With 18 points separating the teams across the two top leagues of women’s football, Chelsea might have expected an easier ride at the Dripping Pan when they visited Lewes in the Conti Cup, writes Jane Grove.
But the hosts made it hard on the Blues, and it was only a magical moment from club captain Magda Eriksson that rescued the day and spared the WSL leaders’ blushes.
Watched by more than 1,000 at a sodden ground (never was a stadium more aptly named for Saturday’s weather) which required a pitch inspection a couple of hours before kick-off, Chelsea got off to a good start through Erin Cuthbert – fed by Fran Kirby, before Katie Rood levelled with an impressive goal for the red-and-blacks.
Charlotte Fleming made her debut in midfield for Chelsea Women, but it was the wise old owls of Cuthbert and Kirby who combined for the opener after 12 minutes, but six minutes later it was 1-1 as Carly Telford was unable to keep out an excellent strike from Rood.
And there it stayed until the 80th minute until captain Eriksson, pictured above, met a low cross and made it 2-1.
Next up for the Blues, after an international break which will see Millie Bright, Telford and Kirby pitch up at Wembley for the eagerly awaited sell-out game against Germany in front of a giant crowd at the weekend.
The Blues return to Kingsmeadow on Sunday November 17 to entertain Manchester United.