Ladies report: Chelsea 8 Yeovil 0

Chelsea Ladies recorded our biggest victory at Kingsmeadow to book our place in the Continental Tyres Cup quarter-finals.

Crystal Dunn opened the scoring with her fourth goal against Yeovil in three games and our lead was 4-0 at the half-time interval following an own goal, Erin Cuthbert's thumping effort and a cheeky effort by Drew Spence.

Even a missed penalty could not kill our momentum as the Blues again ran up a big victory against our opponents from the South-West. Cuthbert finished well to make it five before Fran Kirby netted the sixth with her third successful penalty of the week.

Gemma Davison made amends for her earlier miss from the spot to continue our incredible goalscoring form against Yeovil, having triumphed 6-0 in our two most recent matches, and a late flourish from Spence put the finishing touch on an emphatic victory.

The result means the Blues remain top of our group of five, and with one game to spare, we are now guaranteed a place in the last eight round, scheduled to take place in a fortnight's time.

Emma Hayes is likely to draw on the depth of her squad during a busy pre-Christmas period and the Blues boss started by making five changes to the side who beat Rosengard in mid-November to reach our first Champions League quarter-final.

Carly Telford kept goal as she did for our league meeting with the Glovers, while in the back three, Hannah Blundell came in for our July signing Magda Eriksson, who missed her first match since she joined the club after representing Sweden on international duty. English attacking trio Davison, Spence and Aluko also returned to the line-up having performed well last time out against the same opposition.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off and Chelsea Ladies wore black armbands to commemorate the life of former Chelsea Academy and Reserves manager Dermot Drummy, a champion of the women’s game, who sadly passed away last week.

The first chance of the match fell to Aluko, but her left-footed strike finished just the wrong side of the post. The Blues No9 continued her great start to the match with an assist inside the first five minutes, though, completing a barnstorming run across the byline before laying the ball for Dunn to open the scoring with a tap-in.

Cuthbert forced some fine saves from Megan Walsh when Dunn clipped a couple of inch-perfect crosses into the Scotland starlet, but Yeovil somehow scrambled the ball away on both occasions. Twenty minutes in, however, the pressure proved too much for the visiting back four, who conceded an own goal which appeared to have gone in off Nicola Cousins as she tried to cut out a simple cross from Ji on the right flank.

Worrying scenes followed a few moments afterwards as Aluko clattered into the advertising hoardings after racing to meet a through ball at the far post. She unfortunately had to be stretchered off for more medical treatment and a precautionary check-up at the local hospital, and one of our joint top scorers made way for the other in 35th minute when Kirby came on in her place.

Cuthbert capitalised on a misdirected header by a Yeovil defender to make it 3-0 in the fourth minute of injury time. Positioning herself beautifully on the edge of the box, she was on hand to leather the ball into the back of the net.

That was not all before the break either with another 13 minutes to be added on. Spence this time was the scorer with a cheeky flick from a corner to send in the Blues 4-0 up at the break, although the last touch came off a Yeovil defender.

Cuthbert scored her second of the game shy of the hour-mark with another wonderful finish from our No22. Ji filtered the ball through the defence onto a well-timed run from the flying Scot, whose side-footed effort was clinical.

Davison, typically incisive in the Yeovil box, earned a penalty two minutes later when the Somerset side couldn’t deal with her fleet-footed run. Yet the winger failed to make the most of her own handiwork, sending the spot-kick wide of the target.

The visitors tried to shore up their side by making some substitutions in midfield. Our slickness in possession brought continuity to our attacking play, however, and wave after wave of Chelsea attacks could only result in more goals for a team with such potential going forwards.

Kirby was back at it from the penalty spot on 72 minutes after Ji's footwork won the spot-kick. The 24-year-old, who reached 100 senior goals against Bosnia & Herzegovina, made no mistake from 12 yards.

There was a late flurry of goals in stoppage time, just as in the opening half, as first Davison finished smartly at the back post and then Spence gobbled up the rebound after Cuthbert was denied her hat-trick by a fine save.

The victory preserves our perfect record at Kingsmeadow and we have now won six games from six here in all competitions, scoring 25 and conceding none, which stands us in good stead going into two more home fixtures in the space of little over a week.

Our final Continental Tyres Cup group outing is a London derby with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night (7pm kick-off) as we celebrate a decade of service to the Ladies from Rafferty. Then, next Sunday evening, there is the small matter of a top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City in the last WSL 1 action of 2017.

 

Chelsea (3-5-2) Telford; Blundell, Flaherty, Bright; Davison, Chapman (c), Spence, Ji, Dunn (Rafferty 45); Aluko (Kirby 35), Cuthbert
Unused subs Spencer, Thorisdottir, Eriksson, Mjelde, Bachmann
Scorers Dunn 5, Cousins (own goal) 19, Cuthbert 45+4, 57, Spence 45+13, 90+4, Kirby (pen) 72, Davison 90+2

Yeovil Town Walsh (c), Evans, Burridge, Cursen (Hignett 65), Cousins, Green (Heatherson 71), Sawyer (Pusey 45), Lawrence, Jackson, Lloyd, Evans
Unused subs Howard, Jones

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