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Chelsea reserves reached the Premier Reserve Section League Cup Final after a 3-1 victory over Bristol Academy at Cobham on Sunday.
They will face Leeds Carnegie in the Final on March 8th and will attempt to improve upon their 1-0 extra time defeat to Arsenal last season.
On a very good surface, both teams played passing football at a high tempo and were a credit to their coaching staff. Sadly, Academy were only able to field ten players due to injuries and ineligibilities and Chelsea created the majority of chances by using the full width of the pitch. On the right, Vicky Vickery was very lively and she opened the scoring on 23 minutes with a volley from Sarah Kempson's deep cross. Academy responded very quickly when Emma Plewa took a through pass round goalkeeper Lily Phillips to equalise four minutes later.
The home side created numerous chances but were denied by poor finishing and a series of fine saves by Terri Brown, After the break, Academy were hit by a fine finish from ten yards by Stevie Lamb on 56 minutes and it seemed that Chelsea would make their numerical advantage pay as they brought on fresh players whilst Academy had no substitutes. However, this was not the case as the away team were dangerous on the break and constructed a number of good half chances.
It was not until the last minute that Katy Ling coolly put away the deciding goal third goal for the Blues. Just prior to this, Plewa had made an excellent solo run and was only denied an equaliser by a fine save by Phillips. By now Academy were down to nine players, Connie Short had gone off injured after having twice cleared off the line from a Jodie Jacobs header and a Rebecca Jane shot. Chelsea had also hit the woodwork and had created many scoring opportunities but a brave Academy team had made them worry right until the end.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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