Although it was a late goal by Hannah Blundell which made this 4th Round tie safe against Everton, it was a Drew Spence opener that unlocked the Toffees’ tight defence.
The Blues – reigning champions – now go into the draw for the 5th Round of the FA Cup on a weekend severely hit by the cold weather.
The Everton v Chelsea fixture, staged at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport, was delayed for an hour to allow ground staff to make final efforts to improve the playing surface to ensure the players’ safety, but many other fixtures were called off because of frozen pitches.
It was Ann-Katrin Berger’s debut for the Blues, and the German netminder performed well and kept the all-important, confidence-boosting clean sheet on her first start for her new club.
With Fran Kirby, Ramona Bachmann, Erin Cuthbert and Drew Spence starting for Chelsea, Emma Hayes showed her attacking intent from the start.
But at half-time on a very cold afternoon it was still 0-0.
The breakthrough came in the 66th minute… Spence firing low into the corner of the Everton net.
Blundell put the result beyond doubt with a stoppage-time goal, before the girls enjoyed welcome hot showers.
Chelsea are now in the hat for the 5th Round, with the draw being made tomorrow (Monday) at 6.30pm on the BBC News Channel… despite the fact that the Big Chill means many of the next round’s ties are still going to be either/or team names.