Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies – FAWSL   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies’ clash with Chelsea Ladies was broadcast live by BT Sports and the viewers witnesses County thrash Chelsea 0-0!

The County defense was virtually impenetrable and their attack unstoppable but despite their total dominance of the game in every department Notts couldn’t find the back of the Chelsea net to secure all 3 points and had to settle for a draw.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The warm-ups were enlivened by the introduction of several large hair bands – not sure to whom they belonged but the rumour is they were Katie Holtham’s.

They were put to good use by the coaches as a creative method of getting the blood flowing and the muscles pumping.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Stretch bands

The BT Sports camera man looks on in bewilderment as Jess Clarke really starts to get in to it.

Desiree Scott and the girls find having a large BT Sports camera practically stuffed up their noses amusing.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Camera in face

BT Sports microphones; Red, Green and Blue, were out in force. I’m running a competition this week – first person to tell me what the colour coding denotes wins a free photography portrait session.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea BT Sports

Staines Town FC was the venue for this game and the teams lined up for the Staines national anthem.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Line up

Notice the 3 match officials all looking in different directions – this was to be a continuing theme throughout the game.

The game kicked-off with Notts dominating from the first whiste. As with so many games before Notts attack featured shots and crosses from Dunia Susi and Jess Clarke who from the first minutes were causing Chelsea problems.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies Jess Clarke shoots

Jess Clarke fires at goal but pulls it wide.

When Chelsea weren’t having to deal with Clarke they were having to cope with Susi.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Dunia Susi shoots

Dunia Susi’s shot is blocked by desperate defending just inside the Chelsea 18 yard box.

Notts kept piling on the pressure as Chelsea struggled to get out of their starting blocks and their own half.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies Jess Clarke cross

Jess Clarke turns provider and sends another cross in to the Chelsea box. Her work rate throughout the 90 minutes was phenomenal, as usual.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Spence defends

Chelsea number 24 Spence just managers to get to the crossed ball first to thwart another County attack.

On the half hour mark a County cross was met by Jess Clarke on the 6 yard line ….. surely this was going to be 1-0…..

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Header on goal

… but the ball flew past goalkeeper Endler’s nearside post.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Header on goal 02

County go oh so close.

County continued to dominate Chelsea in all departments and whilst snuffing out any potential Chelsea threat continued to drive forwards themselves and when Caitlin Friend drove in to the box she was brought down by the Chelsea defender. The Linesman flagged and the Referee blew for a foul – Penalty to Notts! But no. After several seconds of blank deliberation the referee decided the foul was outside the box. An unbelievable decision that baffled everybody. Rachel Corsie’s free kick was blocked by the wall and this event seemed to set the tone for some very indiscriminate and erratic officiating.

Unrelenting pressure from Notts resulted in another corner taken by Caitlin Friend and a well rehearsed set-piece saw the ball driven in low to the edge of the 6 yard box where it was met by Rachel Corsie only to see her volley smothered by the Chelsea keeper.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Corsie attempt

Rachel Corsie goes close for Notts.

Notts number 4 Katie Hoyle charges the Chelsea keeper in an attempt to block her kick…….

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Katie Hoyle charge 01

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Katie Hoyle charge 03

…… and almost gets her head taken off for her troubles! Katie exemplified the effort and committed work rate shown by the whole team in this game.

The game was also very physical and if anybody thought the women’s game was played with less passion and competitive spirit then they need to get down to watch a game live.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Lost contact lens

Another lost contact lens is searched for during the game. It was probably the referee’s. Katie seems to have found it in the hair of the Chelsea player.

The half time whistle went with everybody (well, at least the County fans) wondering how we hadn’t scored at least 2 or 3 goals.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea The Stalwarts

The ‘Stalwarts’ – perennial Notts fanatics Sal and Tid.

Half time entertainment was provided by the impromptu Chelsea fans brass band. They were pretty damn good too. They played throughout most of the game, delighting us with such renditions as ‘The Pink Panther’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up’.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Brass Band

With sheet music too – how professional. Not sure about those checked shorts though.

As previously mentioned BT Sports were covering the game with a live transmission (which I’ll watch later to find out what happened). They had a luxury commentary box constructed especially for the occasion.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea BT Sports commentary

I think BT Sports commentary box had seen service previously as some kid’s Tree House.

The second half resumed with no let up from the Notts ladies – it was business as usual as they continued to press for a goal. As the half wore on it was the midfield dynamo Desiree Scott that came closest as County continued to dominate and Endler did well to tip the Canadian international’s shot on to the crossbar. And at the other end of the pitch it was Scott along with the rest of the Notts defense that had kept England International Eniola Aluko quiet all day.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Desiree Scott

Desiree Scott turns in another remarkable performance to help Notts keep a clean sheet.

Chelsea soaked up more pressure in a very one-sided game. Jess Clarke working down both flanks.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies Jess Clarke runs

Manager Passmoor looks on as Clarke torments the Chelsea defense.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Dunia Susi shoots 02

As in the first half Dunia Susi can’t find a way past Chelsea’s desperate defending.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea points

Rafferty and Brett disagree on the best way to go about marking Susi.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies jump

Both teams combine for a Guinness World Records attempt for the most players heading the ball at one time.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Chapman altercation

A difference of opinion breaks out! Chelsea’s England International Katie Chapman had scythed down a County player and finds herself being asked some serious questions by the Notts players. At this point tackles were flying in thick and fast and the game was in danger of boiling over.

With Notts dominating possession but unable to score Carly Telford was a spectator for most of the game but late in the second half she needed to be alive to tip the ball over the bar from an in-swinging corner.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Carly Save tip CROP

Carly Telford leaps from her pitch-side deckchair from where she”d been watching the game to deftly turn the ball over the bar.

Another cross and another missed opportunity for Notts as Susi is crowded out.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Dunia Susi jumps

With only a few minutes to go a rare Chelsea attack got as far as the edge of the County 18 yard box where the Referee awarded a free kick against Notts (possibly for an untied boot lace – who knows?). Chelsea’s Yuki Ogimi placed the ball as Carly Telford organised her wall. If Chelsea scored now it would be heartbreaking and totally against the run-of-play. Yuki Ogimi stepped up and hit the ball crisply…..

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea free kick

….. and thankfully put the ball in the Leyandii trees behind the goal. Phew!

Minutes later the Referee, after being shown which end of the whistle to blow down, blew for full time and the game ended goalless. I think Chelsea felt they got the better of the deal as realistically the score could have been 4-0 in favour of County. But an away point is not too bad either and going in to the FAWSL 4 week break puts Notts 3rd in the table with a game in hand on Manchester City in 2nd.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Hair band

Katie Holtham finally gets her hairband back but looks upset that its stretched out of shape.

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