That was Kirby’s last meaningful action, as she and Eriksson earned a well-deserved rest when they were replaced by Reiten and Drew Spence for the final stages of a comfortable victory for the Blues. There was still time for one final flourish, though, as Harder completed her maiden hat-trick for the club with a wonderful finish. Blundell’s pass allowed her to cut in from the left-hand side and fire a low shot past the despairing dive of Arnold, completing a wonderful performance from our No23.
We could have had another deep into stoppage time, had Reiten’s stunning free-kick been a few inches lower, as it rattled the crossbar and flew away to safety. Still, it had been some night for the Blues in our 20th outing of the season, of which we have now won 17. Six goals, none conceded and a place in a cup final – not a bad evening’s work.
Our next game takes place on Sunday, as we play the third of four home matches on the spin with a WSL fixture against Brighton. Kick-off is at 2pm and you can see all the action live on the 5th Stand app (geo-restrictions may apply).
Chelsea (4-3-3) Berger; Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson (c) (Spence 77), Andersson (Blundell 62); Leupolz (Cuthbert 62), Ingle, Ji (Fleming 62); Kirby (Reiten 77), England, Harder
Unused subs Telford, Carter, Kerr
Scorers Harder 4, 25, 86, Ingle 15, England 27, Kirby 70
West Ham (5-4-1) Arnold; Redisch, Fisk, Flaherty (c), Vetterlein, Pacheco (Barker 87); Joel, Longhurst, Van Egmond, Svitkova (Thomas 73); Leon
Unused subs Brosnan, Cissoko, Dali, Nor
Booked Longhurst 90+2
Referee Stacey Pearson