READING FC Women’s winless run extended to three matches after a 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham City Ladies on Sunday.

Royals went into the clash at Adams Park on he back of a 0-0 draw at West Ham United Ladies in the Women’s Super League 1 last week and a 3-2 defeat at Everton Ladies in the FA Continental Tyres Cup.

But Kelly Chambers’ Royals slumped to a second loss in three games as Blues extended their perfect start to the campaign.

Both team began with plenty of urgency before Birmingham scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the seventh minute when Meagham Sargeant’s back-pot volley looped over the helpless Grace Maloney.

The remainder of the first half became a war of attrition as the tackles went flying in, with no quarter given.

Both teams had golden opportunities during a lively 10-minute spell early in the second half as Birmingham’s Katie Follis saw two efforts saved by Maloney wither side of a Brooke Chaplen chance.

Royals continued to press for an equaliser, but Chaplen was denied by a brilliant double save from Ann Katrine-Berger before Allen sent a header glaringly wide from close range.

And while Reading were undoubtedly the better side after the break, they failed to turn that pressure into a goal.

Reading are away to Liverpool FC Women at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park this Sunday (2pm ko), and Remi Allen said: “We are really disappointed, we didn’t show up for 45 minutes and Blues are a great side.

“If you give them that, you will probably never get back in the game, so we’ve got a lot to work on to turn it around.

"We put pressure on them in the second half but we didn’t finish our chances and it’s ultimately cost us the game.

"We’re upset with ourselves, we know that wasn’t good enough. We’ve got a good week now to really get our heads down and focus. There’ll be some good sessions ahead of us to get us ready for Sunday.”

Royals also drew 0-0 with West Ham at the Rush Green Stadium last week.

Gemma Davison hit the side netting for the visitors before Chaplen also went close.

The Hammers almost broke the deadlock when Alisha Lehmann hit the woodwork in the second half.

But Royals almost nicked it late on when substitute Becky James thundered an effort against the woodwork with her first touch of the match.

Reading FC Women: Moloney, Furness, Pearce (c), Potter, Harding, Howard (Pacheco 59), Williams, Allen, Davison, Brunton, Chaplen. Subs not used: Jane, Estcourt, Laws, Woodham. Booked: Allen 51.

Birmingham City: Katrine-Berger, Williams, Harrop (c), Mannion, Sargeant, Arthur, Ladd, Ewers, Staniforth, Wellings, Follis (Scott 87). Subs not used: Mayling, Schofield, Hayles.

West Ham United: Spencer; Simon (Percvial 73), Hendrix, Flaherty (c), Rafferty; Simic (Longhurst 57), Reichardt, Visalli; Lehmann, Ross, De Graaf (Kiernan 68). Subs not used: Moorhouse, Sampson, Kmita,

Reading FC Women: Moloney; Williams, Pearce (c), Furness, Allen, Davison (Jane 86), Bruton, Harding, Chaplen, Potter, Howard Subs not used: Pacheco, Estcourt, Laws, Woodham.