London Bees 0 Blues Ladies 4
Continental Tyres Cup semi-final
Match report by Liam Moakes
BLUES Ladies powered into the final of the Continental Tyres Cup with a ruthless demolition of the giant-killing Bees.
The London side had stunned WSL1 champions Chelsea in the last 16 but another shock result was never on the cards as David Parker’s side brushed the hosts aside with ease.
The visitors dominated from the outset and took a deserved 26th-minute lead when Kirsty Linnett stooped at the far post to head home Emily Westwood’s centre from the right-hand edge of the box.
Prior to that, both Coral-Jade Haines and Linnett had been denied by brilliant full-length saves from impressive Bees keeper Bethan Davies.
It was almost 2-0 to Blues just before the break when Westwood hooked a right-footed strike just wide from Kerys Harrop’s flick on from a throw-in.
The only scare of the entire match for Blues came a minute before the break when keeper Ann-Katrin Berger raced from her goal and went shoulder to shoulder with Jo Wilson and the Bees attacker and home fans were angered Berger’s challenge was deemed legal when, had the referee decided otherwise, Berger may have been in some trouble.
If Bees were to stage a comeback they needed to start the second half well but it was the visitors who continued to dominate and they made it 2-0 on 54 minutes when Harrop converted at the back post after a succession of corners.
Parker’s side scented further goals and they duly arrived as substitute Charlie Wellings cut in from the left before firing a dipping 30-yard strike into the top-right corner beyond the despairing dive of Davies in the 83rd minute.
It was a goal worthy of crowning any semi-final win but the final goal arrived in calamitous circumstances in stoppage time when Davies could only help Andrine Hegerberg’s corner over her own line at the near post.
Freda Ayisi, Linnett, Wellings and substitute Bella Linden might all have added further goals for the visitors in the second half but, regardless, Blues’ path to the final was never in doubt.
WSL1 leaders Manchester City defeated holders Arsenal 1-0 in Sunday’s second semi-final and will be Blues’ opponents in the final at City’s Academy Stadium on Sunday, October 2.
BLUES: Berger, Mannion, Westwood, Harrop, Stringer, Lawley (Brazil 73), Hegerberg, Carter, Haines, Ayisi (Wellings 80), Linnett (Linden 84).
Subs not used: Baggaley, Windell, Peplow, Scofield.