Chichester City Ladies earned their first home win of the season when they beat Swindon 4-2 in the first round of the FA Women’s National League Plate.
There were four changes to the line-up from their loss against Portsmouth in the league on Wednesday with Eichhorst, Martins, Shine and Simmonds all in the starting 11.
A dominant performance from Chichester with plenty of chances on goal couldn’t stop Swindon opening the scoring just before half-time.
In the 60th minute, subs Cook and Staple brought energy to the team and a change of pace to the game. Cook caused trouble for Swindon’s defence and was a great addition to Chi’s attacking phases.
Within four minutes of the substitutions Chichester were level the game with Wild hitting a looping shot over Swindon’s keeper from the edge of the box.
Moments later, Simmonds gained possession and took advantage of the keeper being out of position to slot the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards to give Chi the lead for the first time.
The hosts maintained the majority of possession but a questionable decision from the officials two minutes before full-time gave Swindon a free-kick which they converted to take the game to extra-time.
In the extra 30 it became clear Chi’s fitness would be too much for Swindon. Sadie Blakeley’s side took a 3-2 lead with Staple calmly scoring in the top corner after great build-up play from Wild and Fox.
Fox’s corner led to another goal from Phelps to make it 4-2 and seal a place in round two.
This was an excellent all-round performance from Chichester and they will hope their first home win of the season is the springboard to a run of fine
Chi City Ladies: Shine, Burke, Phelps, Laczkovszki, Eichhorst, White, Bloomfield, Simmonds, Wild, Fox (c), Martins.
Chichester City Ladies 1 Portsmouth Women 4
FA WNL southern premier
A brave comeback from Chichester City and a wonderful goal from Megan Fox wasn’t enough to prevent Portsmouth from winning at Oaklands Park.
An attendance of 256 under the lights was the highest of the season for Chichester City Ladies for the keenly-anticipated derby.
Portsmouth dominated from the off putting a lot of pressure on Chichester’s defence with quick plays around midfield and constant attacks down the wings.
City started to apply pressure and gained a corner but were caught off-guard with a quick counter-attack by the Blues which resulted in their first goal.
Within seconds, Pompey secured their second from a 40-yard screamer by Becki Bath.
Chi bounced back by forcing Pompey into mistakes at the back.
There was a standout performance from Phelps, who dominated the Chichester defence and created openings from the back to set up chances for Chi.
The pressure finally paid off in the 30th minute with skipper Megan Fox scoring a worldie from 25 yards to bring Sadie Blakeley’s side back into the game.
Unfortunately Chi were unable to keep up the momentum in the second half as the Blues started to dominate.
Despite Chi’s efforts to stay in the game, they conceded a penalty which was slotted into the top corner by ex-Chichester player Jade Widdows.
The pressure continued as Portsmouth maintained the majority of possession for the next ten minutes and scored their fourth.
Substitute keeper Poppy Shine did well to keep Portsmouth from scoring any more.
Despite a 4-1 win for Portsmouth, there were a lot of positives for City to take away.
Chi City Ladies: Rowlands, Capel-Watson, Phelps, Laczkovszki, Burke, Cook, Bloomfield, Robson, White,Fox, Wild.