Goals from Reiten, Kerr and Spence avenge last season’s FA Cup defeat to Everton by winning 3-0
By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow Stadium
Chelsea 3 v Everton 0
FA Cup 5th Round
Would it be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show for Chelsea as the faced Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup - in a way it was, but the performance was just good enough to beat The Toffees 3-0 at Kingsmeadow stadium.
A crushing defeat only days ago in the Champions League final to Barcelona would be a test of character and reserve if they were playing a lowly side but this was tough Everton, this was the FA Cup, and this was the side that knocked the west Londoners out of the tournament last season.
Strikes from Guro Reiten, a thumper from Sam Kerr and a headed finish by Drew Spence were enough, but for most of the game, the west Londoners, while high on good intent, were running on fumes.
Kerr had a header from Reiten’s corner snatched off the goal line by Sandy MacIver on 14 minutes as the Blues tried to get themselves into the game and put the visitors on the back foot.
Some fine one-touch play between Kerr and Reiten on 16 minutes saw the Norway winger free to shoot, but unfortunately, the ball fell in such a way as Reiten opted to play with her weaker right foot and the goal-bound effort was easily snaffled by MacIver.
On the break, the Toffees looked dangerous, and on 20 minutes Claire Emslie produced a venomous left-footed volley that Ann-Karin Berger did well to punch away.
Beth England, restored to the side had ample time and space on 27 minutes to race into the Everton half. She then attempted an audacious 40 yard shot - it sailed over stranded MacIver, but smacked her left upright.
But two minutes later and the home side took the lead, and it was the Kerr-Reiten combination that worked a treat, leaving Reiten to slot home a perfectly-placed left footer wide of MacIver from just inside the opposition penalty area.
The pair almost contrived a second goal on 34 minutes, but Reiten’s shot was blocked, the follow-up saw a blaster from Erin Cuthbert again blocked as the Blues piled on the pressure.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
It just didn’t seem the night for trying long ranger efforts - five minutes after the reset, Millie Bright, playing in the unusual, for her, right back slot, pushed forward and let fly with a stunning left-footer from 35 yards.
MacIver was well beaten, but the angle of her right post and crossbar came to her aid as the ball rattled the frame.
MacIver did well three minutes later, foiling Kerr who had broken free.
She managed to block the Australian’s effort.
Kerr was thwarted by the goalie again on 65 minutes. She raced clear, latching onto a wonderful ball by Cuthbert, but MacIver kicked the ball away.
A terrific free-kick by Ingrid Moe Wold two minutes later had Berger scrambling backwards to her goal-line, and she just managed to tip the ball over the crossbar for a corner.
While it was still 1-0, the chance of a scrambled equaliser or set-piece goal loomed large.
Emma Hayes decided to freshen up the side and Sophie Ingle and Niamh Charles came on, on 73 minutes - Jessie Fleming and Cuthbert were sacrificed.
Against the run of play, Chelsea got a second. The ball fell for Kerr inside the Everton area, and this time, the sheer power of the right-footer gave MacIver no chance and the ball smashed high into the back of the net.
To consolidate the position, Reiten was then replaced by Pernille Harder on 79 minutes. Melanie Leupolz left the field with Drew Spence coming on.
With five minutes left on the clock, Spence with her first touch of the game, looped a close-range header into the net to kill off any lingering doubts.
The quarter-final will be played early next season.
Teams: Chelsea, Berger, Bright, Carter, Leupolz, England, Reiten, Eriksson, Fleming, Kerr, Cuthbert, Andersson
Subs: Musovic, Telford, Blundell, Ingle, Ji, Charles, Harder, Spence, Fox
Everton: MacIver, Moe Wold, George, Christiansen, Emilie, Raso, Scott, Gauvin, Finnigan, Sevecke, Pattinson
Subs: Korpela, Boyd-Hlorkah, Lehman, Stringer, Sorensen, Graham, Clemaron, Clinton