Chichester Ladies let one-goal lead slip in Loughborough loss

Jess Lewry (centre) opened the scoring in Chichester City Ladies' 3-1 home defeat against Loughborough Foxes. Picture courtesy of Hayley Newman.
Jess Lewry (centre) opened the scoring in Chichester City Ladies' 3-1 home defeat against Loughborough Foxes. Picture courtesy of Hayley Newman.

Loughborough Foxes came from a goal behind to win 3-1 against Chichester City on Sunday in the FA Women's National League Southern Premier.

Jess Lewry opened the scoring but the Foxes had the advantage at half-time as Rebecca Knight headed home a corner and Chloe Young scored from the penalty spot.

Chances came for both sides after the break but it was Laura Steele who put the game to bed, her 25-yard shot powering in off the post.

A few changes were made to starting line-up for Chi as Nadine Bazan, Jess Lewry, Helen Ogle and Kim Stenning started with Tammy Waine captaining the side.

There were a couple of half chances for both sides in the opening exchanges as they not only battled each other but the weather as well.

Attacking chances saw through balls carry through to both goalkeepers and the goals remained unchallenged.

Chi tried to work the ball through for the quick feet of Lewry but with the wind behind them, Amy Burle was able to gather the ball before the shot.

It was through Lewry that Chi found the opener as Bazan ran onto an Ogle pass dodging Eva Rogers's challenge to cross into the box.

Molly Clark got a head to the ball as it dropped for Lewry who shot at goal the ball going in although taking a deflection off of a Loughborough to go in.

Stenning and Lewry combined upfront to create an opening for Molly Clark but the midfielder's shot went straight to Burle.

The Foxes grew into the game and won a corner as Tiff Taylor blocked just inside the area.

Steele whipped the set piece to the back post which was met by Knight with a powerful header for the equaliser on 34 minutes.

Five minutes before the break and Loughborough took the lead when Rebecca McGrother was fouled in the box by Gemma Simmonds.

Young stepped up and sent Wilson the wrong way to make it 2-1 at half-time.

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Both teams continued to push in the second 45; McGrother watched in dismay as her shot was blocked by her own teammate while Molly Clark was keeping the Loughborough defence on their toes at the other end.

Chi's pass and movements looked threatening, however, the Loughborough backline remained firm and Burle remained untested.

Wilson made a great low save to deny the oncoming Rogers who had been released on the long ball.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the host who searched for an equaliser, substitute Sharna Capel-Watson had an instant impact setting up Lewry and Stenning but neither could get a shot, although the assistant referee's flag was raised.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Loughborough made it 3-1 through Steele with a lovely finish from 25-yards that struck the right side of the post and found the back of the net.

Rogers put in a good battle against Bazan with the defender getting the best of her each time despite the winger’s best efforts.

Chi needed to throw everything into the final 10 minutes including the kitchen sink and chances came.

Tash Stephens was denied by a defender while the rebound found Lewry whose effort was parried wide by Burle.

The clocked ticked down and after two minutes of injury-time, the game was over.

A third successive defeat for Chi who remain second in the league but with teams closing the gap.

Up next Chichester City will travel to Canvey Island where league strugglers C & K Basildon await.

Chi City Ladies: Wilson, Bazan, Ingram (Capel-Watson 67) Taylor, M Clark, Waine, Lewry, Ogle, Stenning (Tubby 71), L Clark (Stephens 59), Simmonds. Unused: Cheshire, Barron.