Harder and James put Spurs to the sword 2-0 in friendly at Kingsmeadow
By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow
Chelsea 2 v Spurs 0
Pernille Harder and Lauren James scored the goals that gave Chelsea a respectable 2-0 win over Spurs at Kingsmeadow this afternoon.
The 2,400 crowd saw a final pre-season friendly victory, where head coach Emma Hayes gave all of the starting 11 a full 90 minutes on the pitch.
Earlier in the day at the training ground, Hayes put out another 11 to face the club’s U17s boys’ youth side where they won 4-3.
The fans did get to see new signings Johanna Rytting-Kaneryd and Eve Perisset.
While Chelsea dominated early possession, the first chance fell to the visitors, when live-wire Jess Naz cut the Blues defence in half and raced into an in-perfect through ball. But once clear, Zecira Musovic raced out to close down space, forcing Naz to try a shot - unfortunately for her the ball went wide of the Chelsea goal.
Guro Reiten was the inspiration behind Chelsea’s first serious attempt on goal, on 14 minutes, when she first produced an excellent ball wide to Pernille Harder. The striker raced to the byline before cutting the ball back to in-running Reiten, who produced a fine, left-footed daisy cutter, but the ball went wide.
But the home side took the lead two minutes later when Harder latched onto the ball before caressing the ball past ex-Chelsea stopper Rebecca Spencer.
Lauren James could and perhaps should have scored on 35 minutes when another swift break saw the England player race into the area, latch onto the ball but she shot straight at Spencer. But on 40 minutes she took her chance with aplomb and slotted cooly home past the Spurs goalkeeper.
A brilliant goal line stop by skipper Maren Mjelde prevented Rosella Ayane from notching a goal back after a horror poor back pass by Jess Carter, just before the break.
Beth England forced a finger-tip save from substitute goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela a minute after the restart.
With Hayes not making any substitutions, and with Spurs making numerous replacements, it was no surprise that a fitness disparity developed during the game, allowing Spurs to attack more. But that impetus was short-lived and Chelsea’s defence weathered the minor storm, to see the game out successfully.
In two week’s time the WSL starts with reigning champions Chelsea, at the men’s home, at Stamford Bridge, where they will face West Ham United.
Teams, Chelsea, Musovic, Nouwen, Carter, England, James, Reiten, Perisset, Mjelde, Rytting-Kaneryd, Cuthbert, Harder
subs: Orman, Akpan, Blades, Potter
Spurs: Spencer, Zadorsky, Turner, Bartrip,, Karczewska, James, Ayane, Spence, Neville
sub: Korpela, Heeps, Summanen, So-Hyun, Petzelberger, Simon, Brazil, Bizet