Reading Women welcomed the Women’s Super League leaders, Manchester United, to the Madejski last Sunday with the hosts narrowly falling to a 2-1 defeat in an entertaining affair. 

Goals from Leah Galton and Hayley Ladd gave the visitors all three points after a Millie Turner own goal gave the Royals a glimmer of an upset. 

Reading academy product Emma Harries was rewarded with a first start for the club and impressed up front causing problems throughout the afternoon.

She set up captain Natasha Harding for an early effort but the Welsh international could only head wide. 

Harries was a constant threat for the Royals with Amy Turner struggling for the Red Devils.

A contentious penalty appeal was waved away on the half-hour mark as Galton countered to open the scoring for Casey Stoney’s side.

A quick attack was finished off by Galton with Grace Moloney beaten at her near post. 

Moloney was called into action just before the break to deny Galton again with a superb sliding tackle to give the Royals a fighting chance in the second period. 

It was a quick start for Kelly Chambers’ side as loanee Jess Fishlock thought she had her first Reading goal on 56 minutes.

England’s most-capped player Fara Williams fed Wales most-capped player, Fishlock, before her effort was diverted past former Royals stopper Mary Earps by Millie Turner. 

It was a feisty affair in the final 30 minutes with Kristine Leine, Kirsty Smith and Amy Turner watching over their shoulders after heavy tackles. 

Fishlock then had a possible game-changing moment when she caught out Turner to break through before the United defender showed her class with a goal-saving recovery tackle. 

Deanna Cooper saw an effort into the side netting in an end-to-end period with fellow centre back Molly Bartrip called into action to block two efforts off the Royals goalline. 

With seven minutes left, it was heartbreak for Reading as Hayley Ladd headed in a deflected corner. 

The Welsh midfielder was left unmarked in the box for the easiest of equalisers to the agony of the players and the on watching fans. 

Jane Ross and Tobin Heath had late chances to put the game to bed as United left Berkshire with three points as the Royals remain sixth. 

Reading: Moloney, Leine, Bartrip, Cooper, Woodham, James, Williams (Bruton 85), Fishlock, Harries, Eikeland (Rowe 80), Harding ©.

Bench (Unused): Nayler, Roberts, Childerhouse, Carter.

Goal: M.Turner OG 56.