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Chelsea 0 Bristol Academy 0
Chelsea and Bristol Academy both put defeats in their last league outings behind them after playing out a hard fought 0-0 draw at Wheatsheaf Park on Sunday.
Following their midweek heroics against Arsenal in the FA Women's Cup, Chelsea were expected to dominate, but the home side lacked fluency and rhythm in the opening ten minutes. Both sides struggled to impose themselves in the early proceedings, and it was Bristol who produced the first real effort on goal.
Natasha Harding was chopped down by Sophie Perry just outside the box, and from the resulting free kick, Jessica Fishlock guided the ball over the wall, only to see her effort beaten away by Sarah Quantrill.
Chelsea broke shortly afterwards but a superb last ditch tackle from Jemma Rose prevented Kate Longhurst from finding the back of the net, with the Chelsea striker looking certain to score as she bore down on goal.
The visitors suffered a blow in the 21st minute when Laura Del Rio went down with no-one around her. The Spaniard was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Ann Marie Heatherson who found the back of the net ten minutes later - only to see her goal ruled out by the linesman's flag. The former Chelsea striker crashed her initial effort against the bar and nodded in the rebound, before the official adjudged her to be offside.
Academy grew in confidence and hit the woodwork for the second time eight minutes before the interval, with Loren Dykes' header clipping the bar and away to safety.
The effervescent Dunia Susi produced Chelsea's most notable effort of the first half, with her fantastic first time swerving half volley bringing a smart save from Siobhan Chamberlain.
Chelsea rallied in the second half, but saw wave after wave of attacking play quelled by the disciplined Bristol defence.
Against the run of play, Nikki Watts had the opportunity to snatch the win for Bristol with 12 minutes remaining, but Quantrill got down well to divert her low drive after she raced clear of the Chelsea backline.
Former Bristol winger Helen Bleazard saw her last gasp close range header cannon off the post, much to the frustration of the resurgent home side.
Chelsea: Sarah Quantrill, Lara Fay Sophie Perry (sub Claire Rafferty 63mins), Gemma Bonner, Sophie Ingle, Katie Sherwood, Helen Bleazard, Danielle Buet (sub Drew Spence 57mins), Kate Longhurst (sub Helen Lander 57mins), Laura Coombs, Dunia Susi. Subs not used: Ashlee Hincks, Suzanne Lappin, Victoria Williams, Sophie Gwilliam.
Bristol Academy: Siobhan Chamberlain, Angharad James (sub Alex Culvin 88mins), Jaz Matthews, Melissa Lawley, Jemma Rose, Alex Windell, Laura Del Rio (sub Ann Marie Heatherson 21mins), Nikki Watts, Natasha Harding (sub Ellie Curson 71mins), Jessica Fishlock, Loren Dykes. Subs not used: Rachel Simkin, Ellie Isaac.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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