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Chelsea 0 Notts County 0
Notts County go into the mid-season break in third place in FA WSL 1 after a goalless draw with Chelsea, who stay one point behind them.
It was the Nottinghamshire side that started the strongest, Dunia Susi and Jess Clarke linking up well in the early stages. First Susi broke into the box and cut back, her shot being well blocked, before the two linked up to set Hoyle away on the left of the box, but the midfielder fired wide.
County were winning the early midfield battle, Caitlin Friend doing well to turn into space in the middle, her ball through the middle found Jess Clarke, but the striker was offside.
On 17 minutes, Jess Clarke controlled the ball on her chest, turning neatly and driving towards goal, the ball falling just wide of Cristiane Endler's right hand post. Two minutes later Clarke was causing trouble again, Notts captain Sophie Bradley played a long ball forward, the striker controlling the ball and driving towards goal, the defender deflecting it for a corner. From the corner County almost took the lead. Caitlin Friend drove the ball waist height into the box, Rachel Corsie met the ball with a volley, Endler doing well to parry the ball before recovering to collect ahead of Clarke.
A minute later and Notts felt they should have had a penalty. As Caitlin Friend ran into the box to meet a cross she appeared to be pulled back, the referee blew for the foul, awarding a free kick outside the box, although the contact seemed to be well inside the box. From the free kick, Rachel Corsie couldn't make the chance count, the Chelsea wall doing well to deflect the ball and clear.
Jess Clarke did well to rise highest and meet Sophie Walton's wide free kick on 35 minutes, the striker heading the ball just wide of Endler's right post.
On the stroke of half time County almost took the lead. Clarke drove down the right and crossed into the penalty area, Endler came and collected the ball, but spilt it out to Katie Holtham who side footed towards goal, Endler doing well to recover and hold the shot.
It was County who started the second half much like the first. Endler came out of her box to clear the ball, Clarke was quickest to react, taking the ball past the goalkeeper and crossing into the box but Chelsea did well to clear.
Desiree Scott almost broke the deadlock with a clever left foot volley, the Chelsea stopper doing well to back pedal and tip the ball onto the bar and away to safety. Five minutes later and Carly Telford was called into action at the other end, the England 'keeper doing well to claw an inswinging corner from under her bar and away to safety.
Desiree Scott looked to get on the score sheet again soon after. The midfielder controlled a ball 25 yards out, driving forward and unleashing a drive towards the top corner, Endler saving the home side again, tipping the ball wide for another Notts corner.
Chelsea had a dangerous free kick as the game entered stoppage time, Yuki Ogimi getting the ball over the wall, but it didn't dip in time and flew harmlessly over Telford's bar.
Chelsea: Cristiane Endler, Danielle Buet, Claire Rafferty, Drew Spence, Gilly Flaherty, Laura Bassett, Yuki Ogimi, Katie Chapman, Eniola Aluko, Laura Coombs (sub Jodie Brett 56mins), Hannah Blundell (sub Jackie Groenen 68mins). Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Emma Wilhelmsson, Rosella Ayane, Atlanta Primus.
Notts County: Carly Telford, Amy Turner, Sophie Walton, Katie Holtham, Sophie Bradley, Rachel Corsie, Katie Hoyle, Caitlin Friend (sub Aileen Whelan 66mins), Dunia Susi, Desiree Scott, Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Jules Draycott, Ellie Clarke, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Emily Roberts, Laura-Jane O'Neill.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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