Hammers reach FA Cup final after Reading win
Ticket sales for the SSE Women's FA Cup Final will be announced in due course, once confirmed with the Football Association.
It was shoot-out delight for West Ham United as Cho So-hyun's deciding penalty put the Irons into the SSE Women's FA Cup final.
Having drawn 1-1 over 90 minutes - with Rachel Furness scoring a header before Alisha Lehmann levelled in the second half - Sunday's semi-final went to extra time.
The added 30 minutes wasn't enough to separate the sides, and penalties were needed, with South Korea's Cho netting the deciding spot-kick to secure a win for Matt Beard's side, 4-3 on penalties.
The semi-final at Adams Park was packed with over 2,000 supporters as both teams looked to make the most of the friendliest draw either could have hoped for.
It wasn’t until the 13-minute mark when the first chance came for Reading. It was Fara Williams with a speculative long-range effort that was easy for Anna Moorhouse to catch.
Moments later Reading were back on the attack and looked through on goal, but a great sliding tackle from Claire Rafferty stopped the attack.
Two minutes later Lehmann found herself with the ball on the wing and fired a low cross in that was defended for a corner. So-Hyun played in the resulting corner and found Brooke Hendrix who tried a speculative overhead kick that didn’t pay off.
On 23 minutes Jane Ross played a great ball over the top to Leanne Kiernan who used her pace to cut in behind the defence, but her shot was blocked by the covering defender.
The final chance of the first-half fell to Gilly Flaherty on 44 minutes when she got her head to the corner, but it went over the bar and for a goal kick.
Three minutes in to the second-half Reading opened the scoring. A hopeful lofted cross was played in and it was headed in to the corner of the goal by Rachel Furness.
Reading almost got their second of the game on 55 minutes. Williams threaded a ball through to Lauren Bruton, but Flaherty defended incredibly well.
Just before the hour mark, the Irons got themselves level. Poor defending from the Royals saw the ball fall to Brianna Visalli, she passed it to Lehmann who poked it in to the bottom corner.
Reading earned themselves a penalty on 69 minutes when Flaherty was judged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area. Williams stepped up for the Royals and hit the post to keep the game level.
On 86 minutes Flaherty played in a delightful free-kick to Jane Ross who looked to flick a header towards goal which went just wide.
Going in to extra time, Williams could have won the game for Reading as she went through one on one with Moorhouse but could only fire wide.
At the end of the first-half of extra-time it looked as though Reading had scored, but Rafferty was there to clear the ball off the line and keep the game level.
Despite playing another 15 minutes there were only half chances for both sides, but in the closing seconds Visalli fired a shot that went just wide of the far post.
The game went to penalties and it was the Hammers who came out winners scoring four out of their six penalties and taking them off to their first ever Women’s FA Cup final!
Reading: Moloney; Pacheco, Williams (Davison 101), Bartrip, Furness, Allen, Bruton, Harding, Bailey (Honnudottir 68), Moore, Potter (Howard 103)
Subs not used: Laws, Jane, Pearce, Estcourt
Goals: Furness 48,
Yellow Cards: Potter 66, Harding 79, Moore 88, Bruton 99
West Ham United: Moorhouse; Simon (Sampson 103), Flaherty, Hendrix, Rafferty, Reichardt (Visalli 52), Longhurst, So-Hyun, Lehmann (Kmita 117), Ross, Kiernan (Leon 57)
Subs not used: Spencer,
Goals: Lehmann 57
Yellow Cards: Flaherty 69, Cho 75, Simon 90+5