Devon despair for Chichester ...it’s level-pegging for the ladies

Patti Hyla on the ball for Chichester ladies against Horsham / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Patti Hyla on the ball for Chichester ladies against Horsham / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester were disappointed to suffer a 4-0 defeat when travelled to Exeter to face Isca in the Conference West.

Isca were sitting four points behind Chichester in the table but are a strong team, particularly with home advantage.

This Sunday Chichester host University of Bristol, a pivotal game for both teams. Chichester hope playing in front of their supporters on their preferred pitch will give them a good advantage.

Chichester started with confidence and controlled possession, distributing the ball well and creating a lot of chances, but it was clear Isca possessed a strong attacking threat.

The first half finished 0-0 with both teams squandering opportunities.

The second half saw Isca start strongest and Chichester were on the back foot. Isca were able to break through for a 1-0 lead.

Chichester responded with some well-worked attacks and 13 minutes later, Chichester captain Kieran Henn picked out a penetrating pass, eliminating two lines of Isca players to find Jack Lerwill, who shook off his marker and lifted the ball over the keeper for Jamie Whitehouse to volley in. It looked like a perfectly executed training-ground routine.

In the last ten minutes Chichester were on the back foot again and Isca converted a penalty corner after Chichester had defended a flurry of them.

With seven minutes left, Chichester pushed hard to get the equaliser, but this left them exposed and Isca were able to counter attack and net twice more.

The result left Chichester disappointed to not come away with at least a point.

This Sunday Chichester host University of Bristol, a pivotal game for both teams. Chichester hope playing in front of their supporters on their preferred pitch will give them a good advantage.

Chichester: Emmett H, Brook, Gibbons L., Henn, Orozco, Cox, Lerwill, Emmett L, Thakore, Sparshott, Gough, Pendle, Whitehouse, Baxter O, Baxter A.

Chichester Ladies 5 Horsham Ladies 2nds 5

Chichester faced their toughest match of the season in front of a big crowd at Kingsham. This was the match to fight for top spot in the premier division.

Chi started slowly – they were passing the ball around well but Horsham’s pressure proved too much and Chichester soon realised they had to wake up.

Three minutes in Cita Haines performed some magical skill and speed into the D to drive the ball to far post which narrowly missed as Lottie Greenlees made the dive to connect.

Horsham realised what Chichester could do in the middle of the park with some excellent 1-2s between Charlotte Cox and Patti Hyla, but despite Chichester’s best efforts they conceded a short corner.

Natalie Halliday shut down the first strike; however Horsham were lucky to sneak the ball past Goodger-Greenway from the second strike.

Chichester fought straight back and Sally Bradley and Mirriam Sparshott showed their determination as they passed the ball around and found Amy Chaplin on the left wing slot the ball into Verena Sambel in the D to make it 1-1.

The game continued in this manner and it was 2-2 at half-time.

In the second half, Demelza Peake and Meg Goring continued to shine in midfield and this allowed forwards Haines, Sambel, and Hyla, assisted by Cox, to slot two quick goals past the Horsham keeper to make it 4-2.

Fitness levels started to deteriorate and Horsham clawed it back to 5-4. Goodger-Greenway showed her athleticism in goal and Chichester pulled it back to 5-5 just before the final whistle.

Now it all comes down to the last game of the season at home to title rivals Brighton twos in a few weeks’ time.

Burgess Hill 2nds 2 Chichester Ladies 2s 2

A week after the fixture fell victim to sub-zero temperatures and snow, Chichester travelled to Hurstpierpoint College or an entertaining draw.

The match started with Chi looking like they had never played together, although they were missing some key players.

Burgess Hill were first to score, against the run of play. Chichester gained momentum and soon struck back through Maddie Wright.

Chi ended the half with slightly more possession but needed to improve in the second half.

Burgess Hill had a bit more control at the start of the second period but were not able to beat Claire Young in goal.

Chi put the opposition defence under pressure and with great persistence from the Chi forward line scored after a mêlée in the circle, Rachel Trent getting the final touch.

Chichester couldn’t wrap up the three points and Burgess Hill scored a late equaliser – a fair result for both teams.

Chi sit third in the table behind Southwick, who have a game in hand.

Chi Ladies: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Charlotte Stemp, Alex Hurd, Nat Spencer, Sarah Pack, Jess Gleeson, Rachel Trent, Maddie Wright, Jenna Greenway, Kayleigh Carter, Harriet Gray.

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