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Chelsea 4 (Flaherty 6, Davison 21, Ji So Yun pen 66, Farrow 84) Bristol Academy 1 (Boho-Sayo 52)
Chelsea remain unbeaten and top of the Women's Super League 1 after victory over Bristol Academy at Staines, going five points clear in the process.
The visitors started brightly as Jade Boho-Sayo fired narrowly over, yet the Blues were in front after just six minutes courtesy of their captain. Drew Spence's inswinging free kick from the left caused problems and though Millie Bright's attempt was hooked off the line, the Bristol defenders could do nothing to keep out Gilly Flaherty's follow up, which was guided perfectly inside the far post.
Visiting goalkeeper Mary Earps almost spilled Gemma Davison's low drive into her own net shortly after and was relieved to see the ball spin behind for a corner, before Bright connected well to Marija Banusic's flighted free kick to force a good save from Earps.
Down the other end, Boho-Sayo was released one-on-one through the middle but Hedvig Lindahl read the danger expertly as the Swedish international raced off her line and smothered the ball at the forward's feet.
However, the home side continued to look the more dangerous as Eniola Aluko forced Earps into another stop before Davison doubled the lead for Emma Hayes's side after 21 minutes. The team's top goalscorer demonstrated all her dribbling qualities as she beat two defenders and then slotted the ball confidently into the far corner.
Bristol looked to reduce the deficit quickly as Hannah Short's header and then captain Sophie Ingle's rising shot forced Lindahl into action, before Angharad James got some power behind a fierce strike that the goalkeeper was equal to once again.
Banusic went close with a curling free kick from the edge of the box shortly after the restart but the ever threatening Boho-Sayo made her impact as the visitors halved the deficit. Lindahl had denied her moments previously but was helpless to keep her off the scoresheet shortly after as the forward raced clear in behind and tucked the ball into the back of the net.
Excitement among the 1,233 crowd stepped up a notch with the introduction of Ji So Yun and her impact was swift as the South Korean extended the hosts' lead after six minutes on the field. The tricky midfielder skipped away from Frankie Brown in the box, drawing a foul from the Bristol defender and winning her side a penalty. Ji stepped up herself and sent Earps the wrong way as she slotted the ball into the net with confidence.
Quick and clever feet from Christie Murray fashioned a good opportunity for Bristol but the striker's poked effort flew just the wrong side of the post. As the game opened up in the final exchanges, chances flowed and substitute Farrow was denied by a wonderful flying save from Earps as her strike looked destined for the top corner.
Ji missed the target by inches following a clever pass from Blundell before the Blues did find their fourth goal of the afternoon as Farrow latched on to a ball forward and stroked home beyond Earps for her first goal of the season.
Chelsea: Hedvig Lindahl, Ana Borges, Niamh Fahey, Gilly Flaherty, Drew Spence (sub Ji So Yun 60mins), Millie Bright, Laura Coombs, Eniola Aluko (sub Katie Chapman 29mins), Marija Banusic (sub Millie Farrow 68mins), Gemma Davison. Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Claire Rafferty, Ane Meiwald, Laura Rafferty.
Bristol Academy: Mary Earps, Loren Dykes, Hayley Ladd, Hannah Short, Frankie Brown, Sophie Ingle, Caroline Weir, Angharard James (sub Georgia Evans 62mins), Christie Murray (sub Lauren Townsend 85mins), Nadia Lawrence (sub Tatiana Pinto 62mins), Jade Boho-Sayo. Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Evdokia Popadinova, Sharla Passareillo, Katie Jones.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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