Chichester’s footballing ladies are history-makers

Chichester lift the county cup  Picture by Terry Buckman/
Chichester lift the county cup Picture by Terry Buckman/

CHICHESTER Ladies are celebrating after making club history by winning the Sussex Cup with a 3-0 win over Brighton.

In foggy conditions at county FA HQ at Lancing, it looked like the game might be called off, but with the record number of fans - 381 - flooding through the gates and visibility on the pitch not bad, it got under way.

Chichester front two Kally Ambler and Lauren Cheshire closed down the Brighton defence, giving them no time on the ball.

An early free-kick was awarded to Chichester and Hollie Wride stepped up to find the net from outside the area, giving the so-called underdogs the lead.

Chichester continued to work hard in midfield with veteran Kirsty Willett was hounding Brighton. An injury meant Lizzie Laws replaced Jade Widdowson in midfield and she was fantastic, blocking long-range shots and winning the ball.

Left-back Lucie Challen had the biggest problem in the form of Brighton’s right winger but with help from Jenna Fowlie, the crosses were limited.

A free-kick from Georgina Starkey found the Brighton keeper’s hands.

A few Brighton corners were cleared and long-range efforts were collected by outstanding captain Hannah McNamara in goal.

McNamara tippd one long-distance shot over the bar.

For the start of the second half Chichester packed out the midfield and left one striker up top. Brighton had a lot of possession but Emma Alexandre and Taylor McGlashan were superb at the back.

Tiring Kally Ambler was replaced by Abbey Shrubb, a natural in the lone striker role. Brighton changed to three at the back but this only helped Shrubb on the counter attack.

Shrubb broke down the right, beat the Brighton centre-back and unleashed a world-class shot into the top corner. The keeper stood no chance.

The crowd were vocal and this helped the ladies work hard.

With 90 minutes on the clock, Shrubb won the ball, drove into the box, rounded the keeper and tapped the ball into the empty net to make it 3-0 and send the cup into Chichester’s hands.

It was a magnificent achievement by all involved on and off the pitch. The players, staff and volunteers at the club are very proud to be part of Green Army history. The club thanked supporters for their backing.

Chichester Ladies 4 Larkhall 0

Shrubb slotted the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to make it 1-0 before Ambler forced an own goal to make it two.

On 75 minutes, Hollie Wride sealed the tie and Fowlie added a fourth.

This Sunday the ladies travel to Forest Green Rovers.

Milford & Witley 1 Chichester Ladies Res 3

Goals from Sian Payne, Amber Beaven and Ellie Thorne earned the reserves another great win.,

With a weekend off this week, their next game is at home to Milford and Witley at Hunston Community Club on March 30 (2pm).