Skip to content

Chelsea 1-0 Notts County: Ji makes Women's FA Cup history

Chelsea players celebrate with the trophy at the end of the Women's FA Cup Final against Notts County at Wembley Stadium, London
Image: Chelsea players celebrate with the trophy at Wembley Stadium

Chelsea Ladies won the Women's FA Cup for the first time in their history by beating Notts County Ladies 1-0 in the final in front of a record crowd at Wembley on Saturday.

The decisive moment came eight minutes before half-time, when player-of-the-match Eniola Aluko caused panic in the Notts County defence, driving into the box before finding the run of Ji So-Yun.

South Korea midfielder, and current PFA Women's Player of the Year, Ji duly made history by instinctively poking the ball into the net, to score the winning goal in the first Women's FA Cup final to be played at the national stadium. 

Despite a minor County resurgence in the second half, Chelsea were comfortable and deserved winners of the game, which was played in front of 30,710 fans.

Ji So-Yun gives Chelsea the lead
Image: Ji So-Yun pokes the ball in to give Chelsea the lead

But it took until the half-hour mark for them to create the first real chance of the game, when Aluko's pace and guile - effective throughout - put her in behind the Notts defence and beyond 'keeper Carly Telford, but the England international could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.

Five minutes later, Aluko did hit the target after cleverly carving out some space just inside the penalty area before unleashing a stinging strike directly at Telford.

County had barely seen another touch of the ball before Aluko ghosted into the box once more, this time whipping a teasing cross from the left on to the stretched leg of Gemma Davison, whose volley flew inches wide of the post. 

Also See:

A relentless, 10-minute spell from Chelsea and Aluko finally produced the goal they deserved when the 28-year-old jinked into the area and played in Ji, who could not miss from close range following a fortunate rebound off Telford. 

Notts manager Rick Passmoor was forced to make changes, although few expected him to replace England forward Rachel Williams with Dunia Susi after just 10 minutes of the second half. 

But Susi's positive presence in the midfield helped them play their way back into the game and threaten through a series of set-pieces.  

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Enipla Aluko of Chelsea Ladies FC during the Women's FA Cup Final match
Image: Eniola Aluko expresses her frustration before winning her third Women's FA Cup with a third different club

The first of two dangerous corners fell to Desiree Scott on the edge of the area, but her sweetly-struck half volley was deflected just wide off the head of Gilly Flaherty.

Notts County again went close to an equaliser from the resulting corner as Leanne Crichton rose highest at the near post, but her header was cleared on the line by Davison.

With County pressing, Chelsea began to enjoy the extra space afforded to them and looked increasingly likely to score on the counter. 

Aluko went close to doubling their advantage when she fired a low right-footed shot across goal, but Telford did well to get down to her right to deny Aluko the goal her performance deserved, and push the ball away from lurking Chelsea attackers hoping for a rebound. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Emma Hayes, the Chelsea manager celebrates their victory during the Women's FA Cup Final match between Chelsea Ladies FC and N
Image: Chelsea manager Emma Hayes celebrates with the Women's FA Cup

An unmarked Flaherty should have sealed the win for Chelsea with 15 minutes remaining, but her flick from the edge of the six-yard box after a goalmouth scramble floated over the bar. 

The miss did not prove to be a costly one, however, as Chelsea eased to their first Women's FA Cup win.  

Around Sky