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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 September 2005, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Chelsea hammer Birmingham Ladies
Birmingham Ladies 2-4 Chelsea Ladies

Victory at Birmingham City lifted managerless Chelsea off the bottom of the Nationwide Premier League table.

A dreadful start to the newly-promoted club's debut in the top flight cost boss George Michaelas his job this week.

Blues had taken just one point from their opening six matches.

But in the national division's only game of the weekend, two late goals killed off the home side.

Caretaker manager Shaun Gore, Chelsea FC's director of football in the community, was understandably delighted to oversee the team's first victory.

"It's been a difficult week for the girls," said Gore, "but they bounced back with a performance which showed tremendous effort and commitment.

"I made a few changes to the team, which upset one or two people, but the response was terrific and hopefully this result can kick-start our season."

After being under the cosh in the early stages, Chelsea swept into a two-goal lead through midfielder Laura Cooper's 22nd-minute lob and a 43rd-minute header by Amy Found.

Laura Bassett pulled a goal back with a 10-yard shot just before half-time.

The home side then levelled through substitute Kirsty Robson's narrow-angled drive 21 minutes into the second-half.

But substitute Nina Downham restored Chelsea's lead with a close-range effort in the 75th minute.

And Emma Delves wrapped up victory with a cross which was fumbled across the line by goalkeeper Sue Wood four minutes from time.

Despite his team's long-awaited first success as a top-flight club, Gore will not be tempted to take on the manager's job on a permanent basis.

"We are advertising for a full-time manager," he confirmed, "and we've already had some exciting candidates.

"We'll be holding interviews next month and hope to have the new manager in place by November."

Birmingham's defeat left them bottom of the table, having played only three matches after their start to the season was delayed because of financial problems.

As well as losing most of their key players they also lost manager Marcus Bignot.

And new boss Michael Moore admitted: "Before a ball was kicked we knew it was going to be a difficult season.

"But there's no point in feeling sorry for yourself. We've just got to keep going and hope we can start to string some results together."

Birmingham Ladies: Wood, Wolliscroft, Archer, Lacey, Samuels, Bassett, Carney, Ballard, Igoe, Maggs, Whitfield.
Subs Not Used: Robson, Lowv, Jemma Butler, Weston, Dolphin.

Goals: Bassett 44, Robson 66.

Chelsea Ladies: Collie, Delfes, Stevens, Loizou, Regali, Delesalle, Edwards., Cooper, Cook, Ellen White, Found.
Subs Not Used: Downham, Lees, Perry, Langrish, Thornton.

Goals: Cooper 22, Found 43, Downham 74, Delfes 87.

Ref: A Gopsill (Birmingham).


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