Bluebirds sing last song after City ladies’ comeback

Action from Chi ladies' draw with Cardiff at Oaklands Park
Action from Chi ladies' draw with Cardiff at Oaklands Park

A late goal from Kelly Isaacs enabled Cardiff City Ladies to come away from Oaklands Park with a share of the spoils after Hollie Wride bagged a double for Chichester City Ladies in a 3-3 draw in FA WPL Premier South.

Early goals from Hannah Mills and Cori Williams gave the Welsh side the advantage, but Jess Lewry pulled a quick goal back with a neat low finish.

First-half substitute Wride found an equaliser from a free-kick before putting Chichester ahead from the spot, but Isaacs’ goal saw Cardiff claim a point.

On a cold afternoon, Cardiff enjoyed a strong period of possession and took advantage of it to take a ninth-minute lead.

The dangerous Williams swung in a free-kick from the right and the home defence got in a pickle, allowing the poaching Mills to steal in and poke the ball in.

Chichester began to find more of the ball but gave it away cheaply and had a mountain to climb when, on the 20-minute mark, Cardiff doubled their advantage.

The pressure did tell when Cherelle Khassall was shoved aside in the box and a penalty was given by referee Chris White.

Again the defence were at sixes and sevens with Williams on hand to find the finish at the back post despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to the ball.

Chichester woke up and within a minute were back in it. Lewry powered through on goal and made no mistake in beating keeper Estelle Randall.

Lewry thought she had brought Chichester level with a close-range strike only for an offside flag to curtail any celebrations.

Wride had come off the bench to replace Chloe Tucker and her introduction, though forced through injury, proved positive.

Randall was penalised for a handball outside the box and Wride punished it with a thumping free-kick that took a slight deflection en route to the bottom corner.

The relief around the park was palpable and in the second half, Chichester were dominating with lots of possession and territory – but needing something extra in the final third.

The pressure did tell when Cherelle Khassall was shoved aside in the box and a penalty was given by referee Chris White. Wride stepped up and wrongfooted Randall to put Chichester in front for the first time.

Cardiff regrouped and with the hosts throwing caution to the wind, they were caught out on the break with a quarter of the game left.

This time Isaacs rounded off a superb move to draw the visitors level.

Chichester brought on Alex Collighan and Gemma Simmonds as they went in search of a winner and Lewry had a golden chance in injury time but Randall was on hand to deny her.

This was another positive performance for Chichester to take into this week’s trip to Gillingham in the league, which is followed by a home tie in the Women’s FA Cup against C&K Basildon.

CCLFC: S Wilson-Blakely, Cheshire, Ingram, Alexandre, Taylor, Tucker, Khassall, Barron, Widdows, Fowlie, Lewry. Subs: Wride, Collighan, Simmonds, White, Shine.

ALAN PRICE

* It was a great morning for the under-13s with both teams recording victories

The U13 Greens faced league leaders Mile Oak Wanderers, whose early goal didn’t stop the Greens. They battled hard and put in a brilliant team performance which saw an equaliser in the second half through Evie Clark.

With the final kick the Greens found a winner with the ball coming off of a Wanderers player.

City’s U13 Whites recorded their first ever win in great fashion as Uckfield Grasshoppers were beaten 3-0.

Sam Dongo, Lottie Creak and Flo Yearsley bagged a goal each.

Chichester U11s scored their first goals in a great team performance. Beatrise Zuka scored four times.