Ladies’ football: Symonds saves day for Chichester

Lauren Cheshire helped City save a point against Shanklin
Lauren Cheshire helped City save a point against Shanklin

Chichester City had to be content with a draw and their second team slipped to a defeat to QPR in the latest ladies’ football action.

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Chichester City Ladies 1 Shanklin Ladies 1

CHICHESTER couldn’t repeat their fine win at Gosport as they were forced to srttle for a draw against the islanders at Oaklands Park.

In an even first half most of the play was contained in the middle third with neither side creating clear-cut chances.

Chichester’s biggest threat looked to come from wide areas with Lauren Cheshire and Lucie Challen going through the gears. But when they played the ball into the middle, Greene found herself outnumbered.

The visitors were keen to put pressure on the home defence but the Chichester back-line remained calm.

Around the half-hour mark Shanklin began to tire and were unable to keep up their early pressing.

After the break the Green Army came out all guns blazing looking to take the lead early on.

Shanklin set up a lot deeper, looking for the long ball forward. and this meant Chichester were able to enjoy greater levels of possession and build attacks patiently.

Against the run of play, Shanklin took the lead when a long-range free-kick was punched clear by Piiroinen only for the ball to be hit back into the box over the heads of everyone and in the net.

Chichester, feeling hard done by, rallied and a succession of corners were well defended by the away side followed by a fantastic double save from their goalkeeper, first saving a Cheshire free-kick and then tipping the rebound out for a corner.

The goal City deserved finally came on 88 minutes when they won a free-kick wide on the right, Cheshire played the ball to Symonds on the edge of the area and she hit a looping strike over the goalkeeper’s head for her first-ever goal for Chichester. Cue wild celebration from the crowd and players alike.

Chichester pressed for a winner but time ran out and they had to settle for a draw after a second-half performance that deserved a win.

The Green Army visit Exeter on Sunday (2pm).

QPR Res 2 Chichester City Res 0

After their league cup defeat, Chichester were back in league action with another away trip, this time to QPR who had yet to play a league game this season.

Chichester, with a new backline, were communicating well and working hard with each other. Lauren Ellis, back up front, joined Kerri Grant in attack and they were doing well to create chances.

QPR took the lead on ten minutes when the full-back hit a great effort from the edge of the box after poor closing down.

Chichester were trying to get their passing game going but QPR had an extra player in central midfield,making it difficult for City’s new partnership Zoe Hughes-Jones and Jemma Cottam-Verbruggen.

A good break down QPR’s right was finished with a fine strike to make it 2-0 before half-time.

Chichester changed formation for the start of the second half giving them more control in midfield, and the passing began to take shape.

A good break from Amber Beaven and a nice pass back to Georgia Selby saw her shot fly just over the bar. Chichester were beginning to take hold of the game and Lauren Ellis hit a great effort that was saved.

The resulting corner was cleared and QPR broke but Hannah McNamara dealt with the one on one.

Beaven hit the post while QPR were limited to long-range efforts which were dealt with by McNamara or were wide.

Beaven rounded the keeper only for a defender to get back and clear off of the line. Another clearance off the line by QPR left Chichester wondering how they didn’t get something out of it.

If they continue to improve, it won’t be long before they start picking up league points.

The reserves host Spurs on Sunday (2pm) at Oaklands Park.