Wednesday 6 December 2017

Rafferty celebrates Chelsea decade with Spurs win

Fran Kirby scored twice in the 4-1 as the Blues maintained their Continental Tyres Cup record

FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup match
19:00, Wednesday 6 December 2017
Kingsmeadow Stadium

Chelsea Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Blundell 24', Kirby 44',56', Spence 77'

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Pickett 64'

England striker Fran Kirby scored twice as Chelsea ended the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup group stage with a perfect record thanks to a comfortable win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs had previously beaten FA WSL 1 sides Bristol City and Yeovil in the competition, but they found the already-qualified Blues tough to live with, as they bowed out.

Chelsea peppered Tottenham's goal in the early stages, with Hannah Mackenzie clearing Drew Spence's header off the line before Erin Cuthbert's long-range effort rattled the top of the bar.

The breakthrough arrived in the 25th minute when Hannah Blundell burst into the box, with Spurs goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne parrying her powerful shot before it dropped into the net.

Blundell turned provider just before half-time, as she pulled the ball back for Kirby, who made no mistake with an unerring first-time effort into the bottom corner.

Chelsea kept pressing after the break, as Spence cut the ball back for Kirby to claim her second of the night from close range.

Tottenham were then gifted a goal back when Chelsea goalkeeper Becky Spencer miscued her clearance to Lauren Pickett, who scored into an empty net.

The hosts struck the woodwork twice in the space of two minutes as first Maren Mjelde then Cuthbert saw long-range stunners crash off the cross bar.

But a fourth goal for the Blues arrived when Cuthbert pulled a low cross back for Spence, who casually found the bottom corner from six yards, as Claire Rafferty celebrated a decade with Chelsea with a win.

Chelsea defender Claire Rafferty said:

“In the end it was quite a comfortable win and in the second half, I'd like to think we picked it up a bit.

“We just said at half-time that it wasn't good enough.

“We hold high standards in training and in all matches and it's about bringing that momentum into the next game.

“Playing for ten years, it's not really heard of in women's football, but I'm very grateful for what Chelsea have put on here.

“There's a lot of stuff behind the scenes, with family and friends that people probably won't see, that has been very touching.

“I don't want it to all be about me, I want to go on and win all the trophies.”

Tottenham captain Jenna Schillaci added:

“Chelsea are one of the best teams in the world at the moment, so we always knew that it was going to be a massive, massive challenge.

“I can't fault anything; we worked our socks off, we tried to go forward and we've nicked a goal, but I'm just proud of the girls.

“We've dug deep and when we got promoted we wanted to play against these teams and challenge ourselves, so we've learned a lot of lessons and we'll take a lot of positives from it into the weekend.

“We didn't want to come here and be afraid, we came out to play, we created a few chances and Lauren Pickett got a goal, returning to her old club, so we're pleased with our performance despite the result.

“You learn a lot when you play teams like this and the togetherness we had on the pitch we'll definitely take into Sunday.”

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Chelsea 4

Blundell 25, Kirby 44, 58, Spence 78

Tottenham Hotspur 1

Pickett 65

Chelsea (3-1-4-2): Becky Spencer, Maria Thorisdottir, Millie Bright, Claire Rafferty, Maren Mjelde, Hannah Blundell, Erin Cuthbert, Drew Spence, Gemma Davison, Ramona Bachmann, Fran Kirby

Substitutes: Crystal Dunn for Bachmann 75, Ji So-Yun for Kirby 77, Gilly Flaherty for Rafferty 90

Substitutes not used: Carly Telford, Katie Chapman

Bookings: None

Red cards: None

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci, Ashleigh Neville, Hannah Mackenzie, Sophie McLean, Maya Vio, Coral-Jade Haines, Sarah Wiltshire, Bianca Baptiste

Substitutes: Ryah Vyse for Neville 31, Lauren Pickett for Baptiste 55, Ronnell Humes for Haines 77

Substitute not used: Chloe Morgan

Bookings: None

Red cards: None

Referee: Aji Ajibola

Attendance: 1,041