Danielle Carter scored as Arsenal Ladies’ title aspirations are still on track during their 1-0 win over a stubborn Reading side at The Hive yesterday evening.
It was the 24-year-old’s fourth strike in five Spring Series fixtures, and the forward is unsurprisingly attracting interest from title challengers Manchester City as a result of her impressive goalscoring exploits.
Arsenal’s team (4-4-2): Veenendaal; Patten, Wubben-Moy, Quinn, Janssen; Williamson (Katie McCabe, 80′), Nobbs, O’Reilly (Chloe Kelly, 73′), Van de Donk; Carter, Mead (Fara Williams, 59′).
Unused subs: Moorhouse, Scott, Humphrey, Taylor.
Pedro Martínez Losa’s side started strongly and deservedly took the lead, especially having fashioned a handful of notable chances on-goal in the first-half. Beth Mead’s effort hit the post after 15 minutes before Jordan Nobbs, Leah Williamson and Mead herself all came close to opening the scoring.
Mead’s combination play with Hannah O’Reilly down the left flank proved pivotal just before Carter’s goal, as she was handed a golden opportunity to tap home from close-range.
Things could’ve got ugly just before half-time as Danielle van de Donk appeared to have intentionally elbowed Rachel Furness in the face. After careful assessment from the officials, she went unpunished and Furness was cleared to return, though the injury sustained was too much, prompting a half-time substitution as Jade Moore came on in her place.
Reading were fired up at the start of the second 45 and created a few chances of their own.
Lauren Bruton’s volley from the edge of the area flashed inches wide of Sari van Veenendaal’s goal but the Gunners held defensively to keep a clean sheet and take all three points, even if they did make hard work of it.
Club captain Jordan Nobbs was questioned post-match and gave her thoughts on the result itself.
“I think overall it was a good performance,” she said.
“We should have scored more goals in the first half especially, and in the second half we were a bit more defensive.
“But, we also take that as a positive because it shows as a team we can change our game to suit the situation, and to make sure that we get all three points and secure the win,” she continued.
On their approach in the second-half, “It wasn’t because we were nervous, the manager gives us instructions on how to play and how to defend, and that’s the best way to deal with the scenario we are in. We followed that and we executed it well and managed to get the three points.”
Following results elsewhere, Arsenal Ladies are just a point behind both Chelsea and Manchester City with the final day of the Spring Series to be contested this weekend.
Arsenal will be hoping to finish the season unbeaten with another win against Bristol City, whilst eagerly anticipating slip-ups from their title rivals at the same time.