Chichester City Ladies – unbeaten since late October – have recorded some outstanding results over the past three weeks.
The girls, sponsored by Chichester College, faced local rivals East Preston & Littlehampton, in a hotly-contested battle and the Lillywhites rode out 2-1 winners.
Then top-of-the-league Denham ladies came to Oaklands Park with Chichester knowing anything less than a win would leave them out of the title chase.
The home side outplayed the league leaders and had several goals disallowed for narrow offside decisions, but still finished 2-1 winners.
Last Sunday Chichester faced their toughest battle – against Brighton & Hove Albion ladies in the semi-final of the Sussex Cup. The Seagulls are two divisions above Chichester and arrived confident of victory.
It took Brighton 90 seconds to score their opener and it seemed the expected result would be a formality.
But Chichester dug in and held on for the next 40 minutes.
Then Amber Maher darted into the Brighton box and was taken out by the keeper and Abbey Shrubb stepped up and converted the penalty.
The second half saw Chichester relentlessly press the Seagulls. That effort paid off and Megan Thompson smashed the ball in the top corner.
With outstanding performances from the whole team, it looked as though Chichester had done enough to win. But hearts were broken as Brighton equalised in the 89th minute.
Extra-time followed and neither side could find a breakthrough. Chichester keeper Hannah McNamara turned cup hero as she saved six Brighton penalties and scored herself. Chichester finished 9-8 winners.
The final against Lewes is due to be played on March 17 at Lancing.
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