Durham defeat ends Chichester ladies’ FA Cup dream

Emma Alexandre (yellow) dueing a fine display at Durham  Picture by Zoe Vicarage / Durham WFC
Emma Alexandre (yellow) dueing a fine display at Durham Picture by Zoe Vicarage / Durham WFC

Durham 4 Chichester City Ladies 0

Women’s FA Cup

Chichester City Ladies’ FA Cup dream is over after a 4-0 defeat away to Durham.

City entered unchartered territory when they made the long trip to play Durham WFC in the third round of the Cup - but sadly it was where their adventure ended.

Chichester had never previously competed at this stage of the competition and they made the trip north the day before the game.

Durham have been selected to play in this summer’s Women’s Super League and this was their first competitive fixture since being rebranded for it.

A strong wind meant both teams struggled when playing against it - which Chichester were in the first half.

They gave a great account of themselves early on, matching anything Durham could engineer and looking to counter-attack.

It was hard to get the ball to stick in advanced areas because of the wind.

Durham looked dangerous from corners but fantastic organisation from the away side thwarted any attempts.

Chichester fell behind late in the first half when a mix-up between McNamara in goal and Lucie Challen led to an own goal.

A free-kick was awarded to City and Challen played it back to McNamara, but the wind took the ball past her and she could not stop the ball rolling in.

Without causing any more problems to the Chichester goal, the home side went further in front.

Durham were being restricted to efforts from long range and when one deflected off the impressive McGlashan, McNamara was unable to stop the ball going past her into the bottom corner.

Chichester found themselves two behind at the break in very unfortunate circumstances but with 45 minutes to play with the wind behind them, they felt it was not over.

The green army came out for the second half with renewed vigour and began to put pressure on the Durham defence.

Again the wind was playing its part and the home side were struggling to keep the ball in the attacking half.

After creating chances that the Durham keeper was a match for, Chichester won a free-kick 20 yards out.

Widdowson took it and sent the bvall powerfully crashing into the crossbar. After a scramble in the box, the ball was collected by the goalkeeper.

Shrubb, wide on the left, unleashed a thunderbolt of a volley goalwards. The ball slammed of the underside of the bar and flew to safety.

Chichester continued to search for goals to get them back in the tie. As the game wore on, Durham began to see more of the ball.

It wasn’t until the 80th minute that City’s hopes of progressing ended, when a typically-soft free-kick was awarded to Durham and the ball was struck into the roof of the goal.

Shortly after that, Durham got their fourth when the ball was headed back into the area by a Chichester defender, leaving a Durham player with the easiest of finishes from ten yards.

This was great test for Chichester against a side who will compete at the elite level of the sport this summer. City conducted themselves well and displayed the type of football that sees them competing for the league title and Sussex Cup.

Chichester are next in action on Sunday against Hassocks in the county cup. Kick-off is at 2pm at The Arena, Bognor.