Two unfortunate own goals from Reading defender Emma Mukandi handed us a commanding lead before Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw continued her impressive form in front of goal.
It was also a day of significance for the Club too as our Academy graduate Esme Morgan captained the side for the first time.
We came into the match at the Select Car Leasing Stadium looking to close the gap to third placed Chelsea who had played a game extra.
And went close early on when Lauren Hemp ball across the box from the left fell to Deyna Castellanos on the edge of the area, whose tame shot flew just wide of the goal.
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Morgan was wearing the City captain’s armband for the first time and prevented the hosts from taking an early lead when she made a perfectly timed slide tackle on, Sanne Troelsgaard who had collected a defence splitting pass into the six-yard box.
Hayley Raso was our match winner against Liverpool last week and she almost broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when she controlled well central of the box, but under hit her shot into the grateful hands of Jacqueline Burns.
City were fast out of the blocks after the interval and Hemp was again the aggressor as she weaved into the box before directing her effort into Burn’s gloves from an acute angle.
Perhaps it wasn’t a surprise to see the 22-year-old heavily involved when we took a deserved lead, somewhat, fortuitously.
The England international was again causing problems down the wing and her whipped cross into the box was prodded into the Reading net by Royals captain Mukandi.
And it was the former Arsenal defender at the wrong place at the wrong time again shortly after to double our advantage, when the ball ricocheted off her from Burn’s save into the net after Hemp again tested the ‘keeper.
The wind had clearly been taken from Reading's sails and it didn't take long for Shaw, the league's top goalscorer, to get in on the act.
Hemp slid the ball down the line for Mary Fowler, who lofted an accurate cross into the box where Bunny powered a header home from six-yard.
Her 2022/23 WSL tally now stands at seven goals.
WHAT IT MEANS
Following victory, we remain fourth in the WSL table, but have closed the gap on third place Chelsea to three points.
HOW WE LINED UP
Sandy MacIver made her league debut between the sticks, shielded by a defence of Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri, Esme Morgan and Demi Stokes.
Yui Hasegawa anchored the midfield behind Deyna Castellanos and Laura Coombs.
The front three consisted of Hayley Raso and Lauren Hemp either side of Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw.
Reading XI: Jacqueline Burns, Faye Bryson (Deanna Cooper 66’), Emma Mukandi (C), Charlie Wellings, Amalie Eikeland, Diane Caldwell, Rachel Rowe, Justine Vanhaevermaet (Tia Primmer 61’), Lily Woodham, Sanne Troelsgaard,
Subs: Hannah Poulter, Lauren Wade, Becky Jane, Natasha Dowie, Freya Meadows - Tuson,
City XI: Sandy MacIver, Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri (Alex Greenwood 68’), Esme Morgan (C), Demi Stokes, Yui Hasegawa, Deyna Castellanos, Laura Coombs (Mary Fowler 68’), Hayley Raso (Chloe Kelly 62’), Lauren Hemp (Julie Blakstad 80’), Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw
Subs: Ellie Roebuck, Steph Houghton, Filippa Angeldahl, Leila Ouahabi, Annie Hutchings
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Lauren Hemp
The 22-year-old winger hardly put a foot wrong in Berkshire, as most of our attacking play flowed through her.
After coming close with her own efforts, she instigated both Reading own goals with teasing crosses into the box, before playing a part in our third.
The perfect preparation before linking up with England for matches against Japan and Norway.
It’s another away trip for City after the international break as we play Everton on the road on Saturday 19 November.
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