James scores a worldie but it's Beever-Jones who scores late, late winner as Blues down Roma 3-2
By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow
Chelsea Women 3 v Roma 2
Lauren James continued her personal brilliant performances with England with a sensational goal for her club side this evening as Chelsea won 3-2 against Roma in a pre-season friendly at Kingsmeadow.
She scored a magnificent long-ranger to level the scores at 2-2 after Guro Reiten pulled a goal back as the Romans proved to be stern opposition.
Aggie Beever-Jones scored with a late-late winner which the opposition didn't deserve.
It was the first time VAR and Hawkeye was used in a non-Premier League ground and by all account performed successfully – with only one on-field decision requited – denying Chelsea a second-half penalty.
Head coach Emma Hayes gave early season minutes to m
Lauren James almost opened her account when she produced a fine one-two with Guro Reiten on the left. The England international then forced her way into the Roma penalty area but her venomous left footer inched wide of Camelia Ceasar's goal.
The visitors looked sharp on the break and so it proved on seven minutes, when the ball was swept across to the far left hand side of the area and Emilie Bosshard Haavi produced a techno all brilliant right-footed volley that sailed past Zecira Musovic
Chelsea recovered well from the shock an should have levelled on 20 minutes but Mia Fishel headed wide.
A clipped effort b y James two minutes later from a Sophie Ingle corner went into the side-netting.
The pressure finally told on 26 minutes when Guro Reiten lashed the ball home with a typical left-footed drive from 10 yards out.
But the visitors, who only flew into London on the morning restored their lead on 30 minutes when striker Valentina Giacinti smashed home from close range.
Lauren James was the star of the England side at the World Cup in Australia and she produce a world-class goal on 36 minutes to level the game once again.
Picking the ball up on the half-way line, she took a couple of touches forward before unleashing a majestic 35 yarder that sailed high over Cesar's desperate grasp and crashed I to the back of her net.
Chelsea head off for some pre-season training g to Portugal on Tuesday.
I would expect serious attention to defensive duties will be high on the list of attention.
There were four changes by Chelsea at half time. On came goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, Eve Perisset, Jessie Fleming and Jelena Cankovic and Sjoeke Nusken.
Off went Musovic, Reiten, Leupolz and James and and Maren Mjelde.
Fran Kirby had the first chance of the second half, on 54 minutes, but her shot, while on target, was well held by Cesar.
Ashley Lawrence was replaced by Aggie Beever-Jones on 64 minutes.
VAR was called when a penalty given on 68 minutes, but the handball was adjudged to be unintentional.
It was the first time the system, albeit with much fewer cameras in the Premier League nine as opposed to 79 was used.
Kirby was becoming an increase goal threat – Ceasar again denied her a goal on 73 minutes.
She however ended the night by being replaced by Aimee Claypole.
A fantastic half-volley by Roma's substitute Giada Greggi looked destined to end up in the top left hand corner of Berger's net on 83 minutes, but the German goalkeeper simply plucked the ball out of the air in nonchalant fashion.
Going deep in to added time, substitute Beever-Jones was on the spot to slot home a late, late winner.
Teams: Chelsea, Musovic, Fishel, Nouwen, Ingle, Leupolz, James, Reiten Lawrence, Kirby, Mjelde, Buchanan
Subs: Berger, Nusken, Perisset, Fleming, Cankovic, Beever-Jones, Akpan, Brown
Roma, Cesar, Minami, Di Guglielmo, Kumagai, Giacinti, Giugliano, Bosshard Haavi, Bartoli, Gilonna, Feiersinger, Linari
Subs: Korpela, Valdezate, Viens, Aigbogun, Serturini, Latorre, Greggi, Tomaselli, Kramzar