It looked like Gareth Taylor’s side would miss out on the three points which would have sent us top of the Women’s Super League before Kelly snatched an 87th minute winner from Lauren Hemp’s mazy run and cutback.
While Reading pushed us to our absolute limits, City dominated for the majority of the match and will feel the winger’s goal at the death was just rewards for our tireless display.
And Kelly feels the way in which we dug in to claim all three points is an example of our mental fortitude at a crucial stage in the season.
She reflected: “These wins show what we’re capable of mentally.
“When things are going great it’s brilliant, but these (kind of wins) show a lot more about our character and what we are as players. These bring out the best in us.
“We fight ’til the end and stick together as a team.
“It doesn’t matter how we do it, it’s about getting three points.”
After defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of our Champions League quarter-final, it would have been easy for heads to drop as the chances began piling up with no breakthrough.
But Kelly insists she and the players knew that they just had to remain patient, and that the pressure would eventually tell.
“I knew it was coming, it was just matter of when and sticking to the plan,” she revealed.
“We knew it was working and we have the ability to put them away.
“In the last few games we’ve put our chances away so we knew we just had to stick with it.
“Of course, it took us a while to get that, but when it did come it was special.
“Those 1-0s are massive come the end of the season and it’s three points that matter to us.”
While Kelly will gain the plaudits for scrambling home the late winner, it was helped in no small part by a moment of individual brilliance from her fellow winger.
Hemp’s incredible run, in which she slalomed through a number of Reading defenders before squaring the ball, was the crucial spark that City needed with stoppage time approaching.
And Kelly is in no doubts about her teammate's quality, waxing lyrical about her contribution to the game's decisive moment.
She said: “Hempo is something special and you know she’ll create something all the time.
“Just being in the right position, it was waiting to happen.
“I just had to stay focused and wait for her to create something special.”