Lewes Rookettes were unable to cause a league upset at Reading on Sunday, eventually going down 4-0 as their opponents dished out a lesson in finishing with two goals in each half.
Lewes opted for an attacking 4-3-3 formation and started brightly, making inroads behind the home defence without actually testing the keeper.
As Reading began to impose themselves on the game they looked dangerous on the break, committing numbers forward in search of the breakthrough.
The Lewes defence seemed to be just about containing the threat and as a contest it was fairly even with an entertaining high tempo game being played by both teams.
Reading’s first decent chance came after 18 minutes and they took it ruthlessly, Fran Kirby springing the offside trap and squaring for a close range finish, although Lewes left back Katie MacIntyre almost blocked the effort.
Lewes should have equalised five minutes later when Charlotte Bennett’s cross was controlled well by the onrushing Clare Trafford but she could only shoot straight at the keeper.
Lewes then played themselves into trouble at the back and Kirby darted in to steal the ball and finish from an acute angle to grab a crucial second goal two minutes before the break.
The second half was barely three minutes old when Lewes conceded another, Kirby again doing the damage when she was tripped just inside the area. The spot kick was tucked away expertly and Lewes suddenly had a mountain to climb in a match in which they had competed well. It proved too much and although they continued to create half chances with debutants Hayley Cunningham and Natalie Ross and substitute Andreia Veiga threatening to find a consolation goal it was Reading who wrapped up proceedings,
Kirby completing a hat-trick of assists when she crossed for another close range finish.