With a lot of excitement and uncertainty surrounding the match, Liverpool Ladies traveled to meet Chelsea in the next round of the Women’s FA Cup after a morning pitch inspection deemed everything okay for the go ahead. Despite the bitter cold and less than ideal weather conditions, the Ladies started strong before suffering a 3-0 defeat to the Londoners.
Liverpol were already without two key players, as captain Gemma Bonner remaining home through injury and recent loanee and current shot finisher Bethany England unable to play against her parent club. England is the club’s current leading goal scorer, despite joining earlier in the season, so her presence was clearly missed in the loss.
Midfielders Laura Coombs and Caroline Weir started well, seeing much of the movement of the ball in their areas. Weir almost had the first assist of the game even, as a superb pass from her found the feet of Martha Harris before she was shut down by Chelsea player Millie Bright.
Chelsea’s power came from their control of the wide areas, and it was merely 21 minuets before they took the lead through Jonna Anderson. Romana Bachmann drilled her way through before finding Drew Spence on the left, who then put Anderson clear through to the goal and put them up by one. From there the game was truly on, as it became a true battle for the Reds.
Liverpool to their credit, playing for the home side, responded well to going down so early. Weir very nearly had a long range shot equalize for them only to have Chelsea ‘keeper Carly Telford stop the effort easily at the near post. The Ladies had another chance at 38 minutes when a free kick from Kate Longhurst caused a scramble in the box but no one could get a useful touch on the ball before it was cleared by Chelsea.
The break nearly came without an incident but Katie Chapman doubled the visitor’s lead just two minutes before the half, meeting a free kick with a header and putt ing it just past Siobhan Chamberlain.
The Reds were able to keep it from getting mostly worse but unable to add anything to their side of the score as the second half began. The visitors made it complete, though, at 57 minutes on by winning a penalty. Alex Greenwood brought down former Red Gemma Davison and Maren Mjelde stepped up for Chelsea and put the ball home.
A frustrating and disappointing Sunday trip for the Reds finds them out of the FA Cup for another year, once again to London rivals. The ladies were able to handle themselves with class, but unfortunately it seems that Chelsea were more clinical and able to take advantage of their chances.
The Ladies play again on March 25th when they travel to meet Birmingham City Ladies at Solihull Moors.