Chelsea ladies kicked off the Women’s Super League in style by beating Nottingham County by 2-1 in what was a squally afternoon. New signing Gemma Davison gave the Blues a 1-0 lead midway into the first half but the joy lasted only three minutes as the home side restored parity courtesy Rachel Williams’s header.
Chelsea though sealed the win with a well placed 75th-minute penalty to kick their campaign off in style. The first half was full of chances for either sides but neither looked to have grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
The travelling side made three changes from the team that thrashed Watford 6-0 last weekend in the FA Women’s Cup fifth round, with Hedvig Lindahl, Eni Aluko and Laura Coombs returning to the starting eleven.
Ji So-Yun lead the frontline along Drew Spence beside her while captain Katie anchored the central midfield. New signing Davison though started wide and made a huge impact in her first impression. It was a tough second half for both the sides with rain greeting the players under tough conditions.
So-Yun could have given Chelsea the lead with a placed header, but her effort came off the post but Davison made sure the Blues had three points in their kitty rolling the ball confidently into the bottom left corner from the spot.
Manager Emma Hayes was jubilant with the result and felt that her side deserved the full points. She said:
“We did expect Notts County to play the way they did but, until now, we haven’t been able to win these sort of games during my time here.”
“Today shows that we’re an improved side. I’ve been saying for a long time that I think we’re becoming a tougher team and, other than a little lack of discipline on a set-piece for their goal in the first half, I thought we stuck to the game plan well and played with a lot of grit and determination throughout.”
Chelsea Ladies Team: Hedvig Lindahl, Hannah Blundell, Millie Bright, Niamh Fahey, Gemma Davison (Jackie Groenen 90+3), Eniola Aluko (Marija Banusic 88), Ji So-Yun (Ana Borges 77), Claire Rafferty, Katie Chapman (c), Laura Coombs, Drew Spence.
Unused subs: Marie Hourihan, Gilly Flaherty, Jodie Brett, Anne Meiwald.
Scorers: Davison 23, (pen) 75.
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