Goals, cheers and tears! As fans return for Chelsea v West Ham, we realise what we’ve all been missing
Fans today returned to Kingsmeadow for the first time since the pandemic hit and it felt as though they had never left with chants and electric atmosphere being restored to the home of Chelsea Women.
The supporters helped the hosts to a 3-2 victory over West Ham which made the stands shake with applause, but even before the match began the fans were in full voice.
As soon as the Blues stepped out to warm up the stands erupted in applause, cheers and chants of 'Chelsea' and 'Blue Army' ringing out.
The crowd of 266 could have been mistaken for 2,000 as they made up for lost time in encouraging their players - particularly as their names were read out over the tannoy.
The fans were gracious to visiting West Ham as they applauded each of their players but it was clear where their loyalties lay as the Chelsea squad was announced. Pernille Harder, Beth England and captain Magdalena Eriksson got particular cheers from the fans in the stands.
When it came to kick off the noise was deafening.
For the first minutes the fans didn’t have much to cheer as West Ham’s defence clung to Chelsea’s forwards but then Sam Kerr broke the deadlock.
A wall of sound boomed from the stand and vibrated around the ground.
Hammers’ Rachel Daly’s equlaiser early in the second half silenced fans for a few moments with Hammers’ sub bench hitting the barriers and cheering to will their side on but it wasn’t long until they were drowned out by more songs from the Blues’ faithful.
And the fans were rewarded for their support.
Despite West Ham’s continued pressure, Kerr scored twice more to secure a hat-trick to the delight of every supporter in the ground.
However, she injured herself scoring the last goal and as the physios attended to her the crowd chanted her name before she was applauded from the pitch.
Even a late West Ham goal from Emily van Egmond couldn’t dampen spirits as Chelsea continued to dominate in the last ten minutes of the game.
A massive ripple of applause and cheers echoed around Kingsmeadow as the final whistle blew and Chelsea’s victory was confirmed.