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Ladies take pride in defeat against high-flying Chelsea

Posted on 7 December 2017  - 16:13

Spurs Ladies gave their all but bowed out of the Women's Super League's Continental Tyres Cup against high-flying Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Hannah Mackenzie wins this aerial duel - all photos - Wu's PhotographyLucia LeonToni-Anne Wayne denies Fran KirbyHannah Mackenzie gets a shot offCoral-Jade Haines on the ballJenna SchillaciSarah Wiltshire closes downRyah Vyse and Renee Hector congratuate goalscorer Lauren Pickett

Chelsea ran out 4-1 winners at their Kingsmeadow home in Group Two South of the competition. They progress to the last eight as group winners while Spurs just miss out after finishing level on points with Bristol City and Brighton but ultimately fourth in the standings. Chelsea won four out of four.

The size of the task was summed up by Chelsea's starting line-up which included nine senior internationals including England striker Fran Kirby, Ramona Bachmann, capped 80 times by Switzerland and Maren Mjelde, capped 122 times by Norway.

Chelsea remain unbeaten alongside Manchester City in WSL 1, won the WSL's Spring Series and completed the double by winning the WSL and FA Cup in 2015.

Undetered, Spurs stuck in there and Lauren Pickett pulled it back to 2-1 on the night before Chelsea stepped up another gear.

Skipper Jenna Schillaci said: "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.

“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.

"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."

Spurs return to WSL 2 action with a trip to Millwall on Sunday (2pm).

Below: Spurs Ladies line-up at Chelsea - photo - Wu's Photography 

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ACTION SUMMARY

Spurs Ladies may have bowed out of the Continental Tyres Cup Group Stage after a 4-1 defeat at rivals Chelsea on Wednesday night, but can be proud for the manner in which they battled to the final whistle.

Drew Spence had three chances in the early exchanges including a header cleared off the line by Renee Hector. Fran Kirby was denied one-on-one by Toni-Anne Wayne, Gemma Davison and Maren Mjelde went close and Erin Cuthbert rattled the post as Chelsea made a whirlwind start. At the other end, Coral-Jade Haines headed wide from Bianca Baptiste's cross.

Chelsea struck first on 26 minutes through Hannah Blundell and the Blues kept coming. Kirby's shot deflected was wide by Sophie Mclean and Spence's dipper evaded the upright.

It was 2-0 a minute before the break as Blundell exchanged passes with Kirby who stroked into the far corner.

Below: Coral-Jade Haines up against Gemma Davison

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Into the second half and Mjelde went close and Wayne kept out Bachmann's effort before Chelsea made it 3-0 as Spence cut back for Kirby to place home.

Lauren Pickett grabbed one back for The Lilywhites on 64 minutes after latching onto Becky Spencer’s loose goal kick and finishing calmly.

Mjedle and Cuthbert both struck the post within the space of a six-minute spell. Blundell curled wide on 75 minutes and Spence collected Cuthbert’s zipped pass before slotting in for four three minutes later.

Report from Khalid Karimullah at Chelsea Ladies FC, Kingsmeadow

LINE-UPS

Chelsea Ladies: Becky Spencer, Maria Thorisdottir, Hannah Blundell, Millie Bright, Gemma Davison, Claire Rafferty (Gilly Flaherty 89), Fran Kirby (Ji So-Yun 76), Maren Mjelde, Erin Cuthbert, Ramona Bachmann (Crystal Dunn 75), Drew Spence. Substitutes (not used): Carly Telford, Katie Chapman.

Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lucia Leon, Renee Hector, Jenna Schillaci, Ashleigh Neville (Ryah Vyse 32), Hannah Mackenzie, Sophie Mclean, Maya Vio, Coral-Jade Haines (Ronnell Humes 78), Sarah Wiltshire, Bianca Baptiste (Lauren Pickett 55). Substitutes (not used): Chloe Morgan.

Attendance: 1,541.

NEXT UP

Spurs return to WSL 2 action with a trip to Millwall Lionesses -currently third - on Sunday (2pm).