne-Ricketts made an interception and some fine one and two touch play from Emma-Jayne Pearmine, Kayleigh Hines, Natasha Caswell and Cheryl Williams saw Reading move the ball the length of the pitch to Rachel Fell, who got in front of the defender to stab the ball towards Woodley, who calmly side footed into the empty net, to send the home fans into scenes of great celebration.
Williams also hit the bar direct from a corner but Reading's second goal came on the stroke of half time, when Pearmine's corner was met with a bullet header by Hines giving the keeper no chance.
After the break, Reading scored a killer third as Jo Chubb released Fell, whose first touch took her away from the defender and then crashed an unstoppable drive past the advancing keeper for Reading's third.
Plymouth gave themselves renewed hope by pulling a goal back just after the hour but Reading stood firm and celebrations started when the final whistle came as they Reading confirmed their second successive title and promotion. The side has now gone 41 league games undefeated in the two seasons since they formation, a fantastic achievement with only Chesham Utd left to play this season.
A delighted Reading Director of Women's Football, Lee Herron, when pulled from the post match celebrations said: "What a fantastic performance to win the league against a strong Plymouth team. We have come a long way in the two years we have been formed and for us to be next season playing in the Premier League Southern Division, as the top women's team in the area in such a short space of time, is a credit to all those involved who have put such a tremendous amount of hard work and effort in. This is a particularly pleasing moment for us and continues to show what an exciting time it is for girls and women's football at the club."
Roger Reeves, from the South West Combination, congratulated the side and commented: "Reading have set a very high standard this season and are without doubt worthy winners of the league."
Photo - www.jamesprickett.co.uk
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