Ladies’ FA Cup dreams dashed by Swindon

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Chichester City Ladies missed out at home to Swindon as they looked to advance to the second round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history, losing 4-1.

They started well with a new formation with Challen up top on her own. The back four were defending well and using a new counter-attacking system to good effect unleashing Fowlie and Wride down the flanks.

Challen put an effort wide and Fowlie shot straight at the keeper. McNamara kept it goalless with some outstanding saves.

The Lillywhites fell behind in the 34th minute through a deflected shot that looped over McNamara and in.

Swindon struck again on the stroke of half-time after a lapse in concentration, leaving the Reds centre-forward in plenty of space and making no mistake.

Chichester started the second half strongly and Challen was brought down in the box by the goalkeeper. Wride calmly converted the penalty to bring Chichester back in it.

Chichester put on Ambler and Hinshelwood to provide a more attacking threat. Hinshelwood, on her debut, linked with Wride down the right.

Chichester were throwing everything they had at Swindon with the keeper saving well from Madders and Ambler. But Chichester fell further behind.

Willett headed over and the Swindon keeper saved well a number of times.

Chichester conceded from a corner to make it 4-1 with 15 minutes left.

They didn’t give up and Ambler had a great chance late on but again the keeper got in the way - leaving Ambler on the floor with a nasty knee injury. Ambler hobbled off.

Chichester switch back to league action this Sunday with a home game against Ebbsfleet at Oaklands Park (2pm).

CITY: McNamara, Hughes-Jones (Hinshelwood 58), Paul, Starkey, Richardson, Madden, Willett, Widdowson, Fowlie (Ambler 58) (Alexandre 89), Challen, Wride.

Milford and Witley 1 Chichester City Res 2

Milford used their slope to their advantage in the first half and played a lot of long balls over the top.

A messy corner was cleared off the line by Ellie Thorne and this sparked Chichester into life.

Kerri Grant linked up well with Lucy Stanbridge in midfield.

Caz Reid put Grant through on goal and she lifted the ball over the keeper. It was going wide but was netted by Stanbridge.

Chichester made three changes at half-time as Jess Harnett, Lauren Ellis and Amber Beaven came on to cause problems for the Milford defence.

Chichester were creating chances only for the Milford keeper to keep them at bay.

Harnett released Ellis with a great through-ball and her effort found the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Women of the match were Harnett and Jemma Cottam-Verbruggen.

Milford pulled one back from a wonder free-kick. Captain Becky Steed had a chance from a corner but skied it over the bar.

Chichester had further chances to increase their goal difference but it ended 2-1, leaving Chichester unbeaten this season. They visit Seahaven on Sunday (2pm).

CITY: Bateman, Thorne, Thorpe, Steed©, Halford, Cottam-Verbruggen, Harnett L, Ogden, Stanbridge, Reid, Grant, Subs: Harnett J, Bailey, Beaven, Ellis.

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