A second-half goal from Chloe Dowdell set Chichester on their way to a thrilling 2-0 Women’s Premier League div one SW win against Larkhall.
The green army went into the match as league leaders but with the likes of Southampton breathing down their necks there was no room for any complacency.
Manager Liam Greenfield shuffled the pack with Kerry Ryan returning to heart of defence alongside Emma Alexandre and Keavey Price settling in at right-back with Lauren Cheshire on the right of midfield.
New face Molly Clark made her debut in the heart of midfield and Jade Widdows and Shannon Albuery were up front.
Chichester could have been comfortably ahead after only five minutes with both Widdows and Albuery having excellent chances.
Albuery had only the keeper to beat, but tried to be unselfish rather than have a pop at goal and the defence cleared their lines.
Widdows burst through only to blast narrowly wide.
Larkhall steadily found their feet but struggled to break down a determined Greens defence and keeper Sally-Anne Thompson had little to do in the first half-hour. Lizzie Barrett went close with a header from a corner.
After the interval Chichester attained to up the tempo and push forward at every opportunity.
Chichester were caught offside and both sides had huge shouts for penalties but each was turned down by the referee.
With15 minutes left the deadlock was broken when Dowdell popped up to slide the ball home through a crowd of players amid a scramble when Larkhall failed to deal with a corner.
The match opened up with the Blues chasing an equaliser. Substitute Adele Cooper struck a testing free kick from just outside the area but Thompson saved brilliantly.
Four minutes into injury time, Chichester finally sealed the points when sub Kally Ambler was upended in the box and the penalty was given. Albuery stepped up to slot it in to confirm three points.
The Chichester management were delighted with the team performance in a very tough and testing game and now look forward to the eagerly-anticipated south-coast derby against Southampton Saints on Thursday evening.
Chichester remain two points clear at the top but Brislington ladies, who visit Oaklands this weekend, are second on goal difference.
CCLFC: Sally-Ann Thompson. Kerry Ryan, Emma Alexandre, Keavey Price, Lucie Challen, Lauren Cheshire, Shannon Albuery, Becky Barron, Molly Clark, Chloe Dowdell, Jade Widdows. SUBS: Kally Ambler, Sian Payne.
* Chi’s development squad lost 6-1 at home to Meridian Ladies, Steph Mills their scorer. City’s under-14s lost 6-2 away to Eastbourne while the under-12s won 10-0 away to Shoreham.
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