The website dedicated to women's football across the country, at ALL levels of the game
Get the mag!
Chelsea complete the double
Chelsea 3 (Kerr 32,98, Cuthbert 62)
Manchester City 2 (Hemp 41, Raso 88)
att 49,094; at Wembley Stadium
Chelsea kept hold of the Vitality Women's FA Cup after narrowly getting the better of Manchester City after extra time in a well contested Final in front of a record crowd at Wembley Stadium.
A deflected shot from Sam Kerr in the extra period proved to be decisive after a superbly taken goal late on by substitute Hayley Raso had brought City level.
The first opportunity of the game fell Manchester City's way, Lauren Hemp making a strong run down the left and her cross was deflected into the path of Caroline Weir who swept her shot over from ten yards. Two minutes later and another chance came for City, Hemp finding space in the area before her shot was blocked by Millie Bright, the rebound falling for Georgia Stanway whose effort was also charged down.
Chelsea did get the ball in the net on seventeen minutes when Sam Kerr rounded Ellie Roebuck to slot home, but an offside flag had already gone up as she went through.
The early pace of the game then brought a lull but just after the half hour, Chelsea broke the deadlock albeit in fortuitious circumstances. Bright floated in a cross from the right which deceived Roebuck and went in off the far post, although Kerr may well have got a touch on its way in.
City's passing out from the back was not looking overly convincing as Chelsea pressed them more and a minute after the goal, it could have been two as they lost possession and Roebuck's deflected clearance was seized on by Guro Reiten who returned the ball goalwards but over the bar.
City rode out the storm and hit back in devastating fashion as half time approached. Shaw intially did well to hold the ball up and turn before finding Hemp on the left, where she cut inside Bright before planting her shot inside the far post for the equaliser.
Suddenly City tails were up and Stanway had a shot blocked by Carter following a good run and the rebound was deflected wide.
As in the first half, the first real opportunity of the second went the way of City, although Kelly's initial cross was too powerful for Shaw to head goalwards, Kelly was able to gather and return to the far post, where Hemp's shot was blocked by the legs of Berger.
It had been a good start to the second half for City, as they continued to utilise the pace of their front three, but Chelsea began to look dangerous themselves again and went back in front just after the hour. A poor goal kick by Roebuck was initially seized upon by Cuthbert and Reiten's low cross was touched off by Beth England for Cuthbert to fire a 20-
City brought on Hayley Raso in search of extra attacking impetus but moments later, a counter attack from Chelsea saw Pernille Harder break down the right and cross for Kerr who missed her kick, the ball rolling loose for Reiten who curled her shot wide. Back came City and after Shaw did well down the right to beat Carter, her cross ricocheted into the path of Stanway who fired over.
Weir shot straight at Berger after a good run but just as it looked as though Chelsea were going to see the game out, City struck a late blow. A long ball forward from Greenwood picked out Raso who controlled under pressure from Eriksson and held off the defender before burying her shot past Berger to level the scores once again.
There was no time for a winner and extra time was needed, also raising prospects of a first penalty shootout in the Final since Birmingham City's victory over Chelsea at Ashton Gate back in 2012.
Play continued to flow from end to end as extra time began, and this time it was Chelsea who nearly paid for a bad goal kick. Weir's ball across goal was half cut out by Carter and Berger saved bravely at the feet of Ellen White.
Minutes later, a long ball out of defence was missed by Julie Blakstad, and with Kennedy down suffering from cramp, Kerr was away with only Greenwood to beat. The striker carried the ball towards the edge of the area where her shot took a wicked deflection off the outstretched boot of Greenwood and past a wrong footed Roebuck to restore Chelsea's lead.
Back came City with a Hemp cross which White could not direct goalwards and Raso volleyed wide at the far post.
Both teams were looking very tired as the game went into the second period of extra time. Laura Coombs half volleyed over following a run and cross by Bronze but they could not fashion any further clear cut chances. There were a few anxious moments for Chelsea in the dying minutes but City could not land a blow and the last opportunity went when Berger superbly claimed a Vicky Losada corner under pressure in the last minute.
The final whistle was greeted with understandable joy for Chelsea as they could celebrate lifting another trophy and they could rarely have been made to work harder for one.
Manchester City: Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes (sub Julie Blakstad 82mins), Alex Greenwood, Chloe Kelly (sub Hayley Raso 75mins), Georgia Stanway (sub Laura Coombs 78mins), Lauren Hemp, Caroline Weir, Lucy Bronze, Khadija Shaw (sub Ellen White 78mins), Keira Walsh (sub Vicky Losada 118mins), Alanna Kennedy. Subs not used: Khiara Keating, Filippa Angeldahl, Jess Park, Ruby Mace.