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Ladies edged out in thriller

PUBLISHED

11:45 13th November 2012

Brighton 4 – 3 Reading FC Women

Reading's Ladies suffered a league defeat for the first time since August as Brighton edged a seven-goal thriller.

Fran Kirby scored twice and Lois Roche converted a free kick, but it wasn't quite enough to continue their fantastic league form.

RFC's Women went into the game with Brighton, the only side the Women hadn't yet played, searching for their seventh league win in a row.

In a lively start to the match, Reading took the early lead when a through ball found Kirby, who slotted past the right hand side of the Brighton goalkeeper.

The Royals continued to dominate but saw themselves concede from a set piece. Brighton's striker equalised, netting home from the corner, before she struck again soon after some quick play down the right.

Brighton's centre back was perhaps lucky to have stayed on the pitch after her elbow on Kirby was only punished with a yellow card. But Reading soon made it 2-2 when Kirby capitalised on the defender's mistake and found the net for her second of the match, and her 16th of the season.

Reading continued to pressure the hosts until half time with efforts from Stacie Donnelly and Alice Palmer - but their efforts were well saved by the Seagulls 'keeper.

RFC's Women bossed possession in the early stages of the second half, but failed to take advantage and her punished when Brighton headed home from a corner - before a floated free kick was met by the same Brighton midfielder to make it 4-2.

But the Royals refused to wave the white flag, and launched a brave fightback when Roche converted a free kick given for handball. Minutes later, Reading were again appealing for a handball - this time in the area, but the referee gave nothing.

Reading continued to fight until the final whistle, and nearly grabbed a sensational equaliser but Rebecca Jane fired just over the bar. Charlotte Young saw an effort saved by the 'keeper, before Kirby's chance flew just over.

It was a brave effort - but Reading's Ladies were condemned to their first league defeat since August. Kelly Chambers' Women will look to bounce back next weekend away at Colchester.

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