Chichester ladies secured their first win of the season as West Ham were beaten 4-1 in the FA WPL Cup thanks to a wonderful performance by manager Matt Wright’s charges.
Chichester welcomed Jade Widdows back to the fold for her first outing of the season and newcomer Chloe Tucker started on the bench for the home side.
City enjoyed a large portion of possession and on the quarter-hour the green and whites deservedly got their noses in front through the Jess Lewry. The ball fell kindly at the feet of Lewry who struck from 20 yards, leaving keeper Lottie Ivison rooted to the spot.
A few minutes later Lucie Challen was forced off with what looked a worrying knee injury. Tucker took her chance from the bench to slot alongside Tiffany Taylor and Laura Ingram in defence.
The Clarets were struggling to find any consistency to their play and City keeper Sadie Wilson-Blakely was a spectator as the half wore on.
But the West Ham keeper was being tested by the hosts who had several excellent chances to add to their lead. Charley Wilson-Blakely and Cherelle Khassal were the beneficiaries of some wayward play by the visitors but a combination of Ivison and the likes of Jasmine Auguste and Chenise Austin did their bit to keep Chichester out.
In the second half, the home fans saw some excellent finishing to seal the win and a safe passage to the next round.
On the hour, Tucker launched a free-kick into the danger area and Lewry pounced to flick a header over the advancing Ivison and into the net.
The Hammers woke up and forced a good save from the Chichester keeper, but their hopes were dealt a big blow when the impressive Charlotte Long was shown red for a second bookable offence.
They didn’t let their heads drop and with around four minutes left got themselves back into the tie when Chloe Burr raced through and produced an exquisite chip over Wilson-Blakely.
From the restart Chichester immediately went down the other end and Khassal smashed in a terrific shot from the edge of the box to restore the two-goal lead.
The best was left til last when, in injury time, Tucker launched another dangerous free-kick and it flew over Ivison’s head and into the far corner off the post.
Alex Collingham came on for a late debut and showed real signs of quality.
It emerged that the injury to Challen was not as serious as first thought and that should mean only a short spell on the sidelines.
Chichester resume league duties this week with the journey to face Cardiff City Ladies, who beat them last season in the league cup.
CCLFC: S Wilson-Blakely, Challen, Cheshire, Ingram, Taylor, Widdows, C Wilson-Blakely, Fowlie, Bloomfield, Lewry, Khassal. Subs: Simmonds, Tucker, Wride, Collingham, Shine.
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