Reading FC Women and Arsenal Ladies played out an energetic goalless draw in front of the watchful gaze of newly-appointed Lionesses boss Phil Neville.

The former Manchester United player, who was named as England manager last week, was in attendance as Royals and the Gunners could not be separated at Adams Park yesterday in Women's Super League 1.

A tense first half provided limited opportunities for both sides, although Jordan Nobbs ensured Royals keeper Grace Moloney was alert with an early shot in the opening exchanges.

Vivianne Miedema saw her header saved by the excellent Moloney soon after as the Gunners pressed.

Yet Reading steadily improved and went close on the stroke of half time when Lauren Bruton headed over Sari van Veenendal’s bar.

Royals carried that momentum into the second period with Rachel Rowe’s teasing cross begging for a final touch that never came.

Reading Chronicle:

Reading's Natasha Harding gets stuck in against Arsenal.

Bruton and Natasha Harding combined once again for the hosts, with the latter failing to hit the target with the goal gaping.

A flurry of bookings disrupted the flow of the game, with neither side able to gain full control.

But with 15 minutes to go, Reading carved out their best opportunity of the afternoon.

Fara Williams picked the ball up in midfield and fired a 35-yard rasping drive, which van Veenendaal managed to hold.

Just minutes later, Brooke Chaplen stung the palms of the Arsenal keeper once again with a low drive, while van Veenendaal also saved a left-footed curler from Rachel Furness.

A frantic finish saw Bruton go close again with a long-range effort and Miedema strike the side-netting for the visitors.

Reading manager Kelly Chambers said: “It was a fantastic performance. We made changes and did some work in training, but for the information that the girls were given and in such a short space of time, to deliver that was fantastic.

Reading Chronicle:

Arsenal keeper Sari van Veenendal comes under pressure from the Royals.

“It’s a point gained. At the start of the season, you look at where you can gain points and Arsenal have been a top side for a long time.

“We had moments where we controlled the game and ran the game and we should have scored as well."

Chambers also suggested a number of her players will have caught Neville's eye.

“I think there are some exciting young players within our ranks," she argued. "They need to be looked at for the national team.

“I’m hoping Phil Neville has seen the quality of the performance that we put out.”

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro stated: “On the second-half performance, I feel we dropped two points.

“We created enough to finish the game off. You have your good days and bad days, if you give our players these opportunities again, they will score them."

Reading (4-3-3): Moloney, Rowe, Pearce, Potter, Scott, Allen, Williams, Furness, Bruton, Chaplen, Harding. Subs not used: Fletcher, Green, Clifford, Bartrip. Booked: Rowe 31, Furness 84.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Williamson, Rose, Quinn, Janssen, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Mead, Miedema, O’Reilly. Subs not used: Moorhouse, McCabe, James, Scott, Carter, Kuyken, Rose. Booked: Miedema 61, Evans 71, Nobbs 74.

Referee: Helen Byrne.

Attendance: 690.