Reading FC Women sit fourth in the WSL1 table after a last-gasp equaliser from Birmingham City rescued the visitors a point at Adams Park, denying Kelly Chambers’ side a first home win of the season.
An exciting first half saw three goals – two of which were penalties, and the other a stunning 25-yard strike from Jade Moore.
But the slender advantage was finally surrendered deep into added time as the Blues grabbed their share of the spoils to take back to the Midlands.
The game started off cautiously, with both teams playing around the back on a superb surface in High Wycombe.
But in the 20th minute, Brooke Chaplen was pushed in the back by Abbey-Leigh Stringer, which resulted in referee Josh Smith pointing to the spot with no hesitation. Chaplen picked herself up off the ground to take the penalty, which beat Ann-Katrin Berger – Chaplen’s second goal in as many games.
It only took 10 minutes for the Royals to double their advantage, as midfielder Jade Moore opened her account for the season with a fantastic effort from distance.
The break did not come soon enough for Reading as deep into first-half stoppage time Birmingham City were awarded a penalty after Harriet Scott brought down former Reading winger Emma Follis. Right back Aoife Mannion then sent Mary Earps the wrong way, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.
The second half was less eventful than the first, but more stoppage time misery was to come for Reading. A free-kick inside Reading’s half in the 93rd minute was played into the far post by Hayley Ladd, finding the head of Emily Westwood, whose effort nestled in the top right corner of Earps’ goal – rescuing a point for the visitors in the process.
Speaking after the final whistle Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers said: “I’m gutted, and I think we caused our own problems which is the disappointing thing, but we’ve got to take the positives from it.
“Seasons before we may have crumbled, but we’ve taken four points from nine now and we wouldn’t have done that in the past, so we are building and going in the right direction, and I'm happy that we have least come away with a point.”
The Royals return to action in three weeks’ time, away to Bristol City Women on Saturday 28th October.
Full-time: Reading FC Women 2-2 Birmingham City Ladies
Reading FC Women: Earps, Rowe, Pearce, Potter, Scott, Bartrip, Allen, Moore, Williams (Bruton 79), Chaplen, Linnet (Furness 59).
Unused subs: Moloney, Jane, Van den Berg, Green.
Birmingham City Ladies: Berger, Mannion, Westwood, Harrop, Williams, Ladd, Stringer, Carter, Follis (Williams 61), Ayisi, Wellings (Quinn 61).
Unused subs: Stenson, Stewart, Hegeberg, Ewers, Cusack.