Ladies lose to Southampton and Swindon

Chichester City ladies
Chichester City ladies

Chichester City Ladies endured a torrid week, suffering two defeats in the league in four days.

They were hit by injuries to key players and unfortunate refereeing decisions going against them.

Southampton Saints visited Oaklands Park last Thursday night and the game started at an extremely high tempo.

Chichester looked the more dangerous and were rewarded when a jinking run from Kally Ambler saw her blast a shot into the roof of the net.

City were forced to reshuffle when captain Jade Widdowson was forced off through injury. Southampton sensed this was their opportunity and flooded forward in numbers, equalising through a fierce Becki Bath strike. The visitors took the lead shortly before the break.

In the second half further injuries to Lauren Cheshire and Ambler forced Chichester to play several players out of position and play the final 20 minutes with ten players.

Southampton got their third to seal the game when a tired defence allowed their left winger to cut in and strike low into the corner.

Sunday brought in-form Swindon to Oaklands Park. The home side’s preparations were disrupted before the game when, after giving consent to one of the home side’s players with a cast on her arm, the referee changed his mind.

This meant a change in the starting line-up for Chichester and only two substitutes.

Swindon immediately looked dangerous but Chichester posed a threat on the break.

It was Swindon who took the lead through a volley from the edge of the area. They increased the lead from a free-kick given for a dubious handball.

Chichester thought they had clawed one back when Cheshire sent a free-kick into the top corner but the referee disallowed it for offside, to the bemusement of the players.

After the break, the introduction of Naomi Greene gave Ambler support up front but Ambler was sent off after becoming increasingly frustrated with refereeing decisions.

The Green Army held their own until the dying minutes, when Swindon got their third.

Chichester look to bounce back when they visit Gosport Borough ladies on Sunday (2pm).

Bedford Ladies Res 2 Chichester City Ladies Dev 0

City’s newly-named development squad began their campaign in a new league with a loss.

Lauren Ellis, the new captain, has switched from attack to defence and formed a new partnership with Dani Paul.

Zoe Hughes-Jones worked the ball well down Chichester’s right, linking with Georgia Selby, and delivered a great ball into the box but the volley from Kerri Grant fell into the keeper’s hands.

Amber Beaven did well down the left and cut the ball back for Jemme Cottam-Verbruggen to have a long-range effort that was just off target.

Bedford led when Chloe Luff got muscled off the ball and the left winger’s shot rebounded to the striker to slot home.

Nea Piiroinen produced some outstanding saves to keep Bedford at bay.

It looked like Chichester might have an equaliser as Hughes-Jones’ shot was well blocked by the keeper. A corner by Grant was cleared off the line to deny newcomer Ellie Howes.

After half-time Chichester started to find a passing rhythm only to be caught out at the back to make it 2-0.

Amy Bailey forced a good save from the Bedford keeper.

There were lots of positives to take away from the game and be worked on at training. The development squad visit Charlton in the League Cup on Sunday.