Royals earn 2-1 win over Portsmouth
Portsmouth 1–2 Reading Women
The first group stage of the women's League Cup began for Reading with a trip down to the south coast and a tricky fixture against Portsmouth.
The Royals began the game well but couldn't make their dominance count, squandering some clear cut chances at one end while relying on the woodwork at some excellent saves from keeper Grace Moloney at the other.
The first goal was going to be crucial and thankfully it fell Reading's way; Francesca Kirby cutting in from the left hand side and tucking the ball away to break the deadlock.
With confidence high, the Royals looked to press home their advantage and Lois Roche fizzed a long range effort just past the post.
Pressuring Pompey high up the pitch, the second soon came. The ball dropped to Rebekah Haines who slid a pass through to Kirby and the striker cannily passed the ball between the goalkeeper's legs for her second of the game.
The hosts threw everything at reducing the deficit in the second half and when Reading failed to clear a floated free-kick Pompey pulled one back.
But Reading were still enjoying the better of the chances in front of goal, with Rebecca Jane and Francesca Kirby forcing the keeper into good saves.
And thanks to a stubborn defensive display from the back line as well as last gasp goalline clearances from Rosanna Lane and Stacey Wiggins, Reading held on for three valuable points.
Reading's women are next in action in the league at home to Gillingham LFC on Sunday.