Chelsea’s Fran Kirby Wins The SSE Women’s FA Cup Player Of The Round Award.
Kirby’s last minute goal keeps Chelsea’s SSE Women’s FA Cup dream alive, earning them a place in the Wembley Final against London rivals Arsenal.
Fran Kirby was today announced as The SSE Women’s FA Cup Player of the Round following her game changing introduction off the bench that brought Chelsea back from the brink in their semi-final match against Manchester City on Sunday April 17th.
Holder’s Chelsea faced their toughest test of the competition so far as high flying Manchester City arrived at Wheatsheaf Park, determined to reach the Wembley showcase for the first time in the clubs history.
Yet thanks to Kirby’s late strike, it was Chelsea who went through to The Final. Setting up a mouth-watering tie all-London tie against fierce rivals Arsenal.
In front of a raucous crowd, the match came to life mid-way through the second half when City’s Jane Ross tapped home from close range. It was the spark Chelsea needed and manager Emma Hayes brought on England’s Fran Kirby, a change that instantly made the difference as Kirby’s darting runs caused panic in the City defence. Gilly Flaherty was then brought down on the edge of the box and Ji So Yun expertly tucked away the resulting free kick to draw Chelsea level and send the game into extra-time.
Despite both sides going close in extra time, the match seemed destined for penalties – until Kirby popped up with a dramatic late winner. Put through on goal, Kirby slalomed past two City defenders and smashed the ball past Karen Bardsley, sending Chelsea into their second consecutive SSE Women’s FA Cup Final with almost the last kick of the game.
Kirby who was ineligible to play for Chelsea in last year’s Final is delighted to have helped the side reach Wembley for the second year running and is hopeful they can retain the famous trophy against London rivals Arsenal on May 14th.
“It’s great to win the award, it was an amazing end to match. City are obviously a top side so to beat them and reach the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley is really special and I’m sure we are good enough to lift the trophy again”
The award is a brand new initiative for The SSE Women’s FA Cup, rewarding exceptional performances in each round of the competition and recognising the talent in the women’s game.
This year’s Final takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 14 May and thanks to The FA’s partnership with SSE, all children will be able to attend for free. Adult tickets are priced £15 and group bookings and charter standard discounts are also available.
Tickets for The Final are on sale now via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 0844 826 2010.
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