Reading FC halted a six match losing streak, but Ramona Petzelberger’s second-half header earned Aston Villa a rare home point as they drew 1-1 with at Banks’s Stadium.

Justine Vanhaevermaet’s penalty gave the Royals the lead, but Petzelberger’s equaliser made it seven games without a win for Kelly Chambers' side, and ensured Villa ended their three-match run without a goal and a 10-match losing streak on their own turf.

A fast start saw Villa’s Emily Gielnik attempt to score in the first 20 seconds, but she was flagged offside after her effort was saved by keeper Grace Moloney. 

Villa tried again in the fourth minute as both sides battled to assert control, with Petzelberger volleying her first-time effort over. 

The Royals responded six minutes later and created a brilliant chance as Natasha Harding’s low cross from the right was parried out by Hannah Hampton as far as Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen, who fired high and wide. 

Gielnik then drove into the box before sending a tame shot wide, followed soon afterwards by Alisha Lehmann’s low cross flying inches wide of the far post.

Lehmann came close again just after the half-hour mark and a huge chance for Villa arrived just before half time as Jill Scott’s header landed just off target to keep it goalless into the break. 

Reading Chronicle:

The second half started with Reading struggling to get out their own half and Villa unable to break through their defence, with the final ball letting the hosts down. 

The visitors were then awarded a penalty midway through the half after Maz Pacheco brought down Amalie Eikeland and Vanhaevermaet took the opportunity as she coolly slotted into the bottom left corner to break the deadlock. 

Villa responded instantly as Laura Blindkilde put in an outstanding cross from the right which Petzelberger met with a flying header that beat Moloney and made it 1-1 with 14 minutes to play.

Reading were grateful for a brilliant stop from Moloney in the 88th minute to deny Remi Allen and Rachel Corsie went into the book a minute later after bringing down Deanne Rose. 

Both sides sought a late winner but neither could find one in a nervy finale as the points were shared.

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