READING FC Women’s three-match winning run in Women’s Super League 1 came to an end after a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.

On another day Royals could have left Kingsmeadow with at least a point as they squandered a host of chances, especially in the first half.

Kelly Chambers’ visitors went close numerous times before the break, but they either failed to hit the target or could only find the gloves of Blues keeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Reading’s Fara Williams curled an effort wide in the first minute, only for Chelsea’s Magdalena Eriksson to hit the post soon after.

The visitors continued to threaten with Williams testing Lindahl before Gemma Davison dragged a shot wide.

And they wasted a gilt-edged chance when a poor first touch from Millie Bright allowed Brooke Chaplen to race clear, only for Bright to make a superb recovery tackle.

Royals, however, we let off the hook on the half-hour mark when Ramona Bachmann looked certain to score after a mistake by Grace Maloney only for Jo Potter to scramble the ball off the line to save the keeper’s blushes.

Reading, though, ended the first period on top after Fara Williams sent a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Royals were soon punished for failing to make their dominance count when Chelsea’s fast start to the second half paid dividends.

Erin Cuthbert dragged an effort wide after the restart then Ji So-Yun was denied by Maloney.

But the hosts broke the deadlock on 47 minutes when Ji fired low past Maloney for a 1-0 lead.

Chelsea pushed for a second and saw Bachmann, Bethany England and Karen Carney all denied by Maloney.

And Reading’s hopes of snatching a draw were dashed when Remi Allen’s overhead kick was saved before Blues survived a goalmouth scramble.

The win saw Blues leapfrog Reading in the table into fourth place, though boss Chambers was far from disappointed with her team’s display.

"The performance from the girls was outstanding,” she declared. “But, result wise, we fell short.

We just need to make sure that doesn't affect us going into next week.

"The key message is we need to make sure that we're better taking on information at half-time then deliver it out on the pitch. The performance over the 90 minutes was fantastic and we need to make sure we keep building on that."

Reading host Liverpool Women at Wycombe’s Adams Park this Sunday (2pm ko).

Chelsea: Lindahl; Blundell, Bright, Ingle, Carney (c), Ji, Eriksson, Andersson, Cuthbert (Engman 90), Bachmann (England 76), Spence. Subs not used: Durack, Cooper, Carter, Asante, Bailey.

Reading: Moloney; Pacheco, Williams, Pearce (C), Furness, Allen, Davison (Jane 84), Harding, Estcourt (Bartrip 64), Chaplen, Potter. Subs not used: Laws, Woodham, Harries.

Referee: Lucy Oliver.

Attendance: 1,741.