Brooke Chaplen was the star of the show as Reading defeated Tottenham 4-0 at The Hive in their opening game of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup.

Three goals in the opening ten minutes of the second half were critical as Chaplen, Millie Farrow and Ashleigh Neville’s own goal added to Chaplen’s first half strike.

Reading came into this game as favourites with semi-final and quarter-final appearances in this competition under their belt in the last two years, but with similar league form, Tottenham will also have been hoping to get their cup campaign off to a strong start.

And Spurs did start well, testing Grace Moloney inside a minute, with Kit Graham missing a couple of good chances before Chaplen, who had herself already missed two golden openings, gave Reading the lead on 32 minutes.

That goal came from a scramble on the edge of the Spurs box, which allowed Jade Moore to release Chaplen. Rather than cross, Chaplen shot from a tight angle, surprising Becky Spencer in the Spurs goal.

And it was Chaplen again who doubled Reading’s lead almost immediately after the break, latching onto a loose back-pass to slot home past Spencer.

Things went from bad to worse for Spurs very quickly, as Neville turned into her own net from a corner under no pressure.

Within seconds, Reading had taken their tally to four, Farrow slotting in from close-range after more poor play from the home side.

From there, it was just a case of how many, with Amalie Eikeland hitting the bar twice amongst a flurry of Reading chances. Spurs simply had nothing in response.

Chaplen said: “I think it was important this week for us to bounce back. [From last week’s 2-0 defeat to Man City]. Last week we weren’t good enough, our intensity, off and on the ball was really poor. So it was important for us to put that right, first and foremost. To keep a clean sheet, and to get goals from all across the board was good for us. I thought we defended well, and I thought our intensity was better, and that’s the kind of standards that we need to set for the rest of the season.”

“Everyone wants to get to a cup final, it’s a brilliant day for players and clubs to get to a cup final. But we have to take each game at a time, and we have to look to win each game as it comes. But our goal this year is to get to a cup final.”

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