We came agonisingly close to drawing level with 15 minutes remaining, when Harder’s cross was just over the head of the unmarked Kerr in front of goal, but Arsenal were holding firm and for all our neat build-up play, the final pass wasn’t found. A red and white wall had been placed inside the penalty box and we simply could not find a way past it.
The sight of the fourth official holding up a board indicating six minutes of stoppage time briefly raised hope, but that gilt-edged chance simply didn’t come our way. It had been 90 minutes of entertainment from a neutral’s perspective, but we’d finished on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller to start our WSL campaign.
We’re back in action next Sunday when we welcome Everton to Kingsmeadow, which will be the first time our fans can see the Blues in the flesh in a competitive fixture in KT1 since last December. Kick-off for that one is 12.30pm – click here to buy your ticket now!
Chelsea (3-4-3) Berger; Carter, Bright (Fleming 87), Eriksson (c); Charles (Kirby 56), Leupolz (Ingle 56), Ji, Reiten (Andersson 83); Cuthbert, England (Kerr 56), Harder
Unused subs Musovic, Nouwen, Spence, Fox
Scorers Cuthbert 44, Harder 64
Booked Eriksson 66
Arsenal (4-3-3) Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Beattie (Boye 78), McCabe (Catley 61); Walti (Wubben-Moy 84), Maanum, Little; Iwabuchi (Parris 61), Miedema, Mead (Patten 83)
Unused subs Williams, Cull, Goldie
Scorers Miedema 14, Mead 49, 59
Booked McCabe 23, Parris 85
Referee Rebecca Welch