We should have had a sixth a few minutes later after brilliant link-up play between two of our substitutes. James managed to fashion a yard of space down the right and she made full use of it by whipping in a teasing cross for England, who almost made an immediate impact off the bench, as she headed it over Hourihan and towards the far corner, only for a defender to clear it off the line.
Our No9 went close once more, this time firing a left-footed strike just off target, and Birmingham threatened for the first time in stoppage time when a header had to be cleared off the line by Bright. A consolation goal would have been harsh on a Chelsea defence who had previously prevented them from even having a sniff, as we brought up a sixth clean sheet on the bounce.
Now it’s a short break for internationals, before the big one at Wembley Stadium, as we take on Arsenal on Sunday 5 December with the Women’s FA Cup up for grabs. Tickets for that game are still available – click here to buy yours now!
Chelsea (3-4-1-2) Berger; Bright, Carter, Eriksson (c); Cuthbert, Leupolz, Spence, Reiten (Andersson 78); Fleming (James 67); Kerr, Kirby (England 78)
Unused subs Musovic, Ingle, Ji, Mjelde, Charles, Fox
Scorers Kirby 4, 75, Kerr 18, 29, 44
Booked Bright 84
Birmingham City (4-5-1) Hourihan; Scott, Louise Quinn, Sandvej (Lawley 62), Holloway; Smith, Pennock (Whelan 75), Robertson (Whipp h/t), Murray, Lucy Quinn; Ewens (Sarri 75)
Unused subs Ramsey, Simkin, Finn, Ryan-Doyle, Cowie
Booked Lawley 63
Referee Elizabeth Simms