PRE-SEASON: MILLWALL LIONESSES 0 CHELSEA LADIES 1

Chelsea Ladies' pre-season clash with Millwall ended on a disappointing note when a freak injury to Dunia Susi forced the match to be abandoned on the hour mark.

As with Chelsea's previous fixture two days earlier, the match was scheduled to be played in three 30-minute periods, allowing for an extra break in play for Blues boss Matt Beard to communicate with his players.

Chelsea Ladies had just taken the lead through a Gemma Bonner header when Millwall goalkeeper Frankie Gibbs kicked the ball out from her goal in frustration. Unfortunately the ball hit Susi on the back of the head causing the midfielder to crash heavily to the ground.

Looking to build upon a 2-1 victory at Gillingham in the Blues' previous encounter, the visitors began brightly, playing at a high tempo. Chelsea threatened early on when Dani Buet found space on the right, delivering several dangerous crosses.

The Blues' best chances of the first period fell to Helen Lander, who twice tested the hosts' keeper in the opening exchanges. Sue Lappin, who made her first appearance for the club, also pressured the Millwall goal, narrowly missing the target with a glancing header.

At the other end, with the first interval approaching, Carly Telford kept the scores level, coming off her line to deny Milwall from a rare venture into the Chelsea penalty area.

After the first 30 minutes of football, with rolling substitutions originally permitted in the match, three changes were made to the side that emerged for the second period. Kate Longhurst, Ashley Hincks joined the side while Kate Sherwood made her Chelsea debut. They came on in place of Lander, Drew Spence and Helen Bleazard respectively.

The visitors continued to take the game to the hosts, with Buet again influential as the Blues pressed forward looking to break the deadlock. Longhurst, Laura Coombs and Sophie Perry all created chance before the Blues finally found the net after 53 minutes.

When Chelsea were awarded a corner, Buet's delivery was met by the head of Bonner. The central defender rose above a crowded penalty area to nod home, putting the visitors in front.

It would be the final action of the game as Susi then sustained the injury which kept her on the ground for 20 minutes while the fast-acting medical team, fearing the worst, applied a neck and back brace.

As a result the game was abandoned while Chelsea's newest signing made her way in an ambulance to hospital for an X-ray.

Thankfully the X-ray revealed no broken bones and Susi was given the all clear. However, the incident brought an abrupt end to the Blues second pre-season game.


By Daniel Clarke