Reading Women moved to within one point of 2nd-placed Manchester City in the WSL1 table, with a comfortable 3-0 win against Liverpool Ladies at Madejski Stadium at the weekend.
Reading started on the front foot; applying the early pressure. Former Liverpool striker, Natasha Harding struck high and wide from the edge of the penalty area following some good interchange between Brooke Chaplen and Lauren Bruton 4 minutes in.
Less than a minute later and Reading did take the lead. Chaplen drove forward with purpose before curling a perfectly-placed, precise effort from around 25 yards out into the far top corner.
The Royals continued to pile on the pressure having opened the scoring. Harding and Chaplen both forced Liverpool goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain into smart saves.
The visitors began to gain momentum as the first half developed but created few clear-cut chances. The closest Liverpool came during the first 45 was a rather audacious shot from Laura Coombs which flew harmlessly over the bar from distance.
However, it was an unfortunate ending to the first period for Jade Moore, who had to come off through injury and was replaced by Rebecca Jane.
Into the second half and Reading began with the intention of finding a second goal. Fara Williams had three efforts from outside the area within the first five minutes, all off target.
Minutes later, and the Royals did come very close to doubling their advantage when Chaplen latched onto a ball over the top, but her attempted chip over Chamberlain dropped just wide of the far post.
Much like the first half, Liverpool started to dominate possession as the second half developed but the well-drilled Reading backline kept their shape throughout to ensure a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
The Royals always looked the more menacing going forward and added a second with little over 15 minutes left. Bruton threaded a ball through which was deflected into the path of Chaplen who showed good tenacity to slide the loose ball home ahead of Amy Turner.
The game was wrapped up with a third goal less than 10 minutes from time. Bruton was played through and showed good composure to round Chamberlain and finish left-footed into the open net.
In the end another thorough display from Kelly Chambers' side who are now seeking to end the season with a fourth consecutive victory at Birmingham City on Sunday 20th May.
Manager Kelly Chambers was delighted with the performance, saying: "This game was important to us to make sure we keep competing at the top end of the table. We know we needed three points today."
"We've been very good at the defensive side of the game; making sure we shut up shop and we did that today. We defended excellently, especially in the second half."
On the attacking trio of Bruton, Chaplen and Williams, Chambers added: "They've been working hard all season. Not just the patterns but the technical work, detail and decision making.
"They've combined really well today. It's nice to see them flourishing and the goals being shared across all three of them."
Brooke Chaplen said the defensive resolve of the Royals is something to build on, saying: "The clean sheets have been impressive; especially these last couple of months... It's a big three points for us. It's important for us to finish as high up the table as we possibly can."
"We don't intend to take our foot off the gas; we're building and if we get three points next week we'll be happy with the season we've had."
Reading FC Women: Moloney; Williams, Pearce, Furness, Allen, Bruton, Moore (Jane 45'), Chaplen, Harding, Potter, Rowe.
Subs not used: Scott, Linnett, Fletcher, Green, Kite
Scorers: Chaplen 5, 73; Bruton 81
Yellow cards: Furness, Chaplen
Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain; Greenwood, Ingle, Bonner, Murray, Harris, Longhurst (Turner 59), Coombs, Weir, England, Charles (Clarke 59).
Subs not used: Flaherty, Johnson, Rodgers, Babajide
Referee: Lindsey Robinson