Reading’s 100% start to Group D in the Conti Cup was ended at the Madejski Stadium as they were beaten 0-1 by West Ham with Alisha Lehmann scoring in the 75th minute for the visitors.
In a familiar story, Reading dominated the majority of action, particularly in the second-half, throwing everything they had at the game, but frustratingly the goal wouldn’t come.
Both defences looked well-drilled with neither side finding a way through in the first half. Alisha Lehmann’s effort from distance hit the bar for the visitors, which was the closest anyone came to opening the scoring.
For Reading, Fara Williams forced an Anna Moorhouse save with a shot from just outside the area. Later in the half, Lehmann fired over for West Ham having worked space on the right.
Angharad James also found herself denied by Moorhouse as the game remained goalless going into half-time.
Half-time: Reading FC Women 0–0 West Ham United Women
The impetus was very much on both sides’ creativity to break down the opposition but it was determination which forced the first chance of the second half as Amalie Eikeland scampered onto a loose ball but Moorhouse was equal to her effort.
West Ham’s Jacynta Galabadaarachchi was a constant threat when she cut inside from the left flank, but she could only force Rachel Laws into a comfortable save with a low shot minutes later.
Lehmann was played through for the visitors midway through the second half but dragged her shot wide while under pressure from Maz Pacheco tracking her run.
She made no mistake with a much more routine chance with 15 minutes to go however. Substitute Leanne Kiernan squared the ball across the face of goal for the Swiss international Lehmann to tap in at the back post and put West Ham ahead.
The final quarter of an hour saw attempt after attempt for Reading, through Williams, Chaplen and James as the home side desperately looked for the equaliser that would have taken the cup contest to penalties. A strong penalty appeal was waved away by the refer deep into the 7 minutes of additional time that was awarded after the 90 minutes, but ultimately Reading were out of time and out of luck.
Full-time: Reading FC Women 0–1 West Ham United Women
Reading: Law, Leine, Pacheco, Williams, James, Allen, Eikeland, Utland (Chaplen 55), Moore, Rowe, Howard
Subs not used: Moloney, Farrow, Honnudottir, Bennink, Skeels
Yellow cards: Pacheco
West Ham: Moorhouse, Kvamme, Hendrix, Lehmann, Baunach, Longhurst, Galabadaarachchi (Littlejohn 83), Leon (Kiernan 68), Cho, Dali (Middag 63), Vetterlein
Subs not used: Brosnan, Kiszkis
Scorers: Lehmann (75)
Yellow cards: Dali, Middag