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Women's Football News
Chelsea retained the Surrey FA Cup at Leatherhead on Wednesday night with a 4-0 victory, their fifth triumph in a row.
However their opponents were not Premier League rivals as on the previous four occasions. This season, Surbiton Town had upset the odds to become finalists.
Chelsea, using players also going for the Premier League Reserves Southern Division One title, were comfortable throughout the match against their Regional League opponents, who did well to limit Chelsea to four goals. Surbiton, who last contested the final in 1996, defended resolutely for the majority of the match, employing an offside trap which caught the Blues out on numerous occasions but were never able to threaten Frankie Gibbs' goal with a clear chance of their own.
The pattern was set in the second minute as Dani Russell drew a fine save from Sue Johnson to turn over a well hit shot from ten yards. The Blues had also hit the woodwork before Emma Sherwood neatly finished a right wing cross on seven minutes. Russell, in particular, seemed to be having an unfortunate and frustrating evening as chances came and went and Surbiton were in sight of a flattering half time score when the Blues striker netted on 42 and 45 minutes, finally beating offside for her first and nodding in a fine Trudy Harbinson cross for the second.
Surbiton continued to work extremely hard after the break and did very well to limit the number of clear cut chances, given that they were again under pressure for the majority of the half. The Blues were limited to another cool finish by Sherwood after 78 minutes with Johnson making some fine saves at other times and her back four giving solid displays of tackling and blocking.
Both sides had done well, the young Blues impressing with their technique and movement and Surbiton with their spirit and determination to compete throughout. Both teams lead their leagues and will now hope to clinch their respective titles in the remaining games of the season.
Chelsea: Frankie Gibbs, Vicky Wotton, Ria Collins, Zoe Greener, Emma Delves, Rachel Palmer, Kirsty Barton, Emma Sherwood, Trudy Harbinson, Kerri Ryan, Dani Russell. Subs: Amy Carr, Ruby Staplehurst, Faye Rabson.
Surbiton Town: Sue Johnson, Cindy Colliver, Maike Despot, Caroline Austin, Serena Regali, Verity Nott, Selina Macklin, Anna Bellwood, Laura Humphrey, Nicola Ryan, Laura Streeter. Subs: Sharon Lowe, Emily Godwin.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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