Reading finished their Continental Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Brighton on Wednesday night as they bowed out of the competition.

Goals from Natasha Harding and Amalie Eikeland gave the Royals three points to finish Group D in second place with six points out of nine.

Group leaders, West Ham go through automatically while the two best runners-up from six groups follow suit with both Durham and Crystal Palace above the Royals in the ‘runners-up’ ranking after Thursday’s games.

Kelly Chambers’ side lined up for their fourth successive away game as Reading made the trip to Crawley for the remaining group game in the 2020 League Cup.

Chambers handed a full debut to Welsh youngster Lily Woodham as the Royals looked to keep their slim chance of qualification open.

It was another of the Welsh contingent that led the Royals with captain Harding opening the scoring on 28 minutes before Norwegian international Eikeland secured the win in the second half.

Harding had a weak shot at Brighton goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand in the opening six minutes as the Welsh international enjoyed her freedom further up the pitch after starting the season at right back.

Molly Bartrip came to action in defence blocking a Fliss Gibbons effort off the line before the centre back went close on the quarter hour mark with a long-range effort.

Harding then opened the scoring, heading in a Rachel Rowe cross after good vision from Eikeland.

The hosts had the chance to even the game with a dangerous Danique Kerkdijk cross before Lee Guem-Min spurned a golden opportunity over from yards out in first half stoppage time.

Aileen Whelan looked a threat for Brighton seeing a header on to the roof of the net before forcing a vital block from Kristine Leine.

On 73 minutes, the lead was extended to two when Eikeland fired in after a free-flowing Royals move. Starting off with goalkeeper Grace Moloney, Reading worked the ball to Eikeland after Lauren Bruton played in the Norwegian to fire past her country compatriot in the Brighton goal.

Brighton nearly had a consolation in the final minutes when Whelan rattled the crossbar, but the Royals held on for a positive victory ahead of the international break.

Reading: Moloney, Rowe, Bartrip (Mitchell 69), Leine, Woodham, James, Fishlock, Harding © (Harries 90), Bruton (Carter 76), Eikeland, Chaplen (Williams 90).

Bench (Unused): Nayler, Cooper, Childerhouse, Roberts, Skeels.

Goals: Harding 28, Eikeland 73.