Our resident futsal writer, Alicia Povey, rounds up the action from Reading Royals latest game as the season restarts.
Reading Royals Futsal Club Women kicked off the second half of the season in the new FA Women’s Super Series Tier 2 South with a win over Coventry Women.
The Royals kicked off and a starting five of stalwarts Alicia Povey (c), Sammy Nazif, Cristina Sarmiento, were joined by two debutants in new signings Eva Ramsey and Becky Scott. Despite arguably dominating the early stages, it was Coventry who opened the scoring with a counter and top corner finish. 0-1.
However, the Royals kept battling and after some nervous defending from Coventry, it was debutant Becky Scott who, after initially hitting the post, turned home her first goal for the club to bring things back level. 1-1.
Nazif was also causing issues for the Coventry fix and keeper – it was that pressure which allowed Royals to double their goal tally late in the first period. Nazif was able to win the ball from a poor touch and provide a square ball to Povey, who made no mistake in slotting home at the back post. 2-1.
Half time: Reading Royals Women 2-1 Coventry Women
Coventry came out fighting for the second period, and that battle was rewarded after a well-worked free-kick (and some poor Royals defending) allowed the away team to slot past another debutant in goalkeeper Sasha Tucker. 2-2.
Royals began to pull away as the game continued and Ines Cipriano secured her debut goal after some fantastic movement on the right hand side saw her shoot low and hard past the Coventry keeper. 3-2.
Povey extended the lead as an audacious airborne diagonal ball from Scott was tipped past the keeper into the back of the net by the skipper, much to the delight of the Royals bench. 4-2.
The Reading side were then given two more opportunities to do more damage as Coventry gave away two 10-metre penalties. Povey’s attempt to lob the keeper was claimed for the first, however, Scott stepped up for the second, and although her stinging shot was initially well-saved, she was able to slide in to then hammer it home. 5-2.
A dubious handball awarded Coventry an opportunity just outside the area as the second period ticked on, and their skipper Hannah Roberts was able to smash the ball through the Royals wall to hit the back of the net. 5-3.
With Coventry pushing for a point, the game opened up, and Povey pounced on a poor headed clearance – taking it round a player and slamming into the top of the net to put the game beyond a doubt.
Full time: Reading Royals Women 6-3 Coventry Women
An opening win takes the Royals Women top of the FA Women’s Super Series Tier 2 South, as well as Alicia Povey top of the goalscoring chart.
They will be looking to secure another three points as they take on Genesis Futsal on Saturday 12th February at Bedford University. Sarah Thompson could make her return to the court to take over captaincy duties from Povey, and Molly Ripley is also due to return from England camp to further strengthen the side.