DEPLETED Chichester City Ladies slipped to their first league defeat of the season in the midlands.
Forest Green are one of the teams Chichester know can cause them problems but they went into the game in good heart with manager Matt Wright calling upon reinforcements from the club’s reserve team.
Forest Green looked dangerous down the flanks but Chichester full-backs Symonds and Harnett were performing well.
The home side had lots of possession but didn’t force McNamara into any saves and the best chance of the half fell early to Chichester. Lucie Challen unleashed a fierce some shot which had the keeper beaten but smashed against the crossbar - and from the follow-up Holly Wride hit her shot over.
Fowlie was replaced by Ogden because of illness and Ogden injected pace and direct running down the right.
McGlashan and stand-in centre-back Widdowson played well to keep Green at bay while Chichester were restricted to efforts from long range, the best of these coming from full debutant Jodie Greenway.
In the second half Chichester’s wide players were seeing a lot more of the ball, which seemed to worry the home back-line. It meant the home side were being pinned in their own half.
Cheshire had two half-chances for Chichester but with two minutes to go, Forest Green managed to play in one of their strikers behind the Chichester defence.
She and a team-mate appeared to tangle with one another as the onrushing McNamara came to gather the ball. With the referee shouting play on, Chichester moved the ball forward only for the linesman to signal for a penalty. This infuriated the Chichester bench as the referee clearly had a better view - but the penalty was converted.
Chichester gave it their all in a vain search for an equaliser.
They look to bounce back when Exeter Ladies visit Oaklands Park this Sunday (2pm).
There was no game for City’s reserve team game this week but other results mean they need just one win from the remaining three games to win the title. They are at home this Sunday at Hunston Community Club (midday).