AMALIE Eikeland scored the only goal of the game as Reading Women returned to winning ways and moved up to fourth place in the FA Women’s Super League.
Fara Williams had the first sighting of goal of the afternoon as she struck from 30 yards as she looked to score in consecutive WSL games, but her effort flew just wide of the post.
Reading put their bodies on the line to prevent the away side from taking the lead to clear after a dangerous cross was fired into the area.
Just moments later, Eikeland cleverly swivelled away from her marker and worked a shooting opportunity, but she scuffed her effort into the ground as Birmingham goalkeeper Hannah Hampton gathered the ball comfortably.
With just over five minutes to go until half-time, it was the Royals who made the breakthrough. Eikeland brought the ball under her control with a cushioned first touch before she lobbed the ball over the top of Hampton with a precise finish.
The Blues looked for a quick reply as Grant broke into the Reading box and fired a shot goalwards, but goalkeeper Rachael Laws stood strong to palm the ball away before she tipped Stainforth’s bouncing rebound over the bar.
The Royals pressed high up the pitch to win the ball deep in Birmingham’s half as they hunted for a second goal before the break, but Brooke Chaplen could only direct her effort straight at the keeper.
Laws made another important stop early in the second half as she kept out Rachel Williams’ headed effort at the far post.
Kelly Chambers’ side began to dominate proceedings as they looked to extend their lead as Williams carved open the Birmingham defence with a through ball to Eikeland, but the Norweigan forward screwed the ball wide of the target.
Hampton made a superb stop late on to deny Eikeland a second goal of the game as she flew down low to her left to push away the goal bound effort. But her first half goal would prove to be crucial as Reading climbed up to fourth in the table with the win.
The Royals have a midweek Conti Cup tie away at Arsenal on Wednesday evening before they return to WSL action on the weekend away at Everton.
Reading: Laws, Rowe, Howard (Bartrip), Potter, Pacheco (Harding), James, Moore, Allen, Eikeland, Chaplen (Utland), Williams.
Subs: Bartrip, Harding, Farrow, Utland, Bennink, Stewart
Goals: Eikeland 39’