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Lincoln Ladies 2 (Cantrell 65,86) Chelsea 0
Lincoln rose to third place in the FA WSL, just three points behind second placed Birmingham, with a two-goal victory over Chelsea.
Despite a tight first five minutes, with the ball being held and lost in the midfield by both teams, it was Chelsea who created the first opportunity within the ten minute mark. Sophie Bradley, who continued her comeback from injury, twice blocked long range efforts from Chelsea before defensive partner Casey Stoney cleared well from a dangerous free kick.
Chelsea continued to just edge the midfield battle until the twenty minute mark where the home side started to threaten, albeit it also being restricted to long range efforts. Lincoln came closest to taking the lead after 22 minutes. Collette McCallum whipping in a fantastic free kick which midfield dynamo Megan Harris just failed to get her head on to.
The midfield battle really continued between both teams as Lincoln looked to extinguish any Chelsea chances, even from range, whilst picking up a number of free kicks. Lucy Staniforth, who has gained many assists from set pieces this season, just failed to find a Lincoln player on a number of occasions.
At half time the score was level with neither team being able to find the killer final ball. Although Chelsea had started the better side it was Lincoln who grew into the game and just edged the first half.
The second half started much like the first with both teams battling hard in midfield and any chances being created from set plays. It was from a set play that Chelsea almost took the lead on the hour mark. The effort from just outside the box beat Nicola Hobbs in the Lincoln net and the 'keeper could only watch as the ball rattled the bar and flew to safety.
Just five minutes later Lincoln broke the deadlock. A through ball from the Lincoln midfield split the Chelsea defence and found Carla Cantrell. The striker kept her cool as Telford rushed out of her goal and delicately flicked the ball over the 'keeper and into the back of the net.
Lincoln now went in search of a second, good work from Precious Hamilton up front created a few openings for the home side, but they weren't able to extend their lead.
The game once again got bogged down into a midfield battle with a number of free kicks being awarded, but neither team managing to create anything from them.
With four minutes to go, Cantrell grabbed her second. Remi Allen played a perfect ball to the striker who took a different approach when one on one this time, slamming the ball past Telford and sending Lincoln soaring up the table, replacing Chelsea in third spot.
Lincoln Ladies: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Walton, Rachel Daly, Collette McCallum, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Megan Harris, Precious Hamilton (sub Kathryn Rood 72mins), Carla Cantrell, Remi Allen, Lucy Staniforth (sub Bonnie Horwood 84mins).
Chelsea: Carly Telford, Sophie Perry, Claire Rafferty, Sophie Ingle, Gemma Bonner, Katie Sherwood, Helen Bleazard (sub Ashlee Hincks 59mins), Danielle Buet, Kate Longhurst (sub Helen Lander 76mins), Laura Coombs (sub Suzanne Lappin 88mins), Dunia Susi.
(Report by www.TheFA.com)
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