Women's Weekly

Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes has urged her players not to let their recent good form go to waste by slipping up at home to Bristol Academy on Sunday.

Hayes’ side have been in fine fettle of late with back-to-back wins over Arsenal and then Manchester City on Sunday lifting the Blues to second in the FA WSL 1 table, three points adrift of leaders Birmingham City.

Bristol beckon
This Sunday they host Bristol Academy, a side Chelsea have already beaten twice this season following victories in the FA Women’s Cup and reverse fixture in the league at the start of the campaign.

Hayes is confident her team is moving in the direction but warned her players not to take Bristol lightly if they want to keep the pressure on Birmingham at the top of the table.

‘We arrive for the game fresh from wins over Arsenal and then Manchester City last Sunday but we have said all along we will take one game at a time and the Bristol game is no different,’ said Hayes.

‘We have beaten them twice this year, but as we all know we beat Arsenal having lost twice so they will be determined to get one over us.  We will be humble and respect them as they are a good side.

‘We aren’t getting carried away, as a club we’ve not won anything before so need to keep working hard and remember the next game is all that matters.’

Victory over Manchester City on Sunday came in the most dramatic of circumstances with substitute Jackie Groenen scoring a last-minute winner to seal the 2-1 win.

The visitors had led at half-time through Natasha Flint before captain Katie Chapman levelled after the break and Groenen completed the comeback.


It was the first time Hayes’ charges had come from behind to win this season and the manager admits she is delighted with the togetherness her squad showed to seal the points.

‘The Manchester City game is the sort of match where you learn the most about yourself as a player.  The girls were very determined and got their reward,’ she added.

‘I said to them at half time that they had to make it happen, talent will only get you so far the rest is up to you and you don’t want to leave the field with any regrets.

‘It was a big result as we hadn’t come from behind to win prior to last Sunday and that shows the togetherness and desire is in this squad which is very important. 

‘Every one of the squad was genuinely happy for Jackie Groenen when she came on to score and that comes from every one getting on really well.’

Chelsea youngsters bow out
England's Under-19 side exited the European Championships this week after suffering their third group stage loss of the tournament, against Spain. Chelsea youngsters Rosella Ayane, Jenna Dear and Jodie Brett will return to Cobham with invaluable international experience gained, however, having all featured at some stage for the young England side.

Kick-off for our game against Bristol Academy on Sunday at Staines Town’s Wheatsheaf Park is 2pm, with tickets available on the door. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.