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Report: Reading 0 Blues 1

Blues picked up their first league win of the season with a 1-0 victory against Reading.

For the second game in-a-row, Claudia Walker scored the winning goal to earn Carla Ward her first league victory as Head Coach.

Blues started proceedings on the back foot, Lucy Whipp’s misplaced pass found Brooke Chaplen who could only fire over from range. 

Claudia Walker had a half chance as Blues started to find their feet in the game. Whipp drove forward from midfield and played to Walker, her effort going wide of post. 

The home side almost went ahead but for a piece of goalkeeping brilliance from Hannah Hampton. Jess Fishlock took aim from 25 yards out with the ball destined for the top corner, Hampton leapt across to claw it up and over the bar. 

Reading clipped the crossbar from a Chaplen free-kick and failed to convert from a scramble in the area as Blues stood their ground.

As the half went on Blues began to attack the Reading defence. Walker caused plenty of problems, using her power to drive past Deanna Cooper several times. 

When out of possession, Ward’s side maintained their defensive shape well making it difficult for Reading to play through the lines. 

Blues started the second half brightly, applying pressure to the Reading defence. Mollie Green saw an effort blocked at the end of this spell. 

Reading almost took the lead through Laura Bruton, only to see her effort come back off the inside of the post and cleared away. 

Ward’s side went ahead after 70 minutes. Sarah Mayling knocked the ball past Cooper and raced onto it, pulling the ball back for Walker to plant it into the bottom corner. 

Having taken the lead, Blues remained resilient defensively to frustrate the hosts reducing them to a number of long-range efforts that failed to trouble Hampton.

Blues saw out the victory to make it three wins in five games, adding to that back-to-back clean sheets.

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