Reading FC Women climbed to third in the FA WSL1 table with a 5-0 triumph away at Bristol City Women.
Fara Williams, Remi Allen, Jade Moore and Rachel Rowe all found the net for Reading, while City stopper Sophie Baggaley was the unfortunate party in an own-goal. The woodwork denied Brooke Chaplen from the penalty spot.
Williams’ goal came just three minutes into the game – the England international seized on a loose ball and a defensive mix-up before striking in via the underside of the crossbar.
Home stopper Baggaley could count herself unlucky when the second went in, as Rowe’s firm strike was brilliantly tipped onto the woodwork by her outstretched dive – only to cannon onto the back of her head and over the line.
Allen put Reading into an unassailable lead three-goal lead in the 20th minute, and soon after won a spot-kick from a clumsy challenge by Frankie Brown. Chaplen’s hit was firm and true, but crashed away off the bar.
Moore added the fourth midway through the second period with a crisp half-volley from outside the area, and then Rowe added the fifth – this time undeniably hers to claim – with a ferocious drive into the bottom corner.
Reading FC Women manager Kelly Chambers said: “We asked the girls to put the gameplan into practice and they delivered that perfectly. We asked something of them at the beginning of the game, and they delivered. You can see that tactically we can change things as well and still perform so I’m over the moon with the performance tonight and the result”.
Reading and Republic of Ireland defender Harriet Scott added: “It was an emphatic result for us and we took our chances early on, we continued with our momentum and didn’t let up. We knew coming into the game that Bristol are an aggressive side who like to hunt their opponents down, so we had to make sure we dealt with that and matched their aggression.”
Next up for Reading is Watford at home on Wednesday 1st November at Adams Park in the Royals’ first game of the Continental Cup this season – click here for ticket information.
Full-time: Bristol City Women 0-5 Reading FC Women
Bristol City Women: Baggaley; Brown, Kerkdijk, Matthews (Daniels 65), Humphrey, Turner, Palmer (Fergusson 65), Dykes, Allen, Hemp, Arthur.
Unused subs: Leach, Wilson.
Reading FC Women: Earps; Rowe, Pearce, Potter, Scott; Bartrip (Linnett 70); Moore (Furness 77), Allen, Williams; Chaplen, Bruton (Green 79).
Unused subs: Jane, Van den Berg, Moloney, Clifford.