Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Blues open league season with away draw

Photos taken by Ville Vuorinen - BCLFC Club Photographer
Blues Ladies got their new FAWSL season off to a steady start with a 1-1 draw away at Chelsea. A superb long range Rachel Williams strike pulled the girls level after the Londeners opened the scoring through debutant Sofia Jakobsson turned in Dunia Susi’s right wing cross. Both sides had opportunities to increase the scoring, Edda Gardarsdottir smashing the bar for the hosts and Jade Moore also hitting the woodwork for the away side. Blues had the better of the chances to win the game late on, Williams skying a great chance in the second half, and sub Kirsty Linnett, on her first Blues appearance, forcing a save from Davies in the Chelsea goal.

Photos taken by Ville Vuorinen - BCLFC Club Photographer
After being dumped out of the FA Cup at the hands of Arsenal just five days earlier, Blues knew this game was important in getting their season off to a positive start, and proving the result against The Gunners was a flash in the pan, and this was a good point to pick up against an unpredictable Chelsea outfit who have brought in a number of new players in the close season. Swedish star Jakobsson was always going to be a threat, as well as ex Blues striker Eni Aluko, but Blues showed they are still capable of pitting their wits against strong teams in this league. Chelsea are one of the teams to introduce a more disciplined training regime this season, with new manager Emma Hayes determined to make her side improve on their disappointing sixth place finish in last season’s WSL. The inclusion of international stars such as Jakobsson will make Chelsea a much tougher opposition to previous years, as it gives them a much stronger squad depth, which should prevent them from dropping off towards the end of the season.
Photos taken by Ville Vuorinen - BCLFC Club Photographer
With this considered, Blues will be pleased to have taken a point from the game, and also showing a positive attitude with the substitutions made. Wingers Mel Lawley and Linnett came on in the second half as the girls went for all three points, and arguably the most positive outcome of the trip to London was the successful comeback of Linnett. After suffering a series of frustrating long term injuries, the former Arsenal youngster replaced Emily Westwood for her Blues debut, and came through the final twenty minutes of the game. Blues fans will be desperately hoping this will lead to a run of games for Linnett, and that she will be able to rediscover the talent she showed in her early years at Arsenal.

Blues’ next fixture is a WSL fixture on Sunday 21st April against Lincoln Ladies at Stratford Town’s DCS Stadium, 2pm kick off.

Chelsea: Davies, Susi, Vidarsdottir (Rafferty 46), Holtham, Ingle, Spence (Coombs 69), Buet, Gardarsdottir (c), Ward, Jakobsson, Aluko (Longhurst 78). Subs not used: Telford, Cole, Davies, Bleazard.

Blues: Hourihan, Weston, Bassett (c), Harrop, Unitt, Christiansen, Moore (Lawley 75), Simpkins, Potter, Westwood (Linnett 67), Williams. Subs not used: Earps, Torkildsen, Ballard, Lawley, Wilkinson, Haines.

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