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Manchester United are managed by former Arsenal, Chelsea and Lincoln defender Casey Stoney

A record crowd of 4,835 watched Manchester United Women lose 2-0 to Reading Women in their first home game since relaunching this season.

United, returning after the club disbanded their senior female side in 2005, were beaten by goals from Brooke Chaplen and Gemma Davison.

United are second in the five-team Continental Tyres Cup group, with the top two reaching the quarter-finals.

The crowd at Leigh Sports Village was a record for the competition.

It was more than double the attendance for last season’s final between Arsenal and Manchester City.

It also surpassed the 4,096 who watched Manchester City beat Chelsea to seal their first FA WSL Super League 1 title in 2016.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and former United and England captain Bryan Robson were among the crowd.

Ed Woodward’s (centre) relationship with United men’s manager Jose Mourinho has been under scrutiny this week

United, who beat Liverpool in their first match back last weekend, had the better of the first half with Kirsty Hanson hitting the bar twice in a goalmouth scramble.

The visitors, who play their league football in the tier above United, took the lead 11 minutes into the second half when Chaplen pounced on the loose ball after United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain parried a Davison shot.

Reading, who were reduced to 10 players when defender Molly Bartrip was shown a second yellow card, added a second through Davison in stoppage time.

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