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Chelsea 6 Aston Villa 0
SSE Women's FA Cup holders Chelsea continued their defence of the trophy with a convincing 6-0 win over WSL 2 opponents Aston Villa at Staines Town's Wheatsheaf Lane.
In command from start to finish. Chelsea were kept at bay for over 40 minutes by a brave Villa defence but three goals near the end undermined the very good efforts of the visitors and emphasised the wide array of attacking talent available to the 'double' winning club of 2015.
The woodwork of Jess Myers' goal took a battering in the first twenty minutes as a Ji So-Yun drive, Karen Carney's deflected effort then a So-Yun header all clipped bar or post before flying away to safety. Myers made good saves from two more Carney efforts but it was Drew Spence who broke the deadlock with a lovely half volley on the turn on 41 minutes.
Villa were only occasionally able to relieve the pressure on their goal with attacks of their own and Becky Spencer had little to do on her Chelsea debut. Her opposite number was again in the thick of the action on 50 minutes with a double save from Beth England and Fran Kirby's follow up shot. Carney was replaced by Eni Aluko but not before she had set up Kirby to provide So-Yun with a simple finish on 61 minutes. Kirby netted herself four minutes later from Gemma Davison's cross.
Villa had defended valiantly against the bombardment with Jade Richards and Elisha N'Dow outstanding in the middle but the final few minutes doubled the margin of defeat and saw some spectacular play from Chelsea. Spence played in So-Yun for her second on 87 minutes, Aluko danced her way past two challenges before lofting a cross which bounced in off the far post but Blues saved the best till last.
So Yun played the ball towards Spence whose backheeled one two freed the South Korean star to fire high into the net for her hat-trick and Chelsea's sixth to send the majority of the 1100 plus crowd home with happy memories of a powerful display and with anticipation of great entertainment in the season ahead.
Chelsea: Rebecca Spencer, Jade Bailey, Hannah Blundell, Drew Spence, Millie Bright, Niamh Fahey (sub Gilly Flaherty 72mins), Gemma Davison, Karen Carney (sub Eniola Aluko 64mins), Beth England (sub Katie Chapman 64mins), Ji So-Yun, Fran Kirby.
Aston Villa: Jess Myers, Hayley Crackle, Hannah George, Katy Moran, Elisha N'Dow, Jade Richards, Beth Merrick, Amy West (sub Destiney Toussaint 45mins), Katie Wilkinson, Sarah Mayling, Alicia Robinson (sub Kerri Welsh 45mins).
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jade Bailey challenges Beth Merrick
(middle) Karen Carney bursts between Sarah Mayling and Katy Moran
(bottom) Jess Myers tries to block Fran Kirby with Elisha N'Dow in attendance
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