MATCH REPORT: DONCASTER ROVERS BELLES 0 CHELSEA 4
A comfortable 4-0 win away at Doncaster saw Emma Hayes' side secure a first victory of the new campaign and go top of the table.
The Blues created the first real opening of the game when a through-ball from Dunia Susi found Eniola Aluko, who held the ball up well before firing a low shot towards towards goal, but it was no problem for Nicola Hobbs in the Doncaster goal, who held the shot well.
It was end-to-end stuff in the opening minutes, with both sides trying to take an early lead. The hosts had the next real chance of the game, when an Ashleigh Mills pass found Millie Bright. The youngster had two Chelsea defenders in close attention, and her shot was well wide.
Sofia Jakobsson and Claire Rafferty were both causing havoc in the hosts' defence, and a floated Rafferty cross was met by the head of Dani Buet, who unselfishly set up Helen Ward, but her effort drifted past the post.
Jakobsson had the best chance of the game soon after when she was played through one-on-one with Hobbs, but the Swede was thwarted by the legs of the 'keeper.
The next time a chance fell to Jakobsson, however, she didn't disappoint. Eniola Aluko raced clear down the right and worked her way to the byline, before cutting the ball back into the path of Jakobsson who fired us in front.
Just as Doncaster were starting to get back into the game, Chelsea and Jakobsson doubled their tally for the afternoon. The pace on our flanks was still causing problems for the Belles, and the home side's defence were caught short.
Again, Aluko was the creator as she wriggled away from two defenders before managing to get a shot away. Hobbs saved the original effort, but was powerless to prevent Jakobson from tapping in the rebound.
The Belles were still able to fashion only half chances. Victoria Williams was presented with a good opportunity to reduce Chelsea's lead when she ran through our defence but her effort, from a tight angle, was always going wide.
One minute of injury time was played at the end of the first period, and Chelsea had two fantastic opportunities to score during that time, first through a Gardarsdottir free-kick and soon after when a Katie Holtham shot was held well by Hobbs.
At half time, Blues manager Emma Hayes withdrew Drew Spence and brought on our latest signing, Ester, for her debut.
It took until 53 minutes for a real opening to present itself in the second half, wher Doncaster won a free-kick 30 yards out. Millie Bright fired low and hard, but her effort flew past the post.
Chelsea, meanwhile, were pushing for a third. A Helen Ward run from her own half culminated in the striker's effort being tipped wide by Hobbs, but our next attack proved more successful.
Full-back Dunia Susi went on a mazy run, before cutting back for Aluko who fired through a crowd of bodies from 10 yards out and beat Hobbs. Wild celebrations followed, as Aluko scored her first goal since returning to the club.
If the third goal had given us a cushion, the fourth, 23 minutes from time, put the game to bed. A Buet cross was perfect for Ward, who powered her header home from 10 yards out. The striker was unmarked and had enough time to adjust before nodding the ball past Hobbs.
It took until the 80th minute for the home side to create a chance of any note, when Jessica Sigsworth did well to hold the ball up before turning and firing in a shot from 30 yards. The ball was moving, and Lynn had to be at her best to tip the ball over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Doncaster had the ball in the net as Leandra Little bundled the ball home, but the referee had noticed a handball in the area, resulting in the goal being disallowed and Little receiving a yellow card.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Shannon Lynn, Dunia Susi, Katie Holtham, Sophie Ingle, Claire Rafferty (Olina Vidarsdottir 60 mins); Edda Gardarsdottir, Danielle Buet, Drew Spence (Ester 46 mins); Eniola Aluko, Helen Ward (Helen Bleazard 70 mins), Sofia Jakobsson.
Subs not used: Jess Myers, Naomi Cole, Laura Coombs, Kate Longhurst.
Attendance - 478