An FA Continental Tyres League Cup record-breaking crowd of 4,835 at Leigh Sports Village witnessed Reading inflict a first competitive defeat on Manchester United Women.
The result sees the Royals replace the Red Devils at the top of the Group 2 North table but the three points were not sealed until stoppage time.
Early chances saw Fara Williams just fail to get on the end of a Gemma Davison cross for Reading, while United’s Jess Sigsworth shot wide when sent clear.
Another opportunity came the way of Sigsworth but she headed straight at goalkeeper Grace Moloney, with Williams then forcing a save from Siobhan Chamderlain at the other end, before the hosts’ Kirsty Hanson hit the crossbar.
Brooke Chaplen was denied a penalty when going down under a challenge in the box but she did open the scoring after the break.
The deadlock was broken on 56 minutes, when Davison’s strike on goal was parried but Chaplen turned in the rebound.
The lead was put in danger 8 minutes later as the Royals were reduced to ten with a second yellow card for Molly Bartrip.
The visitors battled to maintain their advantage and doubled it 4 minutes into added time, as Davison found the net on the break.