READING FC Women suffered their fourth successive defeat after a 3-0 home loss to Arsenal Ladies.

Kelly Chambers’ Royals are now without a victory in six matches in all competitions stretching back to a 2-1 home win over Everton Ladies in late November.

While Reading ended yesterday’s clash at Adams Park once again disappointed, Arsenal were celebrating as they climbed up to second in the Women’s Super League 1 table.

Their Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema also set a new WSL record for scoring the most league goals in a season by netting her 16th of the campaign.

Royals were behind in the match from the second minute when Miedema met a Katrine Veje cross with a powerful shot that took a deflection before finding its way past Grace Maloney.

But Chambers’ hosts fought back after that and began to play some attractive football, with Remi Allen firing narrowly wide from a Brooke Chaplen assist.

Gunners remained a threat and saw Meidema’s close-range header on 27 minutes superbly kept out by Maloney.

They almost doubled their lead early in the second half when Katie McCabe missed the target with a header.

But Royals nearly equalised in spectacular fashion soon after that when a sensational volley from Fara Williams was expertly tipped onto the bar by Arsenal keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.

Chaplen also fired narrowly over for the home side before Arsenal’s Louise Quinn sent a free header wide at the other end.

However, the visitors grabbed an all-important second goal 10 minutes from time from the penalty spot, Little slotting past Maloney after Jade Moore had fouled Danielle van de Donk.

To rub salt on Reading’s wounds, McCabe added a third in the last minute with a long-range strike that flew past Maloney.

Reading defender Molly Bartrip said: “The first goal killed us. I think from then on, for the rest of the first half, we were competing.

“It was just a shame that we couldn’t take our chances. The penalty was a question mark and then we conceded in the last couple of minutes.

“It’s frustrating because we know we could have got a result.”

The defeat leaves Royals sixth in the table ahead of a home clash against Keynsham Town in the FA Women’s Cup fourth round this Sunday (2pm ko).

Reading: Moloney, Pacheco, Bartrip, Potter, Harding, Furness, Allen, Moore (Honnudottir 85), Williams, Bruton, Chaplen (Bailey 88). Subs not used: Jane, Pearce, Davison, Estcourt, Kite. Booked: Harding 60, Allen 76, Moore 79.

Arsenal: Peyraud-Magnin, Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell, Bloodworth, MCabe, Little, Kuyken (Van de Donk 52), Mead, Miedema, Veje (Filis 90). Subs not used: Van Veenendaal, Arnth, Grant, Dawburn. Booked: Mitchell 23, McCabe 37, Mead 74.

Referee: Lucy Oliver. Attendance: 1,269.

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