Lewes 1-2 Chelsea
Saturday 2 November
FA Women’s League Cup
On a wet and windy day on the south coast it turned out to be a tight affair at the Dripping Pan as Chelsea came out 2-1 winners against Lewes in the Continental League Cup. And Chelsea were playing to win as they fielded a full first team, featuring no less than nine internationals.
The first half started with Chelsea setting the early pressure on Lewes, as they looked to get an early goal. The first corner for the Blues came on eight minutes with Deanna Cooper playing it in to the box. The ball was cleared, but only to Fran Kirby who fired just wide with the ball taking a deflection.
The first goal came for Chelsea on 12 minutes. Kirby played a lovely weighted through ball into the path of Erin Cuthbert who calmly poked it past Faye Baker to give the visitors the lead.
However, just six minutes later, an undaunted Lewes scored their equaliser. Katie Rood dispossessed Millie Bright just over the halfway line on the Rooks’ left and burst down the wing, cutting in to unleash a brilliantly curled shot from some 25 yards out past a diving Carly Telford and into the back of the net. The home crowd forgot out about their frozen feet and rose as one to hail Rood’s amazing strike. 1-1.
Moments later and Kirby had a chance to regain Chelsea’s lead, as she fired at goal from close range, but it went inches past Baker’s post.
On 35 minutes Lewes won a free kick in a dangerous position. Ellie Noble stepped up to take it, but unfortunately, she could not find a Lewes player and Chelsea cleared.
The last chance of the half came three minutes later when Bright played in a cross to Sophie Ingle, but she headed just wide.
On 63 minutes Baker was called into action as she pulled off a great diving save to deny Ramona Bachmann from the edge of the box. Then 15 minutes later Baker was the hero again. Chelsea pulled off some great short passes in the Lewes area and Guro Reiten fired a shot that was superbly tipped over by the Rooks goalkeeper from close range.
However, on 80 minutes Chelsea finally found their winning goal. Lewes’ defence had been assured and incredibly well organised, denying Chelsea too many clear cut chances. But after a goalmouth scramble, Swedish international Magdalena Eriksson found herself with the ball at her feet just six yards out and fired a shot that was too powerful for Baker as it rocketed into the roof of the net, giving the Blues all three points in the Continental League Cup.
The referee blew the full-time whistle and despite the loss, it was a performance the whole Lewes team could be proud of.
In spite of North Sea oil rig weather conditions at times, the attendance was the second highest in women’s football over the weekend with only Man City having a 100 or so more fans. Thank you and well done to every one who played and supported!
NEXT HOME MATCH: Lewes v Sheffield United, Sunday 17 November, 1pm KO. Tickets are here
Lewes Starting XI: Baker (C); Cleverly, Taylor, Lane, Boswell (Timoney 64), Noble, Savva (Rowbotham 74), King, Powell, Rood (Wingsutton 89), Donovan
Subs not used: O’Rourke, Webb, Howell,
Goal: Rood 18
Chelsea Starting XI: Telford; Bright, Ingle, Carter (England 68), Kirby, Eriksson, Mjelde, Cooper (Andersson 76), Cuthbert, Bachmann, Fleming (Reiten 68)
Subs not used: Lloyd-Smith
Goals: Cuthbert 12, Eriksson 80