LADIES REPORT: CHELSEA 0 LINCOLN 2
It was a disappointing climax to the FA Women's Super League campaign for Chelsea Ladies as we were beaten 2-0 by Lincoln at Staines Town.
The visitors could have taken the lead several times before Courtney Sweetman-Kirk broke the deadlock shortly before half-time, while Lara Fay doubled Lincoln's advantage 10 minutes after the restart with a neat finish to seal the win.
Lincoln dominated the first half, but it wasn't until shortly before the half-hour mark that they really started to up the ante.
Casey Stoney shot wide following neat interplay with Jess Clarke outside the box, before Martha Harris gave the hosts a scare with a low shot that struck the foot of the post with Hourihan beaten in the Chelsea goal.
Sweetman-Kirk and Bonnie Horwood then saw headers repelled by Hourihan before the former finally put Lincoln ahead.
The former striker collected a threaded ball from Remi Allen before calmly rounding Hourihan and slotting home from a tight angle.
Emma Hayes made a double substitution at half-time as we looked to hit back, but Lincoln's superiority was again evident after the interval. Remi Allen gave a glimpse of her threat with a fierce shot from the edge of the box before Fay netted in the 54th minute.
The midfielder found herself in acres of space inside the Chelsea box and had plenty of time to close in on Hourihan before planting the ball into the back of the net from eight yards out.
Lincoln tired as the game reached its closing stages, and both Eniola Aluko and Helen Ward had chances to score, but the damage had been done earlier in the game and we had little room for complaint on the balance of play.
Chelsea (4-4-2): Marie Hourihan; Danielle Buet (Jodie Brett h/t), Sophie Ingle, Katie Holtham, Hannah Blundell; Dunia Susi (Helen Ward h/t), Laura Coombs (Laura Rafferty 79), Drew Spence, Rosella Ayane; Yuki Ogimi, Eniola Aluko
Substitutes not used: Carly Telford, Karin Muya, Helen Bleazard
Referee - Anthony Foster
Attendance - 511