Goals either side of half-time by Alisha Lehmann were enough for West Ham Women to take all three points as they visited Madejski Stadium for a Women’s Super League clash on Wednesday evening.
Fara Williams gave Reading FC Women a lifeline midway through the second period, tucking in a penalty, but the Royals couldn’t quite complete the comeback as the Hammers leapfrogged Reading in the league standings.
Reading squandered a good chance for an early lead, as Lauren Bruton’s close-range effort from Williams’ cut back was kept out as goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse rushed off her line.
And then the goalkeeper denied Rachel Furness from converting a corner, after she arrived unmarked in the area.
So midway through the first period, West Ham took their opportunity to go in front as Korean midfielder Cho So-Hyun slotted in Swiss international Lehmann, who coolly placed past Grace Moloney.
The same combination linked up for the Hammers’ second goal, less than ten minutes after the break. A diagonal ball from Cho was controlled by striker Lehmann, who took the ball in her stride and rifled in low and hard.
It was game on when Rakel Hönnudóttir was brought down in the area by Moorhouse, allowing Williams to step up and fire in from the spot – the goalkeeper guessed correctly but was beaten by the power.
The turnaround didn’t quite come though; Bruton went closest to getting Reading level but some last-ditch defending in the six-yard box ensured that the visitors would take all three points back to London.
Full-time: Reading FC Women 1-2 West Ham United Women
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Harding, Pacheco, Potter, Bartrip, Allen, Furness, Moore (Pearce 69), Chaplen (Hönnudóttir 56), Bruton.
Unused subs: Laws, Davison, Bailey, Jane, Estcourt.
West Ham United Women: Moorhouse, Pervical, Simon, Hendrix, Flaherty, Cho, Reichardt (Visalli 74), Longhurst, Kiernan (Sampson 90), Lehmann, Cross.
Unused subs: Spencer, Kmita.