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It was all City at the Academy Stadium and the Blues progressed thanks to Lucy Bronze’s 82nd minute volley after dominating the game throughout.
Nick Cushing handed competitive debuts to Carli Lloyd and Melissa Lawley, who joined in the winter from Houston Dash and Birmingham City respectively.
The Blues dominated the first half and came close to the opening goal on numerous occasions.
First, Lloyd picked out Georgia Stanway on the edge of the area and she forced Mary Earps into a good save to keep the score at 0-0.
Stanway then turned provided for Lloyd in the 26th minute as the young cut the ball back for City’s number 10, who was inches away from converting.
Reading rarely troubled the Blues’ backline in the first 45 minutes with Karen Bardsley not having a save to make.
The closest they came was five minutes before the break when Mandy Van Den Berg floated a free kick into the area and skipper Steph Houghton headed clear in the six-yard area under heavy pressure.
Cushing’s side responded well to that half chance with a chance of their own just a minute later when Nikita Parris saw her header float just over the crossbar and land on the roof of the net.
City came flying out of the blocks in the second half and created two chances within ten minutes.
Lawley floated a corner towards Lloyd, who headed straight at Earps before the US international nearly latched onto Stanway’s drilled cross.
The Blues were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute when Lucy Bronze was tripped in the area by Mandy Van Den Berg, but Earps sprung to her left to palm away Stanway’s spot kick.
City continued to pile on the pressure and came close again three minutes later. Lawley burst down the left and picked out Parris, who was denied by another good save from Earps.
Bardsley remained a bystander with the ball in the Reading half continually as the game came to a close.
Substitute Kosovare Asllani had a chance with 12 minutes to play but her goal-bound shot was blocked on the line by Harriet Scott.
The opportunities continued to flow with Lloyd playing in Jane Ross in the 82nd minute, only to see Earps produce another save to deny the Scottish international.
The pressure paid off two minutes later when City took a deserved lead through Bronze. Lawley’s free kick was cleared to the edge of the area and Bronze volleyed home to send the City fans wild.
It could have been 2-0 in the 86th minute but Earps somehow managed to deny Jill Scott from point-blank range.
Four minutes added time were played at the end of the second half and City saw it out comfortably to seal their place in the last eight of the SSE Women’s FA Cup.
An in-depth discussion with City Women midfielder Carli Lloyd
The two-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year signed for the Super League champions, seeking a new challenge in a bid to further improve herself.