Watford Ladies Reserves were defeated 6-0 by Reading Womens Reserves at Tadley Calleva FC in the WSL Development League Cup group stage.
Reading opted to field a strong line-up involving mostly first team players, with right-back Georgia Mays the only recognised first team squad member for the Golden Girls.
In a match where Reading handed a debut to ex-Hornet and Wales international striker Helen Ward, Watford battled bravely and restricted the Royals to few chances from inside the area, but their long range shooting did the damage.
Millie Gulley did well to mark Ward in the game and prevent her from getting on the scoresheet, while there were a number of good saves from Leah Blanchard.
Elsewhere, the Watford Ladies Development side travelled to Regents Park Rangers and came away with a 2-1 victory in London & SE Division One to keep the pressure on the league leaders.
An own goal and a strike from Christie Kerr secured the three points.
Meanwhile, with the end of the first team players’ loan spells at their respective clubs approaching at the end of December, Sarah Wiltshire was on the scoresheet again for Cardiff City as she despatched a penalty to help the Welsh side to a 4-1 victory over West Ham.
It kept the pressure on Gillingham who welcomed back Fliss Gibbons from a short term injury to pick up a 3-0 win over Brighton.
The Seagulls included both Renee Hector and Kate Natkiel in their line-up.
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies were privileged to play at Fratton Park in their league match at Portsmouth and they took all three points as Megan Wynne scored her first goal for the club in a 2-1 victory.