Gareth Taylor has called for calm, following Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League defeat to Chelsea.

City suffered a 3-1 reverse at Kingsmeadow – our second loss against the Champions this season after August’s Community Shield setback – courtesy of goals from Maren Mjelde, Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby.

Chloe Kelly had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with 18 minutes of time remaining to give the visitors hope but it was quickly dashed to end our winning streak.

Although early in the season, many view the result as a significant blow in the title race but Taylor reminded there’s a long way to go yet.

“I thought 3-1 was a little bit flattering for them,” he reflected. “There were some small margins out there.


“I felt we weren’t quite at our best. We had decent spells and played some good moments but we were a little slow to second balls.

“Their third goal was a killer. Before that, I thought it was really tight.

“We were looking at various types of ways of building up against them. I don’t think we got caught out by playing out – that was the way for us to play; that’s where we had success.

“I felt at times we got the balance right but we struggled a little bit to get quality in behind with forward runs and forward balls.

“Time will tell whether it’s decisive in the title race.

“This won’t define our season. It may have an effect in terms of points and the outcome but we still have lot of big games and important teams to play

“We’ve seen already a high level of competition and teams will take points off one another

“We need to keep positive and maintain focus. We’ll look at our performance and see where we can improve on the training pitch.”

There was more than a hint of controversy regarding Chelsea’s opener as the hosts were awarded a penalty for handball against Demi Stokes – only for replays to show the ball hit her hip.

To make matters worse, referee Rebecca Welch then cautioned Ellen White in error for the ‘handball’ before the home side broke the deadlock through Mjelde’s spot-kick.

Taylor was naturally disappointed with the events but refused to pin the defeat on the decision.

“I couldn’t see much,” he admitted. “I heard it’s a bit of a shocker but I’ve not had chance to see it

“It is what it is. Sometimes you get that.

“It’s frustrating for Ellen. Millie Bright was on a yellow and she doesn’t get a second one (for City’s penalty).

“At half-time, we allow the girls to have five minutes to get their frustrations out.

“We can’t rely on refereeing decisions – we have to focus on what we do. You can’t affect decisions but you can affect the performance in the second half, taking the game to them.

“We can affect the way we play. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

Highlighting positives, Taylor hailed the impacts of youngster Jess Park and substitute Rose Lavelle.

“Rose worked hard,” he added. “She gave her best.

“It’s not easy up there – all the play seemed to be going on the sides.

“I thought she may be able to provide a bit of a spark and she made things happen on occasion.


“All players have to be able to play in that attacking position when needed.

“I’ve been really pleased with Jess. We knew it would be a tough game for her – her first WSL start playing against a top team.

“I thought that she held her own. There are some areas to work on but she’s a bright prospect.

“She had good players around her and a good level of opposition.

“Chelsea have a strong back line and they usually won the first contact and second balls.

“We have to stick to the process and believe in what we do and eventually, we will get through and create opportunities.

“We can improve on that. We’ll stick at it.”