Reading FC Women put in their performance of the season at West Ham’s Rush Green Stadium to emerge with all three points.
West Ham took the lead in only the fourth minute when a stray back pass from makeshift right-back Angharad James led to a free-kick. West Ham scored the indirect free-kick routine, German international Katharina Baunach striking home with her left-foot.
Just before half-time things got worse for Reading as Rachel Rowe was shown a straight red card for pushing a West Ham player after being tackled.
You could be forgiven for thinking West Ham would walk away with all three points when Leanne Kiernan added a second for the hosts but Reading clearly had different ideas.
For the last half-hour of the game the away side were in the ascendancy. With fifteen minutes to go Norweigian international Kristine Leine notched another goal to add to her midweek strike against Palace and a minute later Brooke Chaplen expertly finished a one-on-one before Jade Moore earned hero statues by scrambling home a corner with eight minutes remaining.
These goals weren’t flukes. Reading had hit the woodwork three times in the second half, two from Fara Williams and a wonderful Sophie Howard strike that hit the underside of the bar.
In the final eight minutes (and five of injury time) West Ham barely threatened and in truth Reading saw out the game relatively comfortably. Kelly Chambers will be delighted with her side’s application and tenacity.
They now travel to Crawley on Friday evening to face Brighton & Hove Albion who were beaten 4-0 by Manchester United this Saturday.