Football: City ladies are a wow in Wales
Chichester City Ladies made the long journey to Wales and avenged their cup defeat of last season to gain their first FA WPL premier south league victory of this campaign.
City welcomed back Kerrie Ryan and Emma Alexandre and the game started at a frenetic pace.
The hosts took a surprise lead after just five minutes. Having saved well from Jassie Vasconcelos, Sadie Wilson-Blakely could do nothing to prevent Cori Williams from slotting from a penalty after to a clumsy challenge in the area.
The visitors levelled two minutes later through Jess Lewry. A corner was swung in from the right and the home defence got in a momentary panic enabling Lewry to pounce on the loose ball and fire past keeper Estelle Randall.
Charley Wilson-Blakely and Cherelle Khassall were finding a lot of space near the hosts’ area but were thwarted by the Blues’ defence.
On the 20-minute mark a scything move from Chichester ended with Khassall through on goal but Randall denied her. But minutes later Wilson-Blakely swept a corner into the net after Lauren Cheshire provided the perfect inswinging delivery.
Chichester soon had a third when Khassall retained possession following a clearance and, cutting in from the right, slid the ball expertly into the path of Jenna Fowlie, who let fly with her right boot and the effort flew into the back of the net.
Things got even better for Chichester just after the half-hour when Chloe Tucker converted a free-kick from 40 yards. The effort flew into the box and a Cardiff defender got her head to it, only to see it fly over the outstretched hand of her keeper and into the back of the net for an unfortunate own goal.
Cardiff continued to battle and got themselves back into it in the last few minutes of the half as a shot from Caitlin Morris eluded the Chichester keeper and nestled into the bottom corner.
With almost the last kick of the half, Wilson-Blakely made it five for Chichester as she took full advantage of a back pass to dispossess Randall and slot into the empty net.
In the second half, Khassall got through one on one with Randall but the home keeper did superbly to deny her.
Cardiff began to build momentum and Vasconcelos looked dangerous every time she got the ball. But Cardiff’s final ball was often wasteful.
Ryan came off the bench to replace the tiring Ellis Bloomfield and LouLou Robson came on in the final quarter to add height to the midfield.
A cheer from the Chi support could be heard when Alexandre got her chance to make her return to action in the last five minutes.
Chichester comfortably saw out time to seal their first league win of the season and avenge the loss to Cardiff last season in the league cup.
West Ham make the return trip to Oaklands this week and Chichester will hope to take their newly-enhanced form into that game and look to make it back to back league wins to propel themselves up the table and further away from any relegation issues still at this early stage of the season.
CCLFC: S Wilson-Blakely, Simmonds, C Wilson-Blakely, Cheshire, Taylor, Tucker, Bloomfield, Khassall, Fowlie, Ingram, Lewry. Subs: Robson, Alexandre, Ryan.
* Chi ladies’ development squad drew 0-0 away to Herne Bay. The under-16s drew 3-3 away to Crawley Wasps thanks to two goals from Elisha Hounsome and one for Holly Heffron.
City’s under-13 Whites lost 1-0 at Shoreham and Adur in their first competitive game as a new team. The under-13 Greens won 20-0 against Uckfield Grasshoppers. Evie Clark scored five, Francesca Ansell-Virco four, Charlie Davey four, Ellen Middleton three, Ellie Jefkins two and one each for Molly Stoddart and Aimee Pollard.
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