Chelsea 8-0 West Ham United
By Ben Gilby
Chelsea are second in the Barclays Women’s Super League – just a point behind leaders Manchester City – after a comprehensive destruction of West Ham United at Kingsmeadow.
The Blues scored at will throughout the game, with West Ham only offering very limited resistance up front in a five minute spell around the hour mark.
Chelsea started on fire, with Jonna Andersson causing all sorts of problems down the wing, and took the lead on seven minutes. From Guru Reiten’s corner, Millie Bright’s pressure ensured the ball found its way to Maren Mjelde who fired home on the half-volley.
On twelve minutes, Erin Cuthbert, who had an absolutely outstanding afternoon released Beth England beautifully and the Chelsea star rounded Courtney Brosnan and had all the time in the world to roll the ball in.
Cuthbert may not have got on the scoresheet until the second half, but her terrier like attributes in chasing down seemingly lost causes and intelligent link up play with her team mates marked out her huge influence on the game.
Just before the break, it was 3-0, and again, it was from a Reiten corner. This time it was inch perfect for the run of Welsh magician Sophie Ingle who headed home.
With the second half in its infancy, the massed crowd at Kingsmeadow fully believed that their side had added a fourth as Drew Spence knocked in England’s ball, but the 3,300+ crowd reckoned without the assistant referee’s flag.
However, with fifty-two minutes played, the fourth did go in – and Erin Cuthbert was rewarded for her hard work with an absolute peach. Spence played the Scot through and a glorious drive found its way into the net. What a goal! West Ham boss Matt Beard was not impressed, claiming offside and received a yellow card for his protests.
Just after the hour mark, it was 5-0 when Mjelde added her second of the afternoon to slide home.
At this point, West Ham enjoyed a spell of five minutes in which they troubled the Chelsea defence for the only period of the game. The key players for them in this spell was 18 year-old Australian sub Jacynta Galabadaarachchi who showed some intelligent touches, and Alisha Lehmann who got free once or twice down the wing – but West Ham could never trouble Carly Telford in the Lionesses custodian’s return to the Chelsea goalkeeping spot.
This inability to fashion a serious chance in the period blew up in the Hammers face as Beth England kept up her incredible scoring record – goals in all of the last seven league matches with a simple tap home for the sixth.
Chelsea finished as strongly as they started and punished the Hammers with two goals in the last three minutes. First, it was sub Ramona Bachmann who, to the joy of the Swiss first time visitor stood next to me on the South terrace, steered home Carter’s cross.
The final cheer of the afternoon came in stoppage time when Murphy put the nail in the Hammers’ coffin with a powerful header.
This win was another powerful statement of intent from Chelsea who have now scored seventeen goals in their last four games. They also have a game in hand over Manchester City who they meet at the Academy Stadium in a fortnight’s time.
For the full gallery of Ben’s photos from the game, click here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=182869896451473&set=pcb.182872976451165&type=3&theater
CHELSEA: Telford, Blundell, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Mjelde, Ingle, Spence, Reiten, England, Cuthbert. Subs: Carter (for Ingle), Bachmann (for Reiten), Murphy (for England), Berger (GK), Cooper, Wardlaw, Napier.
Scorers: Mjelde 7, 61, England 12, 56, Ingle 45, Cuthbert 52, Bachmann 88, Murphy 90.
WEST HAM UNITED: Brosnan, Fisk, Flaherty, Vetterlein, Kvamme, Dali, Longhurst, Simic, Baunach, Kiernan, Lehmann. Subs: Middag (for Longhurst), Galabadaarachchi (for Simic), De Graaf (for Kiernan), Moorhouse, Wallen, Littlejohn, Smith.
Referee: Amy Fearn.