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Bristol Academy 0 Chelsea 0
The game ended in stalemate but Bristol Academy and Chelsea were left to reflect on near misses which could have handed them all three points at Stoke Gifford.
Bristol Academy winger Helen Bleazard missed a second half penalty and also struck the bar whilst Chelsea also hit the woodwork in injury time. Academy had the better for most of the game as they are still yet to lose a WSL game at home this season and Chelsea stretched their unbeaten run to four games.
Chelsea could have taken the lead in the second minute when a Dani Buet free kick was met by a Helen Lander header but Siobhan Chamberlain pulled off a great diving save to deny her.
Academy took a short while to get into their stride but soon produced their first opportunity, Bleazard breaking down the left and crossing to the far post where Loren Dykes' shot was saved by Carly Telford. Another good run and cross from Bleazard almost created a chance for Ann Marie Heatherson but she was denied by a combination of Claire Rafferty and Kylie Davies and Chelsea managed to scramble the ball away.
The home side continued to press, Bleazard's crossfield pass was headed on by Jessica Fishlock for Dykes whose shot well saved at the near post by Telford, who also had to stop an effort from Grace McCatty after the full back had broken forward.
As the first half went into injury time, Academy thought they would be awarded a penalty as Gemma Bonner handled a cross from Heatherson but an offside flag rendered their appeals invalid.
However six minutes after the restart, another handball offence meant that this time Academy were granted a spot kick. Bleazard stepped up but ballooned her shot well over the bar.
Chelsea enjoyed a good spell from this point but the home defence stood firm, the biggest scare coming after Chamberlain's clearance went to Ashlee Hincks who tried to lob the ball back from 30 yards but her effort went wide. At the other end, Fishlock broke through a gap in the Chelsea defence and made her way through but Davies did well to force her away from goal and her shot was saved.
Bleazard went close to atoning for the penalty miss with a cross shot which looped over a backpedalling Telford but hit the bar, both Dykes and Fishlock tried to force home the rebound but the Chelsea defence kept the ball out.
Chelsea introduced former Academy striker Emma Plewa as a substitute and the Welsh international troubled the home defence with her pace. Academy were still looking more likely to break through but Chelsea stood firm with Davies and Bonner outstanding in the centre.
After being under pressure for most of the game, Chelsea came agonisingly close to snatching victory in injury time after a corner was half cleared as far as Plewa who crashed a powerful 20-yard shot against the underside of the bar. Chelsea tried to force the rebound home but Academy eventually managed to get the ball clear and the final chance of the match was gone.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Grace McCatty, Corinne Yorston, Anouk Hoogendijk, Emma Jones (sub Alex Culvin 72mins), Jemma Rose, Helen Bleazard, Molly Clark (sub Michelle Green 90mins), Ann Marie Heatherson (sub Lillie Billson 68mins), Jessica Fishlock, Loren Dykes. Subs not used: Alex Windell, Jade Radburn.
Chelsea: Carly Telford, Sophie Perry, Claire Rafferty, Leanne Champ (sub Drew Spence 57mins), Gemma Bonner, Kylie Davies, Dannii Bird (sub Ashlee Hincks 45mins), Dani Buet, Hayley Morwood, Helen Lander, Rebecca Jane (sub Emma Plewa 72mins). Subs not used: Lara Fay, Sarah Quantrill.
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