Drew Spence was disappointed her day of celebration against West Ham United ultimately ended in frustration, but the Chelsea Women midfielder is fired up for ‘the biggest month of the season’.
Sunday’s game against the Hammers was our final home WSL fixture of the season and the occasion was selected to mark 10 years since our No.24 made her debut for the club.
A video of messages from team-mates and managers past and present was shown to Spence at the team meeting in the morning and Emma Hayes made a presentation to her on the pitch ahead of kick-off. She was also given the captain’s armband for the game.
However, the match didn’t go to plan as our dominance was rewarded with just the one goal, scored on the stroke of half-time by Bethany England, before ex-Chelsea defender Gilly Flaherty cancelled it out just past the hour-mark.
‘I'm disappointed we didn't get the win, but it's been a tough week and now after the international break we'll focus on the biggest month of our season,’ said Spence, alluding to the upcoming semi-finals in both the FA Cup and Champions League.
‘With three games in a week, you feel it. We're not happy, these are the games we should be winning and it's why we're not competing for the title. We've now got to focus on a big April.
‘It was a great result in the week, but we haven't won anything yet – and winning titles is the main thing for us. We're happy to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League, but the next step is to reach the final and lift the trophy. We know it's going to be a massive test.’
Despite the result not being what she had hoped for, Spence was still moved by the tributes on the day and she reflected on what has been a trophy-laden 10 years in the first team of our women’s set-up.
‘It's a massive achievement and an honour to wear this shirt for 10 years,’ she said. ‘There's been loads of highlights, but winning the first FA Cup at Wembley was a big achievement for me and the whole squad. We've got a big game against Man City to get back to the final. We know what we've got to do and we're looking forward to it.
‘The guard of honour was great and it was nice to see some of the girls at West Ham. To have my testimonial on Mother's Day, I couldn't think of anything more fitting.’
The bulk of our squad is now away on international duty, but Fran Kirby has returned to Cobham instead of linking up with England Women. The Blues No.14 was absent from the matchday squad for our match against West Ham on Sunday.
The FA have reported Kirby has dropped out of the England squad ‘due to knee pain which requires careful management, taking a long-term approach to her injury management with a view to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in June.’
Millie Bright, Karen Carney and Carly Telford are the three Chelsea representatives in the Lionesses squad for the upcoming fixtures against Canada and Spain.
Before Sunday's game, fans enjoyed the Vitality Football Festival at Kingsmeadow with among the activities, fun football coaching sessions for children, including with former captain Katie Chapman, and the chance to make healthy smoothies using special bicycles! Some of the highlights are shown below.