Matildas Abroad: FA WSL Round 8 Talking Points

The return of the FA WSL saw our Westfield Matildas return to their clubs and continue to play their parts. 

Here are three talking points from Round 8. 

Generations of Australians - MAT - Banner

Kerrby strikes again

Chelsea has turned Kingsmeadow into a fortress, recording a 3-2 win over West Ham.  

Sam Kerr scored her first hat trick for the Blues, helping them set an FA WSL record of 12 straight home wins.

Emma Hayes’ attacking intent was clear with Kerr starting alongside Beth England and Pernille Harder, with Fran Kirby also in the mix.

Chelsea found plenty of joy down the right hand flank and the combination play between Harder, Kirby, and Kerr bore fruit for all three of their goals. A low ball in across the area was met by the Westfield Matildas captain following a smart run to open the scoring.

Her Australian team mate Mackenzie Arnold pulled off some first class saves to keep West Ham in the contest and Rachel Daly was able to bring things back to parity early in the second half.

Once again it was a ball in from the right, this time from Harder, that was parried away by Arnold but Kerr was at the far post and reacted quickest, tapping it in to make it 2-1.

Her hat trick was capped off with another finish in the six yard box but it was soured slightly by her immediate substitution following a collision with a West Ham defender.

A late own goal from Magdalena Eriksson, thanks to pressure from another Westfield Matilda in Emily van Egmond, set up a grandstand finish, but Chelsea held firm.

The Blues’ incredible squad depth will be required as they head into the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 later this week.

Arsenal finally have their full complement of Aussies

The Gunners returned from the international break and recorded a 3-0 win over Birmingham. 

Caitlin Foord retained her spot in the starting XI and was joined by Lydia Williams who made her starting debut in the league.

By the end of the match, Arsenal would have their full complement of Aussies out on the pitch with Steph Catley being subbed on for Katie McCabe, signalling her return from injury.

Each of the Westfield Matildas played their roles in a solid win for Joe Montemurro’s team.

Foord opened the scoring for the Gunners, heading the ball home while sandwiched between two Birmingham defenders. It was her seventh goal for Arsenal in all competitions. A stunning Jill Roord shot and a Kim Little penalty completed the win.

Montemurro was full of praise for his Aussie charges, describing Foord as an impact player.

She’s forceful with the ball, she’s forceful running in behind and she’s forceful when she has to protect the ball. She’s a different type of attacker and wide player to some of the others we have. We’re very lucky to have her and she’s a great player and Caitlin is showing why we brought her over."

Tottenham finally get the win 

Tottenham recorded their maiden win of the FA WSL season, defeating Brighton 3-1. Alanna Kennedy’s side were under new coach Rehanne Skinner for the first time and were able to come away with their first three point haul.

An early Kerys Harrop free kick got Spurs off to a strong start. Kennedy could have had her own dead ball goal but the shot sailed just over the bar.

Alanna Kennedy v Brighton
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Inessa Kaagman equalised for Brighton from the spot before Angela Addison restored Tottenham’s lead.

Alex Morgan secured the win with a penalty – her first goal for her new club. The victory means Bristol City remain the only side not to have won a match so far this season.