Reading Women became the first team to score and take points of Chelsea this season in the WSL1 after a hard-fought draw at Adams Park.
This result keeps Reading’s six-game unbeaten run in all competitions going in what turned out to be a fantastic advert for Women’s football.
Chelsea came straight out of the traps in the first half with two good opportunities falling to ex-Royal Fran Kirby, however an ever-alert Mary Earps denied the visitors the lead on both occasions.
Just after the half-hour mark Reading took the advantage when Fara Williams’ back heel deflected straight into the path of midfielder Remi Allen, who slotted home with a clinical finish - becoming the first player to score against Chelsea in the league this season.
The Royals kept momentum up in the second half when Jo Potter’s corner found Rachel Furness, whose header at the near post forced Hedvig Lindahl to make an important save.
Chelsea then started to pile the pressure on Reading’s defence, and were soon awarded a free kick on the edge of Earps’ area.
The experienced Karen Carney curled it over the wall and into the bottom corner to equalise for the visitors.
Just minutes after the restart Reading were awarded a free-kick in a similar position on the edge of the Chelsea box. Fara Williams’ excellent effort was just inches away from restoring the lead, striking the near post.
Emma Hayes then brought on Eniola Aluko to replace Drew Spence in the 65th minute, and it took the Chelsea substitute just 10 minutes to give the visitors the lead, slotting home after being played through by Fran Kirby.
Reading then rallied, and hounded the Chelsea defence in the closing stages, one glorious opportunity falling to Remi Allen as she broke through the Chelsea defence, but the midfielder’s effort was straight as goalkeeper Lindahl.
But the constant pressure from Reading’s offence finally paid off when Jo Potter’s stoppage time free-kick was launched into the box, finding the head of Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson, whose misdirected header looped over Lindahl and in, granting the hosts a well-earned point.
After the game Royals manager Kelly Chambers commented; “The girls have worked their socks off today and executed the game plan perfectly.
"The goals we conceded our down to us, but overall the performance was excellent."
Speaking on Remi Allen’s first half strike Chambers commented; “It’s nice to see that goals are being scored across the board and that we aren’t relying on one or two people, and that’s what we want to be doing in possession, and creating those opportunities."
The Royals are back in action for their first Madejski Stadium match this season on Wednesday night, when they take on London Bees!
Reading (4-1-2-1-2): Earps (GK), Rowe, Pearce (C) (Van den Berg, 87), Potter, Bartrip, Furness, Scott (Jane 80), Allen, Williams (Linnett 78), Bruton, Chaplen.
Substitutes not used: Moloney (GK), Green
Goal Scorers: Allen 34 and Eriksson (OG) 90
Bookings: Chaplen 43
Red Cards: None
Chelsea (4-3-1-2): Lindahl (GK), Bright, Flaherty, Eriksson, Thorisdottir (Dunn 45), Mjelde, Chapman (C), Davison (Blundell 75), Carney, Kirby, Spence (Aluko 65).
Substitutes not used: Spencer (GK), So Yun Ji, Cuthbert and Bachmann.
Goal Scorers: Carney 55, Aluko 75.
Bookings: Eriksson 90
Red Cards: None
Referee: Rebecca Walsh