CHICHESTER reserves visit Bexhill tomorrow (Sunday, March 9) in the semi-final of the league cup after beating South Park 3-2 thanks to goals by Sian Payne, Jodie Greenway and Stacy Baker.
The matched was switched to a 3G pitch in Bognor and Chichester started as slight underdogs as South Park are from the premier division - the league above.
South Park started well but were not able to break through Chichester’s hard-working back four. Annie Richardson and Stacy Baker were communicating and covering well.
Jodie Greenway and Jemma Cottam were struggling to keep hold of the ball and South Park were winning plenty of corners.
Chichester started to play the ball around the back and switch play. Amber Beaven and Hannah Chalk were causing problems down the left, but the final ball just wouldn’t go right.
South Park took the lead with a fluke goal when a defender cleared the ball and Naomi Parfoot in the Chichester goal misjudged the wind and bounce, and the ball went over her head.
Chichester were out of sorts but Amy Bailey drove at the defence and her effort was saved by the foot of the South Park keeper.
With five minutes of the first half left, a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the area and Greenway stepped up to find the roof of the net for 1-1. This sparked Chichester into life and from the restart, Sian Payne won the ball and played a nice one-two with Lauren Ellis and found the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Chichester came out for the restart with the wind behind them and used it to their advantage, with Remi Crawley causing problems.
A free-kick was awarded on the edge of the centre circle and with manager Caz Henry-Evans shouting to centre back Stacy Baker to shoot, she obliged and used the wind to hit the net with a superb effort.
Chichester made substitutions after a couple of injuries and South Park were starting to play well. A South Park striker thought she was clean through on goal but the offside flag was raised - although she missed anyway.
In another attack, the striker was onside and slotted the ball neatly home past Parfoot to make it 3-2 with ten minutes to go.
Chichester became nervous but held out for the win.
The semi-final will be tough - they are another team from the league above.
Chichester Ladies’ first team’s game at Plymouth was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. They are due to host Swindon Town at Oaklands Park tomorrow (2pm).