Treble chance is blown by Blues
CHELSEA DREAM IS WRECKED BY CITY
CHELSEA skipper Gilly Flaherty conceded her team were second best against Birmingham City as their dream of winning the domestic treble died last weekend.
The FA Cup winners and WSL 1 leaders were looking to continue their progress in the Continental Tyres Cup as they seek total domination.
But a stunning free-kick from Jo Potter, backed up by a resolute performance from Birmingham’s back five, saw Chelsea fail to score for only the fourth time this season.
And Flaherty admitted her team got what they deserved.
“We wanted to go one better than last season when we reached the semi-final, but we weren’t the better team,” said the 30year-old.
“I don’t think the task of going for the treble affected us in any way. If you are up there with the best, you want to be competing in every competition.
“Don’t take any of the credit away from Birmingham. They’ve been fighting for survival and, in a way, had nothing to lose in this competition.
“They came out fighting and bat-- tling. They showed up and we didn’t.”
Liverpool will join Birmingham in the semi-finals after Natasha Dowie struck four times in their 4-1 defeat of Bristol Academy.
The teams were level at half-time after Jade Boho-Sayo cancelled out Dowie’s 35th-minute penalty.
But the 27-year-old was unstoppable after the break, rattling in three more and Angharad James admitted Dowie was simply too hot to handle.
“We knew before the game what a good player Tash Dowie is and we had a plan to try and stop the supply to her, but it obviously didn’t work,” said James.
“The story of our season is that some of our performances have been ok, but there’s not been enough end product and that was the case again.”
At Meadow Lane, Notts County defender Alex Greenwood struck two minutes from time to end Reading’s brave challenge in the competition.
The sole WSL 2 team left in the draw stood toe-to-toe with the FA Cup runners-up.
Helen Ward and Melissa Fletcher scored in reply to strikes from Aileen Whelan and Greenwood, and the quarter-final looked destined to go to extra-time until the England fullback curled in the winner.
“It was a great game for the neutral,” said Lady Pies boss Rick Passmoor. “We’ve now been in four semi-finals over the past two seasons, so it’s showing you the progress.”
The other quarter-final between Arsenal and Manchester City was postponed, after the latter were charged by the FA for fielding an ineligible player against Sunderland in the group stage.
In the weekend’s only league contest, Yeovil Town and Everton played out a 0-0 stalemate at Huish Park to hinder the promotion prospects of both.
Sarah Wiltshire was guilty of missing the Glovers’ best chance as the clock ticked down.
Consequently, Everton are now nine points behind second-placed Reading with four to play, while Yeovil are five points off the top two having played a game more.
HOT-POT: Jo Potter’s free-kick is too good for Chelsea keeper Hedvig Lindahl SMART ALEX: Notts County’s Alex Greenwood celebrates after netting the Lady Pies’ late winner against Reading