Dave Wright reports
Helen Richardson-Walsh scored one goal and helped set up another as Reading reached the Investec Women's League play-offs by winning their final Premier Division fixture of the season.
Blues will now meet unbeaten league winners Surbiton in the semi-finals at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford on Saturday, April 18.
Reading had to thank Surbiton for drawing with Holcombe last Saturday. For had the Kent side won, then they, not Reading, would have taken the fourth qualifying place.
The game at Sonning Lane didn't start well for the hosts as poor defending led to the unmarked Liz George scoring an easy goal to put Leicester ahead after just six minutes.
It was only the second goal keeper Sarah Ellis had conceded in six games.
But their late season surge coincided with the return of Kate and then Helen Richardson-Walsh. England and GB skipper Kate shored up the defence, while Helen has had an increasing influence in the team's midfield department as she improves her fitness and sharpness following her long lay-off through injury.
And it was fellow international Susie Gilbert who triggered off Reading's recovery against Leicester by bringing the scores level on 13 minutes following good work down the right flank by Wiz Hunt.
Within 10 minutes Blues were in front when, from a penalty corner, Kate threaded a pass to Helen, who pushed the ball over the line.
Reading continued to have the better of the game, but could never relax and it needed an excellent save by Sarah to deny Leicester an equaliser.
At the other end, skipper Emma Thomas and Helen both went close for Reading.
The vital third goal came six minutes from time when Sarah Jones latched onto a through pass from Helen and finished well.
Leah Wilkinson was forced to miss the game after breaking a bone in her thumb for the third time, but she should be fit for the play-offs.
Clifton and Canterbury, the only two Premier Division sides to have defeated Reading since the winter break, will meet in the other semi-final on April 18.
Georgie Blackwood made her final appearance of the season against Leicester before flying back home to New Zealand