This afternoon we took our youngest daughter to watch Chelsea Ladies play Manchester City in the FA Cup Semi Final. It’s worth pointing out that Miss 11 is football mad. This season she has played for both the town boys and girls teams, and is often found kicking a ball around outside the house come rain or shine.
I don’t think she really registered who we were going to see until the teams wandered out onto the pitch – and it was a virtual roll call of the England international squad – Fran Kirby (her hero), Karen Carney, Claire Rafferty, Toni Duggan, Lucy Bronze, Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Katie Chapman… I could go on.
Until the last few minutes of extra time, I don’t think anybody would disagree that it was a really scrappy game. There were moments of brilliance (particularly from Karen Carney), but neither side really played that well. Until the last few minutes. Suddenly the Chelsea forwards started toÂ play football, and ripped the opposition to shreds. Of course it had to be Fran Kirby that scored the winning goal – and you should have seen the celebration from our youngest – almost climbing the barriers while screaming and cheering.
After the final whistle blew, I was stunned by how much time the players took to meet and greet the crowd. We now have a sports bag signed by most of the Chelsea squad, and photos of our youngest grinning like an idiot in the company of some very famous faces (well – famous in our house).
Roll on the FA Cup Final. We have tickets.