WSL week 4 review: Chelsea and West Ham bag first wins of the season
Credit: Kunjan Malde

WSL week 4 review: Chelsea and West Ham bag first wins of the season

Manchester City complete second-half comeback against Birmingham City

Sophie Lawson

Whilst Arsenal were finally given a breather and Bristol and Everton saw their clash postponed, Chelsea and West Ham picked up their first wins of the season against Brighton and Yeovil respectively. Elsewhere, Liverpool slipped to a defeat against Reading and Manchester City turned a 2-0 deficit into a loss away to Birmingham City.

Birmingham City 2-3 Manchester City

Having come back from two goals down to grab a draw last time out in the league, the Citizens went one better at Solihull Moors, dusting themselves down after being knocked-out of the Champions League on Wednesday. With a 100% record coming into the tie, the hosts were given a helping hand eight minutes in when Abbie McManus’s 55-yard back-pass skipped off of the turf and nicked off of Ellie Roebuck’s head to float in. Unlucky not to be up by two later in the half when McManus drew a solid save from Roebuck after another highly dubious moment.

With Jennifer Beattie’s header cleared off of the line, it didn’t seem like it was going to be City’s day, especially not when Meaghan Sergeant’s header got the better of Roebuck early in the second half. Out-shooting the Blues, the visitors finally pulled a goal back through Caroline Weir, Ann-Katrin Berger beaten by the deflection. Following another sterling save from Roebuck, City pulled themselves level after Nikita Parris picked out the bottom corner.

In one of the stranger matches of the weekend, the former champions took the lead 15 minutes from time when the hosts were done by another deflection, Tessa Wullaert’s strike the one to do the damage.

Liverpool 0-1 Reading

Unable to build on their first win last weekend, Liverpool made sure to ask Grace Moloney plenty of early questions but without the required bite they didn’t have a response when Reading opened the scoring. With a lofted pass played out from Kirsty Pearce, Brooke Chaplen chased the ball down, mindful of the bounce as she beat Sophie Bradley-Auckland to it and chipped it over Fran Kitching.

The job a far harder one for the Reds after Rhiannon Roberts was dismissed early in the second half for a second yellow. The Royals deserving of the three points, if not a little wasteful in front of goal.

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Chelsea 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

With the champions yet to score this season and the promoted Seagulls yet to keep a clean sheet there was far more weight given to the tie than would have been expected. Emma Hayes left to breathe a sigh of relief just after the half hour when, over 300 minutes into their league campaign, Chelsea found their first goal. All but taking a battering ram to Marie Hourihan’s goal, the former Chelsea woman could do little about Fran Kirby’s side-footed volley.

Like all busses around Kingsmeadow, you can wait for hours and suddenly two will turn up at the same time, the Blues needing just another four minutes to claim their second of the season. Another volley from the left side of the box enough to have the back of the net rippling for again, Erin Cuthbert’s neat finish putting the match to bed early.

West Ham United 2-1 Yeovil Town

Set to be under the cosh this term, relegation favourites Yeovil did well to stay in the game at Rush Green, Megan Walsh keeping on brand with some fine saves throughout. Knocking at the door all match, the deadlock finally broke after the hour when Leanne Kiernan fired a cracking half-volley into the top left at an uncleared corner.

Forced to wait until their 15 match of the 2017-18 season for their first goal, the Glovers were able to get that monkey off of their back earlier this time around, needing less than 260 minutes to find the back of the net. Ellie Mason’s driven effort at a set piece at the other end looked like it would be enough to claim an early point this season until the Irons responded two minutes later. Striding in behind to pick up a chipped pass from Julia Simic, Rosie Kmita closed out all three points for the Hammers with another eye-catching half-volley. 


WSL table as it stands (Credit: The FA)
WSL table as it stands (Credit: The FA)