Match ends, Doncaster Rovers Belles 1, Reading Ladies 4.
Doncaster Rovers Belles' hopes of avoiding an immediate return to Women's Super League Two look bleak after a loss to rivals Reading saw their losing run extend to 11 WSL 1 games out of 11.
Victory was Reading's first in WSL 1, leaving the Belles nine points adrift at the bottom with five games to play.
Reading led through Emma Follis and Nia Jones before a fine Emily Simpkins hit gave the hosts hope after half-time.
But Follis curled in her second before Rachel Rowe made it 4-1 on 84 minutes.
The win meant Reading moved above Notts County and Sunderland - who both play on Sunday - into sixth place, with all three sides level on nine points.
The pace and skill of Follis carved open plenty of chances for the Royals, but she had to be withdrawn in the latter stages because of an injury.
Follis and Jones both tucked in from close range as the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half.
Simpkins had given the Belles belief straight at the start of the second half and she almost levelled soon afterwards in their best spell, but her free-tick was tipped over the bar by Mary Earps.
Reading forward Emma Follis told BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra: "We're all buzzing that we have finally got this win.
"It's been a long time coming - we probably deserved it slightly sooner. But to win 4-1 in that manner is just brilliant.
"I've just tweaked my ankle a little bit but it'll be fine, we've got five weeks off now until our next game so I have plenty of time to recover."
Reading manager Kelly Chambers told BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra: "I'm just glad to get the first win on the table - it's nice.
"It wasn't the best performance from us tonight but most important is getting three points on the board.
"We've done a lot of work over the past few weeks and that was the icing on the cake, scoring four.
"We've got a five-week gap now before our next league game, which is horrible, but it gives us five weeks of solid training to keep building on what we have already."
Doncaster Rovers Belles manager Emma Coates told BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra: "It's frustrating, there's no denying it. The girls are going to hurt.
"Game-by-game, we are improving - the scoreline doesn't reflect that, but we are.
"I'm happy with my decisions and how we went about the game. We seem to fix one problem and then, in the next game, something else slips.
"We have to dust ourselves down, get back up and fight for the last five games."
Doncaster Rovers Belles
- 18BarkerBooked at 44mins
- 3TierneySubstituted forHumphreyat 69'minutes
- 10MurraySubstituted forRaynorat 79'minutes
- 7OmarsdottirSubstituted forO'Donnellat 85'minutes
- 5BartripSubstituted forWardat 77'minutes
- 22JonesSubstituted forStobbsat 83'minutes
- 7FollisSubstituted forRoweat 74'minutes
- 11Boho Sayo
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Doncaster Rovers Belles 1, Reading Ladies 4.
Attempt missed. Helen Ward (Reading Ladies) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Amber Stobbs with a cross.
Attempt missed. Bethany O'Donnell (Doncaster Rovers Belles) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high following a set piece situation.
Hand ball by Kirsty McGee (Reading Ladies).
Attempt saved. Helen Ward (Reading Ladies) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harriet Scott.
Foul by Emily Simpkins (Doncaster Rovers Belles).
Harriet Scott (Reading Ladies) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Carla Humphrey (Doncaster Rovers Belles) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Remi Allen (Reading Ladies).
Attempt missed. Martha Bakowska-Mathews (Doncaster Rovers Belles) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Rebecca Raynor (Doncaster Rovers Belles) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kayleigh Hines (Reading Ladies).
Substitution, Doncaster Rovers Belles. Bethany O'Donnell replaces Katrin Omarsdottir.
Goal! Doncaster Rovers Belles 1, Reading Ladies 4. Rachel Rowe (Reading Ladies) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Melissa Fletcher.
Substitution, Reading Ladies. Amber Stobbs replaces Nia Jones.
Attempt missed. Rachel Rowe (Reading Ladies) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.
Corner, Reading Ladies. Conceded by Emily Simpkins.
Substitution, Doncaster Rovers Belles. Rebecca Raynor replaces Christie Murray.
Substitution, Reading Ladies. Helen Ward replaces Molly Bartrip.