Chichester City Ladies survived a real scare as Swindon almost completed a remarkable comeback only to concede late on to enable the green army to come away with the three points at Cinder Lane in an amazing FA WPL Premier South match that finished 7-4.
A young Swindon side had the first effort at goal as Sophie Barrett fired in a free-kick from long distance but Sadie Wilson-Blakely had it covered.
Chichester grew in confidence, Ellis Bloomfield looking excellent in midfield, working spaces and starting to boss the game.
Just after the quarter hour Chichester got their noses in front. Lauren Cheshire fired in a corner from the right and Charley Wilson-Blakely rose to head home near the back post.
With almost half an hour gone the green army doubled their lead with the excellent Holly Wride grabbing her first of the season after overcoming a knee injury. Again Cheshire was the provider with a low corner and Wride met it sweetly with a first-time effort, keeper Emily Baggueley well beaten.
Jess Lewry was unlucky not to score when a scorching effort produced a spectacular save from Baggueley on to the bar. Before long, Chichester had a third to celebrate. Wilson-Blakely found herself in acres of space and unleashed an unstoppable drive from 30 yards that flew in.
Khassal added a fourth. Put through on goal she made no mistake, one on one, and slid the ball effortlessly past Baggueley.
The Reds had the last word of an absorbing first half when Annie Martin, seemingly offside, poked in and referee Lisa Benn allowed the goal.
A few minutes after the break, Wilson-Blakely completed her hat-trick, finishing smoothly at the near post from a delightful cross from Khassal.
But with Chichester in full command, the swingometer turned towards the hosts as the green army wobbled to allow their hosts back into the game.
Mia Mugford attempted a shot on goal and the ball took a huge deflection and looped over the despairing dive of Wilson-Blakely.
Swindon piled forward and soon had another goal back when Wride saw an attempted clearance hit Mugford and ricochet back past the Chichester keeper and in.
Swindon’s tails were up and they were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty which the impressive Barrett slotted home to make it 5-4.
Thankfully, Chichester rediscovered their touch in the dying minutes to finally shrug off Swindon.
First 16-year-old sub Alex Collingham was put in on goal by the unselfish Khassal and showed great maturity to slide the ball under the keeper and in to send the travelling support into raptures.
In injury time Collingham returned the favour to Khassal and her team-mate did the rest with a quality finish.
This week Chichester make the trip to Lewes looking for revenge for last week’s defeat at Oaklands.
CCLFC: Sadie Wilson-Blakely, Charley Wilson-Blakely, Cherelle Khassal, Ellis Bloomfield, Tiffany Taylor, Emma Alexandre, Gemma Simmonds, Jade Widdows, Lauren Cheshire, Jess Lewry and Holly Wride. SUBS: Chloe Tucker, Alex Collingham, Rachel Bush and Poppy Shine.
* Chi’s development squad game versus Meridian was postponed. City’s under-13 Whites lost 8-1 away to Mile Oak Wanderers. The under-13 Greens won 4-0 at Shoreham and Adur. A great team performance was capped by goals by Lucy Spencer, Molly Stoddart, Evie Clark and Ellie Jefkins.
Portsmouth College 3 Chichester College 3
Chichester College’s female football academy kicked off their English Schools FA Under-18s College Trophy campaign with a nail-biting draw with Portsmouth College.
It was the team’s first competitive 11-a-side match – and they demonstrated their intent from the off.
Chichester keeper Poppy Shine was unable to reach the ball before Portsmouth pounced to make it 1-0 to the hosts. But Chichester were quick to reply as Babette Schutte ran on to a pass and slotted it past the keeper.
Portsmouth applied more pressure and a shot bounced off a Chichester defender’s head and over the keeper and in.
Chichester kicked off the second half with the wind in their favour, looking more relaxed.
This confidence paid off as the ball was passed down the left-hand side and on to striker Teri Foster for her to slot it neatly past the Portsmouth keeper for 2-2.
Chichester were playing high up the pitch and had multiple attempts on goal – but a Chi defender was caught out of position and Portsmouth capitalised with a long ball which was controlled and slotted past the goalie.
But Chichester refused to be beaten. Their chance came when a Portsmouth player played a weak pass and it was picked up by a Chichester midfielder.
It was played in behind the defence for Teri Foster to collect. Foster ran on and sent a shot into the top corner to make it 3-3.
It was an encouraging start to the academy’s season.
Chichester: Shine, Bundell, Walford, Field, Andrade-Paris, Wright, Thorns, White, Vaughan-Smith, Schutte, Foster, Robinson.