Chichester City Ladies secured an emphatic 5-0 win at the expense of an Exeter City side rooted to the bottom of the table.
It keeps them as favourites for the division one south west title but Plymouth Ladies maintained their slim chances of catching City with a good win of their own.
It was a windy afternoon at Oaklands Park but the Green Army were soon enjoying plenty of possession and territory and it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken.
Lauren Cheshire provided a sumptuous ball over the top of the defence and Molly Clark dashed through to chip onrushing keeper Durva Vahia and find the back of the net.
Cherelle Khassal and Chloe Dowdell were a constant menace down the flanks for City and their pace had the red and whites on the back foot.
Their advances brought numerous chances with the woodwork coming to Exeter’s rescue before the hosts doubled their lead with 20 minutes gone.
Lucie Challen sent over a corner and Vahia spilled the ball into the net to give Chi a 2-0 lead.
Kally Ambler was playing with gusto, going into tackles with her usual vigour and seeing a number of good opportunities at goal go begging.
Her radar was in perfect working order in the first minute of the second half to give Chichester a third goal. Khassal darted free down the right and was upended, leaving the referee to point to the spot. Ambler tucked away the spot kick to end the game as a contest.
Exeter kept plugging away but Chichester grabbed two more quick goals.
First top scorer Charley Wilson-Blakely was in the right place to round off a stunning move with a thunderbolt volley.
Clark had put Cheshire through with a cheeky backheel and Cheshire’s low drive into the box was smashed home by Wilson-Blakely.
A minute later Clark grabbed her second. Becky Barron placed a teasing cross into the box and Clark’s strength was too much for Vahia who was powerless to prevent the ball nestling into the net.
This week City have a friendly away to QPR Ladies. They return to league action on April 9 with the biggest game of the season against title rivals Plymouth at Oaklands.
Chi ladies: Sadie Wilson-Blakely, Ryan, Ingram, Ambler, Barron, Clark, Cheshire, Dowdell, Khassal, Charley Wilson-Blakely, Challen. Subs: Kager, Lewry.
* City’s under-16 girls lost 4-3 at Ferring. Alex Collighan scored twice and Loulou Robson got the other. The Chi under-14s lost 5-1 at home to Eastbourne Borough but the under-12s won 4-2 at home to Withdean Youth. Charlie Davey, Izzy Walford and Charlotte Creak were on target while the other was an own goal.
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