Reading FC Women 4-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFran Kirby scored a hat-trick in her first start since January as the Royals thrashed Brighton to stay hot on the heels of league leaders Millwall.
The top scorer bagged a first half brace, Rosanna Lane headed to make it three before Kirby completed her hat-trick late on.
It was Brighton who starter the brighter early on, with the visitors looking dangerous on the counter attack in the first ten minutes.
But the Royals soon got a foothold into the game and found themselves 1-0 up, as Kirby struck from outside the box into the top corner to give them the lead - her first since she fractured her ankle at the start of the year.
Grace Moloney was on hand to steer the Royals from any danger that Brighton created, before our women came close on two occasions to double the lead - via Kirby and Lois Roche.
On the stroke of half time, the Royals did manage to double their advantage. Kirby got her second as she cut in from the left and produced a low drive which was just too strong for the Brighton 'keeper.
In the second half, Roche forced a corner that the Royals took full advantage of. Defender Lane rose highest and converted her header into the top of the net.
Reading continued to dominate - Becky Jane and Alice Palmer came close for the hosts before Brighton got back into the game, but could only fire over the bar.
The Royals then got a fourth as Kirby completed her hat trick with a similar goal to the first - by cutting in on her right foot and driving the ball into the bottom hand corner.
Palmer had a chance to make it five as she went one on one with the keeper but only saw her effort go past the post.
It was an emphatic win which sets the Royals up for their County Cup final against Bracknell Town Ladies at Abingdon this Sunday. Click here to view the women's fixtures.