A frustrating afternoon saw us lose to Barclays FA Women’s Super League title-rivals Chelsea at a sold-out Meadow Park.
The visitors started strongly and took the lead inside 10 minutes when the ball broke to Bethany England on the edge of the box. She took a touch and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Chelsea doubled their advantage shortly after, when a whipped cross picked out an unmarked Sam Kerr to head home from close range.
Our first opportunity of the afternoon fell to Katie McCabe, who collected the ball behind the Blues backline, but saw her effort from a tight angle saved well by Ann-Katrin Berger.
Chelsea then extended their advantage when a Sophie Ingle collected a loose ball and powered a half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards.
The second half started much like the first, and Chelsea came close to a fourth when Ji So-yun fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
Vivianne Miedema came close to pulling a goal back when she received the ball and drove into the box, but our striker uncharacteristically struck the side netting.
And then with 20 minutes to go, Guro Reiten scored Chelsea’s fourth when she lost her marker inside the box and headed past Manuela Zinsberger.
Beth Mead pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining when she squeezed a header past Berger into the bottom corner, and nearly grabbed a second in the closing stages, but shot over the bar.
WHAT IT MEANS
We next face West Ham United away from home in the FA Women’s Cup fourth round on Sunday, January 26.
By Sam Cox
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