Jessie Stapleton's second-half score fired Reading to a 1-0 victory over 10-player Durham in their final Barclays Women's Championship home game of the season.

Durham's Dee Bradley was sent off just after the half an hour mark for a late tackle on Tia Primmer before Stapleton struck and catapulted the hosts ahead of the opposition and up to ninth in the table.

Reading had an early surge after five minutes with an effort by Jesse Wooley before teeing up an opportunity for Madison Perry, but Durham shot-stopper Tatiana Saunders denied the effort in style.

It was on the half an hour mark that drama struck as a late lunge from Bradley on Primmer brought the visitors down to 10 players.

Despite being on the back-foot, a break from Mollie Lambert saw Durham's best chance of the half, finding Saoirse Noonan who was ultimately blocked in the box by Brooke Hendrix and it ended all square after 45 minutes.

Down a player, Durham came out firing after the break, with a Beth Hepple corner headed narrowly wide of the back post by Sarah Wilson.

But it was Reading who broke the deadlock in the 66th minute with Stapleton tapping into the net off the back of a Hendrix's deflection from a corner.

Both sides saw a couple of chances in the closing stages, with the visitors chasing the equaliser, but it was the Royals who took the spoils with a hard-fought victory and overtook Durham in the Women's Championship standings.

This win, twinned with Lewes' defeat later in the afternoon, confirmed the side's safety in the Championship after a turbulent year off the field.

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