Chichester City Ladies get better of Billericay in League Cup
Midfield duo Hollie Wride and Molly Clark scored the goals that carried Chichester City into the third round FA Women's National League Cup with a 2-0 win away to Billericay.
The Green Army went ahead through a stunning Wride strike before Clark made sure of the win in the 89th minute.
High-flying Billericay had lost only once this season in all competitions and fielded Samantha Pittuck after her switch from Charlton Athletic.
There were a few changes to the City team as Sharna Capel-Watson and Wride returned to the squad while Jess Lewry made her first start this term following impressive performances for the development squad.
Also called up to the bench from the development side were Rebecca Bell, Amber Howden and Gemma White.
Both teams searched for an early lead and Sara Tubby had a great chance six minutes in from a long ball. Nikita Runnacles raced off her line to beat the striker, but Tubby nipped the ball past the goalkeeper but she got too much on it.
Chi got balls into the box through Lewry and Tash Stephens, but they couldn’t find their intended targets.
Zoe Rushen was causing problems for the visitors, the ex-Basilson captain dictating much of play.
Clark had a 25-yard half volley that lacked power before she was set up just inside the box by Lewry, her shot going straight to the keeper.
Tubby sent a header wide on the half-hour and then Chi had to deal with a spell of pressure in their own box.
Rushen seized on a loose ball from a corner but her shot was blocked by Laura Ingram before Capel-Watson challenged the midfielder.
On the stroke of half-time Tubby popped up with an effort across goal but could only watch it go narrowly wide.
The striker hit the side netting early in the second half and Wride smashed the corner of the woodwork from 30 yards out, before Lewry was caught offside from a great Lauren Cheshire ball.
This was followed by a great double save for Runnacles, parrying a Wride free-kick on to the post then punching clear as Chi quickly crossed back into the box.
Rushen had an effort smash on to the post before being beaten to the rebound by substitute Tiffany Taylor.
With 77 minutes Wride found the net, a stunning strike from the midfielder lofting the ball over the defence, across the face of the goal and into the net.
Chi continued to push, forcing Runnacles into another low block before she was beaten again in the 89th minute. Grabbing her sixth goal this term in seven appearances was Clark, who poked the ball under Runnacles from a great move by the skipper. Cheshire, driving out of defence, picked out the perfect ball for Clark to go one-on-one with the keeper and seal the win.
Substitute Bell was unlucky not to score as the game went into injury time and Dolbear punched clear a late Rushen free-kick to earn her fourth clean sheet.
Chi City: Dolbear, Cheshire, Ingram (Taylor 59’), Waine, Capel-Watson, Barron, Clark, Wride, Lewry, Stephens (Bell 79’), Tubby (Simmonds 59’).Unused subs: Howden, White.
* Chi City Ladies are away to QPR in the league this Sunday and then home to Cardiff City the following wee.