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Blues Ladies 2 Chelsea Ladies 1

Posted: Sun 18 May 2014
Author: Chris Quinn

Chelsea Weston

Image by: Ville Vuorinen

Birmingham City Ladies maintained their unbeaten start to the FA Women's Super League season after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Chelsea Ladies.

Goals from Chelsea Weston and Jo Potter secured the points for the hosts after Hannah Blundell had equalised for the visitors.

Blues boss David Parker made one change from the side which sealed local bragging rights with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa Ladies in midweek, with striker Kirsty Linnett replacing Hannah Keryakoplis. The visitors fielded a triumvirate of former Blues stars with Rachel Williams, Laura Bassett and Eni Aluko all facing their old side.

An excellent start from the hosts saw them almost take the lead in the first minute. Blues attacked from the off and forced a corner which captain Karen Carney whipped on to the head of Jade Moore, but the England midfielder nodded wide.

That was just a sign of things to come however as, in the sixth minute, Blues took the lead. Potter’s deep corner found Carney at the back post and she laid the ball off for right-back Weston whose 30-yard cross deceived Chelsea ‘keeper Christiane Endler and looped in at the far post.

From the restart, Aluko got in behind the Blues backline, but ‘keeper Rebecca Spencer was down quickly to turn her effort behind for a corner.

With 10 minutes on the clock, Blues could have doubled their lead. A ball into the box found Moore who cushioned a header down to Remi Allen, but the midfielder’s effort went wide from 12 yards out.

Blues continued to dominate the first half proceedings and it was evidently beginning to annoy Chelsea, who were lucky to keep ten players on the pitch when captain Katie Chapman kicked out at Allen after a foul. The former Arsenal midfielder was booked for the incident.

On the stroke of half-time, Chelsea again got out of jail. A magnificent run down the left by Melissa Lawley saw her pull back find Linnett in the centre of goal – she took a touch and fired an effort at goal, only to see it superbly cleared off the line by an agile Claire Rafferty.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes replaced Jackie Groenen with England international Danielle Buet at the break and the substitute made an impact five minutes after the restart.

Her corner was drilled to the near post where Blundell met it with a superb side-footed finish at Spencer’s near post.

Two minutes before the hour mark, Blues had the perfect opportunity to regain the lead as they were awarded a penalty when Lawley was fouled by Rafferty inside the box following a scrambled corner.

However, Endler dived full-stretch to her right to make a fantastic save from Carney’s spot kick.

From there on in, Weston and Blundell both tried to get their second of the game - but the long range efforts of both were denied.

Blues began to grow into the second half after initially relinquishing the momentum and with 12 minutes left of the game, they get a deserved winner.

Linnett picked the ball up down the left wing and whipped in a devilish cross to the back post where she picked out Potter, who rose highest and cushioned her header back across Endler and into the far corner – sparking jubilant scenes of celebration in both the home dugout and amongst the 949 fans in attendance.

In the last minute, the visitors had two chances to secure a point, but Williams’ first effort from 12 yards out was superbly blocked by Weston, before Spencer was quick off her line to thwart the striker’s second effort and secure three points for Blues.

David Parker’s side now sit level with Chelsea in joint-third position having played one game less due to their Champions League commitments, but travel to the capital to face Arsenal on Wednesday night.

BLUES XI: Spencer; Weston, Mannion, Harrop, Carter; Moore, Potter; Carney, Allen, Lawley; Linnett (Keryakoplis, 87).

SUBS: Baggaley, Torkildsen, Wilkinson, Simpkins Westwood, Sargeant.

CHELSEA XI: Endler, Blundell, Flaherty, Wilhelmsson, Williams, Aluko, Rafferty, Groenen (Buet, 46), Chapman, Coombs (Spence, 80) Bassett.

SUBS: Hourihan, Brett, Primus.


Listen to post-match reaction from Parker and Weston on Blues Ladies official Audioboo channel HERE.