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Liverpool 1 (K.Jones 43) Chelsea 2 (Buet 11, Spence 35)
Chelsea moved up to second in the FA WSL with a 2-1 victory over winless Liverpool at Skelmersdale.
First half goals from the impressive Dani Buet and Drew Spence moved the Blues to within five points of leaders Birmingham City. But Matt Beard's side were pushed all the way by the battling Reds who can count themselves unlucky not to have earned at least a point after Kelly Jones pulled one back on the stroke of half time.
The Londoners might have had a penalty on five minutes when Liverpool captain Vicky Jones barged over Becky Jane inside the area but the referee waved away the appeals. But they did not have to wait long to take the lead when Buet pounced on defender Nicky Twohig's mistake to coolly slot home her second goal in two games on ten minutes.
Helen Lander headed wide moments later as the visitors threatened to overwhelm Liverpool early on, but Reuesha Littlejohn reminded Chelsea they would not have it all their on way when she flashed a shot across the face of goal.
That sparked the hosts into life and Sam Chappell came within inches of equalising when she headed Gemma Watson's corner against the crossbar on 25 minutes.
Buet nearly grabbed her second with a superb dipping volley before Claire Rafferty's cross crashed into the post. Chelsea, however, did extend their lead on 36 minutes when Drew Spence controlled Lander's cross before beating goalkeeper Andrea Worrall.
The game could have been over a minute later when Buet raced clear, but her first shot came back off the post before the winger crashed the rebound against the other. The Reds made them pay for their wastefulness when Kelly Jones headed home Nicky Harding's pinpoint cross on the stroke of half time.
Kelly Jones was in again minutes after the restart but Rafferty raced back to make a timely interception.
With chances few and far between in a fiercely contested second half, Littlejohn thought she had earned Liverpool a deserved draw when she turned in Kelly Jones' low cross only for it to be chalked off for offside with 18 minutes left.
Liverpool: Andrea Worrall, Vicky Jones, Sam Chappell, Nicky Twohig, Nicky Harding (sub Carmel Bennett 81mins), Kelly Jones, Gemma Watson (sub Cheryl Foster 61mins), Lynda Shepherd, Michelle Evans, Katie Brusell, Ruesha Littlejohn. Sub not used: Danielle Gibbons.
Chelsea: Carly Telford, Claire Rafferty, Gemma Bonner, Kylie Davies, Sophie Perry, Dannii Bird, Drew Spence (sub Leanne Champ 69mins), Hayley Moorwood, Dani Buet, Helen Lander (sub Emma Plewa 90mins), Becky Jane (sub Lara Fay 85mins). Subs not used: Shelby Hills, Sarah Quantrill.
(Report by Alex Prior/www.TheFA.com)
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