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REPORT: Chelsea 2 Blues 0

BLUES saw stellar first-half work undone by a moment of misfortune on the stroke of half-time in a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Marta Tejedor’s side carried a threat on the break throughout the opening 45 minutes before Guro Reiten’s scrambled effort divided the teams at the interval.

Chelsea managed to create more during the second half, Beth England showing clever control with her head to dash in behind and finish one-on-one to wrap up the FA Barclays Women's Super League (WSL) points.

Tejedor made two changes from the FA Women’s Cup win at Sheffield United two-and-a-half weeks ago with Rachel Williams coming in for her 100th WSL appearance in place of Emma Kelly and Sarah Mayling starting ahead of Harriet Scott.

The hosts had large chunks of possession but Blues managed the game well and looked dangerous with a number of counter attacks. 

Williams was threaded in by Brianna Visalli’s clever pass with the American then played through by Abbi Grant’s lofted ball only for both to eventually get crowded out at crucial moments.

It took 20 minutes for Chelsea to muster a serious opening, Erin Cuthbert wriggling past Kerys Harrop and cutting inside to fire a 20-yard shot that Hannah Hampton had to swat over.

The chance of the half fell to Lucy Staniforth who thumped over from the left of the box nine minutes before half-time and Blues fell behind after growing pressure in the build up to the interval.

Play was worked out to Jonna Andersson who was free on the right with her cross taking a double ricochet for Reiten to bundle through and poke inside the near post from six yards.

Buoyed by the goal, Chelsea began the second half well with Magdalena Eriksson driving narrowly wide of the far post from the left corner of the box.

A series of corners followed with Millie Bright denied by a block and Drew Spence by Hampton's smart low stop to her left before Hannah Blundell failed to connect when free six yards out at the near post.

Number two arrived just before the hour with Cuthbert lifting over the Blues backline for England to nod the ball forward and then lift high inside the near post when one-on-one with Hampton from the left of the box.

Spence might have made it three moments later but produced an air shot from Blundell’s low centre and England whacked the inside of the post with 14 minutes left having taken a smart touch from a low, left-wing ball.

Cuthbert weaved one way and the other before firing narrowly off target from 20 yards and while Blues refused to throw in the towel, there was nothing to concern home keeper Carly Telford.

Chelsea: Telford, Blundell, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Ingle (Thorisdottir 77), Spence (Bachmann 66), Mjelde, Cuthbert, England, Reiten (Carter 77).

Unused subs: Ji, Cooper, Berger (g/k).

Goals: Reiten 45, England 58.

Bookings: None.

Blues: Hampton, Jordan, Brougham, Harrop, Mayling, Arthur, Staniforth, Whipp, Grant (Walker 84), Williams, Visalli (Kelly 78).

Unused subs: Scott, Holloway, Scofield, Brooks (g/k).

Bookings: None.

Referee: Robert Whitton.

Attendance: 1,928.

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