BY PAUL LAGAN
Chelsea thrashed north London rivals Spurs 5-1 on a cold Wednesday night in the Conti Cup group match at home – a win that secures progress into the later stages of the competition.
A thumper by Drew Spence, a brace of goals from Beth England, a penalty from Erin Cuthbert and a wonderful strike by left-back Deanna completed the scoring – Rosella Ayane scored Spurs’ lone reply.
By then the game was over as a contest. This wasn’t a vintage performance, but Chelsea’s head coach Emma Hayes took the opportunity to blood two 16-year-olds Charlotte Wardlaw and from the bench, Emily Murphy.
Chelsea, as expected were totally dominant in possession, but profligate finishing kept the game scoreless.
Spurs’ Chloe-Jade Haines was given a yellow card on 16 minutes for a nasty challenge of So-Yun Ji. Head coach Emma Hayes gave a debut to 16-year-old right-back Charlotte Wardlaw, an u-17 England international.
On the break, Spurs showed glimpses of attacking potential. On 23 minutes, Angela Addison almost got her head onto a right-wing cross by Megan Wynne.
Skipper Magdalena Eriksson managed to just get a touch on the ball, distracting the diminutive forward.
More poor finishing, this time by Beth England on 28 minutes continue to frustrate the home side. A Hannah Blundell 25-yarder on 34 minutes, which went high and wide of Chloe Morgan’s goal, another example of. Wasted chance.
Wardlaw, was next in referee Lisa Benn’s book – justifiable after she clattered Lucy Quinn.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
Within four minutes of the restart, Spurs failed to clear the ball and it fell invitingly to Drew Spence, who rammed home from 10 yards out, giving Morgan now chance.
Wardlaw was upended by Ashleigh Neville on 57 minutes, and up stepped Erin Cuthbert to slot home the spot kick.
Seconds later and the match was effectively over as the Spurs defence was cut apart and Beth England drove home a low, right-footer to make it 3-0. Cuthbert was then substituted and replaced by another debutant Emily Murphy.
Next to enter the fray, on 63 minutes was Ramona Bachmann who replaced Blundell, who was coming back from long-term knee injury.
Deanna Cooper finished off a long, powerful run followed by a nifty one two with England to smash home number four.
Chelsea’s lack of concentration saw the visitors score seconds later from their classy forward Roswell Ayane with a far-post header.
The rout was compete five minutes from time when Eriksson’s free kick from just outside the Spurs penalty area, was touched onto the crossbar by Morgan. England was on hand to head home from close range.
Next up, for Chelsea is a return to WSL 1 action, on Sunday against Birmingham City in Solihull.
Teams: Chelsea, Telford, Blundell, Carter, England, Ji, Eriksson, Cooper, Cuthbert, Spence, Andersson, Wardlaw. Subs: Berger, Ingle, Mjelde, Bachmann, Murphy
Spurs: Morgan, Leon, Filbey, Peplow, Haines, Schillaci, Wynne, Addison, Quinn, Ayane, Neville Subs: Spencer, Percival, Davison, Dean, Siri, Worm, Graham, Furness
Referee Lisa Benn
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