This was supposed to be Jess Fishlock’s farewell to Reading. Having joined the club on loan for 8 months, she was finishing up and heading back stateside to re-join OL Reign ahead of the NWSL season. In her pre-match video, she touched on her team’s frustrating inconsistencies, stating it made the wins more difficult to enjoy. The match that was to follow was the perfect example of this and if Reading were hoping to give her something to celebrate in her final fixture, it wasn’t to be.
Amongst the big-name derbies that this set of mid-week fixtures in the Barclays FAWSL presented, there was another game that was of equal importance. As the relegation battle heats up at the bottom, Brighton hosted West Ham in a game that would provide vital relief to whichever side could seal the victory.