Chelsea FC Women’s unbeaten run in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League continued as Sam Kerr scored a stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa this afternoon.
The Blues’ unbeaten run in the league stretched to six as Sam Kerr scored her 50th Blues goal deep into added time as the race for the WSL title continues.
Patience was the theme of the day for the Blues, who battled hard to get a goal against a very resilient Aston Villa side.
It was Villa who had the first real chance of the afternoon, Carla Ward’s side won a free-kick as Charles fouled Ramona Petzelberger in a promising position. The resulting set-piece was whipped in towards the back post, Jill Scott stretched but was unable to get a touch on it as it ran out for a goal-kick.
It was a close call for the Blues from the goal-kick. Zecira Musovic played it short to Aniek Nouwen who squared it to Millie Bright in the box, but our No.4’s touch ran long to Petzelberger who was unable to capitalise in a good chance for the Villans.
Emma Hayes made two changes to the side who emphatically beat West Ham on Thursday evening, with Guro Reiten and Drew Spence featuring in the starting 11.
Erin Cuthbert made a return to the bench following a spell on the side lines, and was brought on in the 66th minute as the Blues pushed for a winner.
Our first real chance of the game came nine minutes in, Bright played a sublime ball over the top for Reiten who let fly from the box, however her strike was well blocked.
The intent was there from the off, however we failed to create many chances of note in the opening 45. On the 25-minute mark Jess Carter powered down the left flank before sending in a cross, which almost creeped it’s way in to the top left-hand corner, not for the awareness of Hannah Hampton in the Villa goal.
A few moments later and Hampton was tested again, this time Reiten sent in a teasing cross, Kerr got down low to head it on target but it was straight into the hands of the Villa No.1.
We almost capitalised on a mistake at the back from Mayumi Pacheco, the Villa defender’s back pass towards Hampton was too soft and Kerr was there to pounce, however Hampton was quick off her line to clear the danger.
Ji-So-Yun came close to getting on the scoresheet shortly before the interval, our No.10 found space at the edge of the box and struck low and hard but it flew whiskers wide.
We were quick out of the blocks again in the second half and were so close to clinching the lead five minutes into proceedings. Kerr was played through on goal and struck from close range, Hampton parried the ball into the centre of the box where Reiten took aim but it was blocked just out for a corner.
Sophie Ingle, who was brought on to replace Spence at half-time, struck first-time from the resulting corner, Hampton in the Villa goal again did well to palm it away.
The Blues really ramped up the pressure as the half went on, Kerr dinked a cross in and England rose the highest, but her headed effort looped just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Hampton was called into action again, Kerr found herself through on goal and her low strike was brilliantly saved by the Villa shot-stopper.
While the chances continued to flow, frustrations grew as the Blues were unable to find the back of the net. Kerr had another opportunity to head us in front, but her flick went just wide of the net.
We got the ball in the back of the net through Kerr, who headed in Ingle’s looping ball, but our No.20 was adjudged to have been offside.
Villa had a real chance of their own straight after as the ball ricocheted to Remi Allen at the edge of the box, her strike curled just, just wide of Musovic’s goal.
We really pushed for a goal in the latter stages of the half, Bright sent a long ball over the top for Kerr to latch on to, but again her effort on goal was saved.
Our patience paid off in the 92nd minute when Kerr looped the ball past Hampton to win the game for Hayes’ side.
The race for the WSL title continues and Hayes’ side still have games in hand to play over top-of-the-table Arsenal.
The fixtures continue to come thick and fast for the Blues as we travel to Everton midweek before hosting Birmingham City at Kingsmeadow on Sunday in the quarter-final of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Chelsea (3-4-3) Musovic; Carter, Bright (c), Nouwen, Andersson; Charles (James 72), Spence (Ingle 45), Reiten (Abdullina 90); Ji (Cuthbert 66), Kerr, England (Fleming 66)Unused subs Berger, Calypole, ThompsonScorer Kerr 90+2Booked Kerr 90+2
Aston Villa (4-4-2) Hampton; Mayling, Patten, Asante, Pacheco; Littlejohn (Corsie 61), Allen, Scott, Arthur (Gielnik 61); Lehmann (Hutton 83), PetzelbergerUnused subs Rogers, Boye-Hlorkah, McLoughin, Haywood, HaylesReferee Abigail ByrneAttendance 2,655