READING FC WOMEN ended their year by picking up a point at home to Crystal Palace in their Women’s Championship clash.
Going into the game just above the drop zone, the Royals were in need of points on the board to avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle.
An upturn in form from Liam Gilbert’s side has now seen them go four games in all competitions without a defeat.
Back-to-back successes came in cup competitions with a comfortable away win in the FA Cup third round at Cheltenham Town being followed by a penalty shootout victory over Women’s Super League side Bristol City in the WSL Conti Cup.
Palace started the game with better control of the ball and chances in the final third.
The breakthrough came in the 30th minute when Reading failed to deal with Felicity Gibbons’ free-kick delivery when her inswinging free-kick delivery found Elise Hughes unmarked just outside the six-yard area and she headed past Emily Orman.
Palace could have doubled their lead when Araya Dennis squirmed away from the tracking defenders before Orman prevented her at the near post.
The Royals made sure they weren’t behind for long and levelled the game just eight minutes later.
Orman sparked the Royals into attack with a long kick upfield that was collected by Tia Primmer and she played the ball into the path of Lauren Wade’s surging run as she found herself through clear on goal and kept her composure to slot past the onrushing Demi Lambourne.
Chances were few and far between in the second-half. Reading still managed to create two big chances to try and snatch the win.
The first of which came when Charlie Estcourt’s blocked effort fell into the path of Wade to strike and she forced a full stretch save out of Lambourne when the ball looked destined for the bottom corner.
Panic then ensued in the Palace back line when a short back pass was intercepted by Wellings. The Palace keeper rushed out of her box and Wellings tried to slot in Madison Perry for an open goal, but the visitors managed to recover to steal the ball from her grasp as a grateful Lambourne smacked the ball out of danger.
Neither team were able to find a decisive goal as the points were shared. Heading into the break, the Royals are in 10th spot in the table on 11 points from 11 games with a four point buffer over 11th placed Lewes and give above bottom of the table Watford.
Reading: Orman, Houssein, Wellings, Primmer, Perry, Wade, Hendrix, May-Kirth, Estcourt, Woodham, Troelsgaard
Subs: Elwood, Gregory, Annets, Smith, Wilson, Jarvis, Longhurst, Kennedy, Hunt
Crystal Palace: Lambourne, Reilly, Everett, Nolan, Gibbons, Arthur, Potter, Hopcroft, Dennis, Sharpe, Hughes
Subs: Blanchard, Watson, Negri, Johnson, Cataldo, Noble, Guyatt, Sibley, Bailey-Gayle
Goals: Hughes 30’, Wade 38’