Goals by Amy Found, Lauren Cheshire, Shannon Albuery and Chloe Dowdell carried Chichester to a comfortable 4-0 win at Cheltenham.
After beating league leaders Larkhall last time out, City knew nothing less than a win would keep up the pressure at the top of the table.
Chichester started well and on a hard and bobbly pitch, Chichester played most of the early stages in the home team’s half, looking to play balls in behind for their attackers to run on to.
A combination of overhit passes, alert goalkeeping and the hard pitch meant attackers were struggling to get on the end of anything.
The breakthrough came when a Cheltenham player was adjudged to have stopped a Lauren Cheshire cross with her hands. The referee pointed to the spot and Amy Found dispatched the penalty.
Cheltenham then had their best chance when a long ball was chased down by their lone striker and after some dogged running she got into the box, only for Sally-Anne Thompson to smother the ball.
In the second half Chichester immediately ramped up the pressure. Better movement by the frontline and more support from the rest of the team was causing problems as was the increased pressing in the final third.
The second goal came in slightly fortuitous fashion when Cheshire made a good run down the right before driving a low cross into the box. The ball evaded everyone and found its way into the far corner.
Chichester began to play with freedom, corners causing problems with balls ricocheting around in the box – but just lacking that killer touch.
The third and fourth came in quick succession for Shannon Aulbery and Chloe Dowdell, both applying good finishes inside the box.
This was a professional performance from Chichester to take the three points home and with Keynsham beating Swindon, it’s tight at the top.
Chichester have their final away game this Sunday at Shanklin before three home games to finish the season.
* The Chi development squad lost 4-0 away to Tottenham reserves.
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