Reading put last week's defeat at Chelsea behind them to claim all three points on home soil, as they beat Birmingham City 1-0.

Amalie Eikeland's well-executed lob was the difference as Reading moved up to fourth place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

The Royals started well, moving the ball about with confidence, as Fara Williams saw her fierce drive just miss the target, while Hannah Hampton comfortably held shots from Eikeland and Brooke Chaplen.

It took until the 39th minute for the deadlock to break, but the opening goal came in style as Eikeland managed to lob Hampton, having latched onto Remi Allen's lofted pass over the back four.

Birmingham's response to going behind was a positive one and the visitors would have equalised had Rachel Laws not managed to tip an awkward bouncing shot over the bar.

Minutes later, Hampton managed to block a close-range Chaplen shot to ensure the Royals didn't add to their tally before half-time.

The visitors were attacking with a bit more menace in the second half and just before the hour mark Claudia Walker's effort wasn't far away from nestling in the far corner.

Opportunities came far and few between for either side during the second half but Fara Williams almost scored directly from a corner 12 minutes from time.

Hampton just about managed to claw it away from underneath her crossbar and the goalkeeper was tested again by Williams, first with a shot from distance.

Before in the final minute of normal time she couldn't quite squeeze the ball home from close range, as Hampton scrambled the ball away.

Reading goalscorer Amalie Eikeland said: "It's a good win, we needed the three points and we are up to fourth in the league now. It was a tough game, but the three points were really important.

"It was a long ball and I was thinking that I just need to get a touch on it and just tried to hit the target.

“The goalkeeper was coming out, so I just needed to put it in the empty goal, so I'm really happy.

"I felt like we rode their pressure well when they pressed us. We held out to keep a clean sheet which is very important for us.

"We started the game against Chelsea really well but went down to 10 players, so it became a tough game, but we bounced back today and we're really happy about that."

Birmingham's Brianna Visalli said: "Unfortunately Reading were the more competitive team today and came more prepared. At times we needed to be more clinical with our opportunities.

“We have a lot that we need to accomplish in the second half of the season. There are a lot of points to play for.

“We're also getting a number of players back from injury, like myself which is exciting.

"Obviously it's not ideal to be side-lined with something unexpected but that fires me up for the second half of the season and I'm more hungry than ever to contribute to the team.

"If we're brutally honest, we need to be better at finishing. We need better production from the forwards and midfielders.

“At times we're getting into certain positions and instead of clinically taking the opportunity, we tend not to finish the chances. That being said, as an attacker myself, you have to take it with a chip on your shoulder."

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