October 9, 2020 by Stephen L Wright
Blues should have played Reading home and away last season but the first was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.
So it was that they travelled to Reading (still to find a win against the visitors in the WSL) for a game on 12th January. By that point, then Boss Marta Tejedor was not a fan favourite as the hashtag #MartaOut showed. And several of her decisions in the game, in fans’ opinion, were remarkably poor. Recently arrived, on loan, Georgia Brougham was rated by Tejedor as a player …who can build from the back, link with people around her and make good connections, even join in with the higher lines. She wasn’t played. Nor were top season goal scorer Abbi Grant or second new signing Emma Kelly, who was also rated by Tejedor. Reading had most of the possession and shots on target, but Blues could have shared the spoils. In the end the hosts took all three points.
That was then and this is now. Georgia Brougham and Emma Kelly are still in the squad and also rated by Boss Carla Ward. Of Brougham she said: “Georgia goes very much under the radar. But right now she is bringing so much to the squad. She’s been excellent for us in our games and I have been absolutely delighted with what she has brought on the pitch and the way she is leading off it.” Kelly took a nasty knock on Sunday in the first minute and is ruled out. Ward said : “It’s a big loss for us. She’s looked really bright. Her ankle has flared up and we’re having it scanned to see the extent of the damage.” We will miss her and wish her a speedy recovery.
As for the rest of the squad, the veterans of last season are not showing they’re missing those who left in the summer for pitches new. If anything, they are playing better, much better, and a large part of that is due to Ward, who has brought in a philosophy and spirit with which she has imbued her new charges and her colleagues. They are all hungry to work together and succeed together and the players to play together. The results, if not in wins and goals, are positive and the omens excellent.
The hosts come into this game with two wins and a loss in the league and a win in the first round of the Conti League Cup. There’s no love lost between the two squads, so it’s going to be a tough one. But Blues have plenty of heart.
Kick off is at 2pm and the game’s on the FA Player. See you on the other side. Until then…