Chi City Ladies suffer cup woe at hands of Coventry

Coventry United were 2-0 victors as Chichester bowed out of the FA Women's National League Cup.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 1:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 1:29 pm
Chi City Ladies in action against Coventry / Picture by Jasmine Evans
Chi City Ladies in action against Coventry / Picture by Jasmine Evans

It was a disappointing loss for Chichester City against their league rivals Coventry United.

Tash Merritt gave the visitors the lead before half-time as she headed in from a corner. The visitors doubled their advantage through Amber Hughes in the second half before Merritt was shown a second yellow card but Chi couldn’t find an opening.

There was just one change to the chi team that beat Plymouth Argyle as Sharna Capel-Watson made way for Laura Ingram while Jess Lewry returned to the first team.

Chi City Ladies in action against Coventry / Picture by Jasmine Evans

Coventry started strongly and Merritt blasted over from a Hughes free-kick while Ingram was called to head clear a dangerous Jade Brook cross in the opening exchanges.

The first shot came from the visitors but some pressurised defending by Tiffany Taylor saw the effort comfortably claimed by Lauren Dolbear.

Chi’s goal stayed under attack as a long-range effort by Coventry smashed the bar before bouncing off Dolbear for a corner. The keeper quickly made a fingertip save as Hughes went for a top corner finish on the edge of the box.

A Molly Clark corner was nearly put away by Tammy Waine but Chenise Austin headed off the line.

Just past the half-hour mark Dolbear was caught off her line but managed to get back on to her goal-line to parry the ball with Waine clearing.

Ingram got a foot out to block Shannon O’Brien’s low shot which went out for a corner – from which Coventry took the lead.

Hughes, with an inswinging corner, found the head of Merritt to nod the ball into the bottom of the goal.

See boss Aaron Smith's post-match intrview in the video above

Clark went close for Chi as the game headed towards half-time, smashing the crossbar, and Helen Ogle was unable to put in the rebound.

The visitors continued on the attack from the restart forcing Dolbear into a low save before Brook blasted over.

They went two up through Hughes a well-struck low shot that she drilled into the bottom corner.

Chi created half opportunities with Jade Widdows – a half-time substitution – linking well with Clark to find Ogle but she couldn’t shrug off the defender.

Marie Gauntlett, an ever-physical presence for Coventry, saw two shots sail wide before Merritt headed on to the bar.

United would have had a third but for the quick reactions of Dolbear at close range.

The visitors were reduced to ten players with 20 minutes left as goalscorer Merritt picked up two yellow cards in five minutes.

Despite the advantage the hosts couldn’t make it work for them.

Clark forced Susan Woods to tip the ball over her bar with a shot from 35 yards.

Time ticked down and Coventry held on for the win and progress to the quarter-finals.

Chichester City travel to Oakwood FC this Sunday (2pm) for the semi-final of the Sussex County Cup, where division one south-east side Crawley Wasps await.

Chi City Ladies: Dolbear, Cheshire, Waine, Taylor, Ingram, M Clark, Barron, Simmonds, Tubby (Widdows 46), Ogle (Stephens 70), Khassal (Lewry 70). Unused subs: Capel-Watson, Clark.