Reading continued their wretched run of WSL form on Wednesday, losing 2-0 to Manchester City at the Etihad Academy Stadium.

Demi Stokes broke the deadlock as City left it late to pick up a vital three points with two strikes in the final 15 minutes.. 

Stokes, who appeared as the unlikely hero in the 74th minute, found the bottom corner with a low effort before Lauren Hemp added a second ten minutes later. 

Gareth Taylor’s side were in the ascendency from the off and should have been three or four up inside the first 20 minutes alone. 

Julie Blakstad was particularly dangerous, forcing Reading keeper Grace Moloney into her first save before the Norwegian fired over with an open goal gaping when the Republic of Ireland international denied Khadija Shaw. 

Moloney went on to deny Blakstad again before saving twice from Hayley Raso. 

She made another save from a Shaw strike minutes later as the hosts continued to become frustrated. 

The pressure continued after the break as Taylor introduced Lauren Hemp with half an hour to go, and with no breakthrough, Ellen White and Jess Park joined her 10 minutes later. 

Reading Chronicle:

Hemp went closer than anyone when she stepped inside Faye Bryson and curled an effort off the crossbar, but she set up the crucial breakthrough minutes later, allowing Stokes to skip past her marker and find the bottom corner. 

Georgia Stanway hit the post moments later as City looked to double their advantage. 

They did so with six minutes to go when Hemp fired home the clincher after White saw an effort parried by Moloney. 

The defeat was Kelly Chambers' sides fifth in as many matches, leaving the Royals marooned in mid-table nine points outside the top three.

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