In our second encounter with West Ham this month, this time in the Women’s Super League instead of the Continental Cup, Chelsea were once again in it to win it. With two goals in the second half thanks to influential play — and shots! — from Bethany England and Erin Cuthbert, the Blues got the full three points from their meeting with the Hammers tonight at Kingsmeadow for the WSL.
Chelsea were in clear control of the match from the beginning, but did not do much with all the ball retention they had against the visitors. The first proper chance would come only 15 minutes from kick-off, with a Pernille Harder header straight into the hands of West Ham goalkeeper Anna Leat.
The hosts would continue to dominate the match, but failing to make much upfront. Harder did try again against Leat, with a shot from distance to force the shot-stopper out of the goal line. Still, the attempt was not as menacing as the shots that became a hat-trick for the Danish star a week ago.
Demand for goals led to a rare half-time change from manager Emma Hayes, bringing Beth England to the pitch in place of Guro Reiten. Soon she would make her mark, scoring Chelsea’s opener on a rebound from Erin Cuthbert’s shot at Leat’s goal.
Chelsea would keep trying to extend their lead, helped by England’s presence bringing more headaches to West Ham’s backline than the previous setup. It was her hold-up play that got it going for Fran Kirby to assist Erin Cuthbert for our second goal of the night.
- Looks like Aniek Nouwen is making a good impression on Emma Hayes, with another start in defence since our return from the month-long end-of-year break. Jonna Andersson returns to the backline with Sophie Ingle also making her way back to central midfield, in place of Jess Carter and Drew Spence respectively.
- Subs are Bethany England for Guro Reiten, Jess Carter for Jessie Fleming, Drew Spence for Pernille Harder, and Alsu Abdullina for Fran Kirby
- As good as Pernille Harder is, Sam Kerr’s absence seems to demand a like-for-like substitute at the tip of the attacking spear. We have a damn good one in Bethany England, who did not get the starting nod today yet again.
- Major props to Erin Cuthbert. While nothing in football is truly “deserved”, her great performance tonight was asking for a goal — and it came along!