KIRSTY Linnett’s goal-of-the-season contender in the first half of extra-time looked like it had sent Reading FC Women into the semi finals of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup.

But Everton Ladies had other ideas and Chloe Kelly popped up to convert Gabrielle George’s clever pass in the second half of extra-time to make it 1-1 and send the quarter final clash to a penalty shoot-out.

Linnett, though, wasn’t to be denied and she settled the game by converting the decisive spot-kick as Royals reached the last four where they will take on Arsenal Ladies on January 13 or 14.

On a murky Saturday on Merseyside, Reading’s fluorescent orange away kit brought a welcome brightness to the proceedings, and their quick passing was also bright.

But it was Brooke Chaplen’s quick feet that nearly made the breakthrough, as her jinking run into the penalty area lead to a Fara Williams effort on goal.

Earlier good work by the Blue Girls’ Kelly saw her cross for striker Courtney Sweetnam-Kirk, who failed to convert.

Reading began to create the better chances - firstly it looked like Remi Allen had bundled the ball over the line, then Jo Potter also went close.

As the temperatures plummeted, the match went into extra-time before a moment of individual brilliance from second-half substitute Linnett.

Nothing looked on when she picked the ball up 30 yards out, but nevertheless she took it on and and unleashed a long-range thunderbolt into the roof of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 94th minute.

However, Royals were soon pegged back when Kelly passed into an empty net with Grace Moloney stranded in the 112th minute to send it to spot-kicks.

In the shoot-out, Kelly and Danielle Turner’s penalties were saved by Moloney.

Lauren Bruton missed for Reading, but it was left to Linnett to finish things and send the visitors in to the semi finals.

Reflecting on her stunning goal, long-range goal, Linnett beamed: “Brooke [Chaplen] made a great run across me and I thought 'just smash it as hard as you can'.

"I was obviously aiming high to beat the keeper but was delighted it went in.

“I’ve had a knock in the week so I hadn't trained in the last few days. They put me on pretty early so it was nice to get on and that gave me time to get into the game. I got my rewards which was nice."

She added: “Everyone put their hand up who wanted to take one (a penalty), although it was pretty much a done deal.

“I normally take the first one, but this time I was asked to go fifth and I was happy about that. Well done to Grace [Moloney] who saved two penalties.”

Everton’s Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah stated: "Reading are a quality side and I feel that we put them through their paces just as much as they did to us.

“We had a good few chances that we should have put away. Obviously they had chances as well. But as a team we just kept going and we didn’t think we would lose the game.

“You have to watch out for their movement in midfield, so to take a good quality side like them to penalties, you can’t complain.”

Everton: Levell, Boye-Hlorkah, Worm, Brougham, George, James, Brett, Turner (c), Magill (Green 102), Kelly, Sweetnam-Kirk. Subs not used: Durack, Munsterman, Doyle, Chance, Green, Bryson, Hughes. Booked: Kelly 97.

Reading FC Women: Moloney, Jane, Scott (Green 76), Pearce (c) (Fletcher 119), Potter (can den Berg 90), Furness, Williams (Linnett 72), Rowe, Allen, Bruton, Chaplen. Subs not used: Earps, Clifford. Booked: Bruton 26, Williams 56.

Referee: Benjamin Speedie.

Attendance: 155.