READING FC Women defeated Manchester United Women 2-0 away from home to set a new attendance record.

Goals from Brooke Chaplen and Gemma Davison in the second half earned Royals a memorable victory over the hosts in the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Group Two North clash.

A crowd of 4,835 packed into Leigh Sports Village for the fixture which is a new record for the competition.

It eclipses the previous best attendance in the group stages of 2,110 when Reading faced London Bees last season, and the overall record of 4,214 for the 2016 final between Manchester City and Birmingham.

United, playing their first home game of the new campaign, had the better chances in the first half.

Jess Sigsworth stabbed wide when well placed early on, then teammate Kirsty Hanson hit the bar twice in a goalmouth scramble.

However, Royals responded after the break with Natasha Harding racing into the box before forcing a smart near-post save from United keeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

The visitors broke the deadlock on 56 minutes when Davison’s shot was saved by Chamberlain and Chaplen was on hand to slot home the rebound.

It was not all plain sailing for Royals as they were reduced to 10 players just after the hour mark when Molly Bartip was sent off for a second bookable offence.

United, who play in the division below Reading, pressed for an equaliser and it almost came when Lauren James fired narrowly wide in the closing stages.

But Royals made sure of the victory with a second goal in stoppage time from a deadly counter-attack.

They broke from a United corner and Davison was sent clean through before rounding Chamberlain and slotting home.

Royals manager, Kelly Chambers, beamed: “The message at half time was that we needed to raise our level of performance, I don't think we started the game as brightly as we wanted to.

“It was a case of reiterating that point and getting into the players to make sure they came out and delivered our game plan.

“In the second half, before the sending off we started to do that, and that's why we've come away with this result.

“The discipline and performance we showed to see the game out, and hit them to the counter attack, shows our experience and fitness levels.”

She added: “We have an international break now, and then Yeovil in our first league game of the season which gives us time to analyse the (Manchester United) game.

“It was not perfect and we will reassess and make sure we have a good fortnight to prepare and pick up where we left off last season."

Reading have now won their opening two fixtures in the competition after defeating Durham Ladies 4-1 a week earlier.

Manchester United: Chamberlain, Smith, Turner, Turner, Greenwood, Green (Palmer 60), Zelem, James, Arnot (Toone 78), Sigsworth, Hanson (Galton 67). Subs not used: Bentley, Harris, Devlin, Roberts. Booked: James 59.

Reading: Moloney, Bartrip, Pearce (Jane 73), Potter, Harding, Rowe(Woodham 90), Howard, Williams, Bruton, Davison, Chaplen (Allen 75). Subs not used: Subs not used: Laws, Skeels. Booked: Bartip 41 & 63, Bruton 61. Red card: Bartip 63.

Attendance: 4,835.

Referee: Anthony Tankard.