It was a disappointing evening for Reading Women as they fell 3-0 to West Ham United in the Continental Cup.

Goals from Alisha Lehmann, Rachel Daly and Emily van Egmond gave the Hammers an important three points towards progressing from Group D.

The Royals were left to rue missed chances with Lauren Bruton seeing a first half penalty saved by Mackenzie Arnold before Danielle Carter sent another penalty wide in the second half.

Erin Nayler deputised in goal after Grace Moloney was withdrawn late in the warm-up as an injury precaution. Nayler joined the Royals in the summer and was left helpless with the Hammers three goals.

Kelly Chambers’ side started the stronger in their second visit of the season to Dagenham with Natasha Harding looking dangerous.

Jess Fishlock was left to test her luck from range before Lehmann opened the scoring on 14 minutes.

A quick break from Martha Thomas before she played in the Swiss international to tap home into an empty net.

West Ham could have extended their lead on 27 minutes when a free kick was deflected off the post before tempers frayed when Gilly Flaherty lunged in on Carter.

Bruton sliced an effort wide before the first penalty of the night was awarded. A mistimed slide tackle sent the Reading attacker tumbling before Bruton’s kick was saved by Arnold.

Carter continued to look dangerous for the Royals with her close control, but a breakthrough was alluding.

The Hammers extended their lead on 52 minutes when van Egmond was left unmarked to fire past Nayler from close range after another defence splitting pass from Thomas. Two minutes later, the hosts could have had a third when Fishlock cleared a Svitkova header off of the line.

West Ham’s Lois Joel was then lucky to remain on the field after a two-minute spell of headloss. The youngster fouled on the counter picking up a yellow card before the resultant free kick caused Joel to slide down Mitchell for the second Royals penalty. No second card was shown and Carter stepped up to see her kick wide of the mark.

In an end-to-end affair, Reading could count themselves unlucky as the Hammers proved to be the more clinical in attack. They had their third two minutes after the penalty when Daly was unmarked in the box after a third assist from the impressive Martha Thomas.

With half hour left, both teams had the chances to score but West Ham held on to grab full control of Group D with only the top side guaranteed a place in the next round.

Next up for the Royals, they return to Women’s Super League action on Saturday when they face a trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

Reading: Nayler, Harding ©, Bartrip (Leine 63), Cooper, Mitchell, James, Rowe (Harries 71), Fishlock, Carter, Eikeland, Bruton (Chaplen 60).

Bench (Unused): Moloney, Jeon, Quirk, Woodham, Skeels, Childerhouse.