Continental Cup: Notts County Ladies 3-2 Reading FC Women

By Andrew AloiaBBC Sport at Meadow Lane
Notts County v Reading
Reading were the last WSL2 side left in the Continental Cup

Alex Greenwood curled in a late winner against Women's Super League Two side Reading to send Notts County into the Continental Cup semi-finals.

Notts' Aileen Whelan fired the first of three goals in five frantic first-half minutes into the top corner.

Helen Ward pounced on a loose ball to turn the equaliser home before Greenwood restored the hosts' lead from the penalty spot on 39 minutes.

Mel Fletcher curled in to level after the break before Greenwood won it.

It is the fifth successive year that the Notts franchise, previously known as Lincoln Ladies, has reached the semi-finals - with the outfit making it to the 2013 final as the Lady Imps.

Notts, starting with six England internationals selected for the Lionesses' squad for the Euro 2017 opener against Estonia, were restricted to a host of half-chances by the Kylie Davies-inspired Reading defence before Leanne Crichton found Whelan in space to open the scoring on 34 minutes.

Reading hit back with their first shot on goal as Ward punished the hosts' failure to clear danger by side-footing into an empty net from close range, only for a foul on White in the box at the other end allowing Greenwood to make it 2-1 soon after.

A fine low curling shot from Fletcher restored parity and Ward twice called home goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain into action.

Grace Moloney did well to deny Jess Clarke at the other end, but there was nothing the keeper could do to foil Greenwood as she swivelled and curled in two minutes from time.

Notts County manager Rick Passmoor told BBC Sport:

"We have been to one final this year in the FA Cup and we want get there again in the Continental Cup.

"Today wasn't our best performance. We got out of jail a little bit thanks to Alex Greenwood.

"In the first half we dominated and should have had more shots on goal as we got in behind the backline plenty of times. It is something we need to work on.

"We also needed to be more professional with our attitude in the second half, there were too many open spaces, we gave the ball away and made too many poor decisions and became very ragged.

Reading manager Kelly Chambers told BBC Sport:

"My girls were outstanding from minute one today - they were brilliant.

"The back four have been fantastic all season, especially the two centre-halves Kirsty McGee and Kylie Davies. That partnership was again outstanding today.

"That 88th minute goal hurt, because the girls deserved so much more, but I suppose that is the difference between WSL 1 and WSL 2 right now."

Notts County: Chamberlain, Greenwood, Turner, Bassett, Walton, A Whelan, Buet, Crichton (Williams 68), Scott, White, Clarke.

Substitutes not used: Telford, Plumptre, Hassall, O'Neill.

Reading: Moloney, Jane, Scott, McGee, Roche, Davies, Walkley, Bragg, Ward, Fletcher, Rowe.

Substitutes not used: Giddings, Bartrip, Estcourt, Wilson, Jones, Sansom.

Attendance: 649

Referee: Akil Howson

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