Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team manager Hope Powell rued her side's luck in this afternoon’s narrow 1-0 FA Women’s Super League defeat to Reading.
Rachel Furness’s goal just after half time proved to be the difference between the teams, but Powell was pleased with her team's efforts, highlighting the fact they have come a long way since the Royals’s 4-1 victory in Crawley back in November.
She said, “When we look at the last time we played Reading, we were heavily beaten. Today we acquitted ourselves very well and showed a good account of ourselves.
“We were unlucky not to get something out of the game. I think in the first half particularly, we played very well. Reading came out very well in the second half and put us on the back foot.
“I’m very proud of our players today. We went for it right at the end, hitting the bar as well as having that good chance at the end. So whilst I’m disappointed we lost, I’m pleased with how we tried to manage ourselves in the game to try to get something out of it.”
Albion’s last match was over four weeks ago, whilst Reading were in league and FA Cup action over the past week, and Powell explained the impact that she felt it may have had, and how she planned her team to set up.
“It’s been about four weeks since we’ve played, but that being said, Reading have had three games in a week.
“There may have been an opportunity for us today to potentially capitalise on their tiredness, but they are a very good side and I don’t think they showed any signs of that.
“For us not having played for a while, it was nice for us to get back out on the grass and play and perform in the way we did, we were unlucky not to get a point, but if you don’t score then you don’t get anything.
“We tried to play out through the thirds and play from side to side to highlight their weaknesses. At times we executed this quite well, but we weren’t clinical enough in the final third, and that’s where we need to do better.”
Albion are next in action on Sunday 28th April when they take to the Amex to play Arsenal in the FA WSL and Powell challenged her players to embrace the opportunity.
“It will be a tough game but we know what Arsenal are about. They are challenging for the title so they will be very focussed on their aims, but we will play our own game, implement what we have done in training and go from there.
“It is a good opportunity for the players to go out there and showcase themselves in a big stadium, hopefully in front of a lot of people.”
Tickets are available to purchase for Albion’s final home FA Women’s Super League match at the Amex on Sunday 28th April, kick-off 12.15pm. Adults are priced at just £3 and juniors are £1. Visit BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/tickets to buy yours.