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Reading FC Women 3 (Bragg 21, Kirby 26, McGee 60) Millwall Lionesses 1 (Cole pen 38)
High flying Reading maintained their promotion push as goals from Bianca Bragg, Fran Kirby and Kirsty McGee secured the points at Farnborough.
England international striker Kirby was a threat to the Millwall defence right from the start and twice spurned opportunities to score in the opening minutes. Lionesses' keeper Sarah Quantrill then brilliantly denied Lauren Bruton with a double save and tipped a Kirby chip wide as the home side piled on the pressure.
Reading finally took the lead on 21 minutes as Kirby ran through the defence, Quantrill saved her initial effort but Kirby pounced on the loose ball, cutting back for Bianca Bragg to slot it into an empty net.
Five minutes later the hosts extended their lead, Kirby racing clean through before placing her finish beyond a wrongfooted Quantrill.
With half-time approaching, Millwall gained a lifeline when Lillie Billson's shot was judged to have hit a Reading hand. Skipper Naomi Cole took responsibility for the resulting spot kick, sending Grace Moloney the wrong way to make the scoreline 2-1 at the break.
Reading started the second half with the same intensity that they had the first, with Bragg somehow contriving to put Kirby's cross wide with Quantrill already beaten. Soon after, Kirsty McGee played a perfect through ball to Bruton who fired wide as the home side looked to kill off the game.
Sure enough, Reading regained their two goal lead on the hour after Kirby's deflected cross fell into the path of McGee, who in turn half volleyed into the top corner.
Cherrelle Albert then capitalised on Rebecca Jane's mistake to go one-on-one with the keeper but failed to find the target.
The game was effectively over after that with Reading keeping possession and Millwall offering little threat, only having one significant effort as Moloney pushed Billson's long range shot away.
Reading FC Women: Grace Moloney, Rebecca Jane, Shelly Cox, Laura May Walkley, Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGee (sub Lois Roche 90mins), Bianca Bragg (sub Cheryl Williams 77mins), Megan Ryan, Melissa Fletcher (sub Harriet Scott 75mins), Lauren Bruton, Fran Kirby.
Millwall Lionesses: Sarah Quantrill, Naomi Cole, Frankie Strugnell, Chantelle Mackie, Grace Fisk (sub Paige Anderson-James 57mins), Kylie Davies, Ciara Sherwood (sub Francesca Ali 69mins), Lily Agg, Cherrelle Albert (sub Kim Stenning 69mins), Lillie Fenlon-Billson, Lilli Maple.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Fran Kirby takes on Kylie Davies and Grace Fisk
(bottom) Kylie Davies and Sarah Quantrill combine to foil Lauren Bruton
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