Guro Reiten and Bethany England earned Chelsea three crucial points with victory over Birmingham City leaving their side just one point behind Barclays FA WSL leaders Manchester City, writes Alex Ibaceta.
It took 46 minutes before Reiten poked her side into the lead from a loose ball and England managed to double the advantage 12 minutes later.
Lucy Staniforth had Birmingham’s clearest opportunity in the 36th minute when her stunning strike dipped just over the crossbar.
After a strong first half, Birmingham were unable to replicate their successful 3-2 result last time they travelled to Kingsmeadow.
Erin Cuthbert had Chelsea’s first attempt on goal in the 20th minute, but Hannah Hampton comfortably knocked the ball out for a corner.
Staniforth failed to give her side the lead nine minutes before the break with a stunning shot that went over the net after a promising City attack down the left wing.
On the stroke of half-time, a cross from Jonna Andersson resulted in Reiten netting a loose ball to put Chelsea in the lead.
A poor clearance from the visiting defence in the 52nd minute forced Hampton into a stunning save to deny Drew Spence’s shot from the corner of the box.
It wasn’t until the 58th minute that England broke free of the City defence and doubled Chelsea’s advantage with ease against the Birmingham stopper.
England was denied a second by the post in the 76th minute from a left footed shot low towards the right corner of Hampton’s goal, but the Blues comfortably held on for the win.
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