A strong all round performance and goals for Brooke Chaplen and Millie Farrow saw Kelly Chambers' side dominate Tottenham Hotspur Women at The Hive to open their 2019-20 Continental Cup campaign.
Like last year when they beat Durham 4-1 in the opening game, Reading made a convincing start to their 2019-20 Conti Cup campaign with a 4-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur in Group D.
It was a lively start as both goalkeepers were called into action in the early stages. Grace Moloney was forced to make a save with her feet at the front post inside the opening minute. At the other end, Becky Spencer denied Brooke Chaplen as the forward ran through on goal, latching onto a great ball from Fara Williams. A more routine save from Spencer followed as Angharad James drilled low from the edge of the penalty area.
Reading were dominating the proceedings in the opening 15 minutes and Amalie Eikeland wasn’t far away from opening her Royals account but saw her effort deflect wide.
The Royals almost led on 25 minutes as Moloney sent a perfect ball out to the left, in behind the back four, to find Eikeland, but her cross was nodded over the bar by Chaplen.
Chaplen did get her goal just after the hour mark following a neat passing exchange on the edge of the Tottenham area. The forward was played through on the right and managed to catch Spencer out at her near post with a clever finish into the roof of the net.
Reading were enjoying possession but Spurs looked dangerous on the counter-attack and could have levelled through Gemma Davison. The former Royal was forced wide by Kristine Leine and could only hit the side-netting with a powerful strike. Not long after that opportunity, Rosella Ayane drove wide across goal as Tottenham found their stride heading into the half-time interval.
Half-time: Tottenham Hotspur Women 0-1 Reading FC Women
Despite fading towards the end of the first half, the Royals doubled their lead and Chaplen doubled her tally early in the second as she raced onto a loose backpass and slotted home into the near corner.
Reading then put the game out of sight with two goals in as many minutes. A corner from the left hit the back of Ashleigh Neville and went in on the 54th minute, before Millie Farrow finished across goal to make it four.
Fara Williams delivered a teasing corner midway through the second half which was clawed away by Spencer as the Royals pushed for a fifth.
Reading continued applying pressure and Sophie Howard had a shot blocked following a well-worked corner routine, before substitute Rakel Hönnudóttir forced a save from Spencer on the stretch on the 73rd minute.
Eikeland was keen to get her name on the scoresheet as the game drew to a close. The Norwegian hit the bar from Williams’ cutback before clipping onto the frame of the goal for a second time, following Hönnudóttir’s cutback from the other side five minutes later.
Full-time: Tottenham Hotspur Women 0-4 Reading FC Women
Tottenham Hotspur Women: Spencer, Neville, Godfrey, Leon (Worm 51) Peplow, Schillaci, Green, Ayane, Davison (Dean 65), Percival (Haines 62), Graham.
Unused subs: Morgan, Fibley, Addison, Quinn.
Yellow: Haines, Neville.
Reading FC Women: Moloney, Leine, Williams, James, Eikeland, Harding (Pacheco 78), Farrow (Hönnudóttir 62), Moore (Allen 71), Chaplen, Rowe, Howard.
Unused subs: Skeels.
Goals: Chaplen (31, 47) Neville o.g. (54) Farrow (55).
Yellow: Harding, Allen.