Albion’s bid for a fourth successive win in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League ended in frustration at Reading on Sunday.
Natasha Dowie’s goal gave the hosts an early lead but Albion dominated for long spells, particularly in the second half.
Danielle Carter, against her former club, and Emma Koivisto went close and there were several other near misses before substitute Emma Harries raced away to make it 2-0 with four minutes to go.
Albion made one change to the side which beat Leicester City in their last WSL game with Inessa Kaagman coming in for Ellie Brazil. Maisie Symonds, whose goal won it in injury time against the Foxes, missed out because of illness.
Both sides went into the contest in good form. Albion had reeled off three straight wins and the hosts had picked up seven points out of their last nine and Reading made the perfect start with a goal inside three minutes.
Meg Walsh failed to hold defender Faye Bryson’s long-range strike and the loose ball was easily swept into an empty net by Dowie.
Reading were full of confidence for the next ten minutes or so but Albion worked their way back into the game and went close on 16 minutes. Koivisto and Geum-min Lee combined down the right and Carter hammered a shot from 12 yards on the angle and forced a fine save from Grace Moloney in the home goal.
It was the signal for a spell of concerted Albion pressure before the interval, as they began to dominate possession but struggled to find the killer final ball. One eye-catching move ended with Fliss Gibbons producing a great cross which was only just out of Koivisto’s reach as she stretched at the far post.
There was a similar pattern at the start of the second half. Carter found some precious space 12 yards out but couldn’t get any power on her shot then Gibbons crossed invitingly from the left, but the ball slipped past the far post when any sort of touch from a team-mate would have brought a goal.
Koivisto, who was playing much further forward, then latched onto a great pass by Carter and was about to shoot when Gemma Evans got across to make a terrific challenge. The Finnish defender then fired wide when she had more time than she thought as Albion pressed for an equaliser.
Megan Connolly had a goal disallowed for offside but it was turning into a frustrating afternoon for Albion, who made a change with ten minutes to go when Kayleigh Green replaced Carter.
Ellie Brazil then replaced Danique Kerkdijk but four minutes from time Harries ran from inside her own half onto a pass forward and as Albion appealed for offside the Reading substitute rounded Walsh and made it 2-0.
Albion: Walsh, Le Tissier, Williams, Kerkdijk (Brazil 84), Koivisto, Connolly, Kaagman, Whelan, Gibbons, Lee, Carter (Green 80). Unused subs: Angel, Bance, Simpkins, Robinson, Bowman, Nokuthula, Cordier.