Patient Chi City Ladies get better of QPR

Chi City Ladies in action against QPR / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Chi City Ladies in action against QPR / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Chichester City jumped up to seventh with a convincing 3-0 WPL southern division win over QPR at Oaklands Park.

The home started strongest but couldn’t find the opener until the 60th minute when a Laura Ingram header beat Lauren Dolbear after she saved a Natasha Stephens penalty.

Chichester grabbed two more through Jess Lewry and a stunning curling effort from 17-year-old Alex Collighan.

Gracie White and Ellis Bloomfield were given starting places while Jade Widdows also returning the starting XI.

City were on QPR’s toes from the off as they looked to get over recent defeats to Charlton and Coventry United.

Chloe Tucker and Widdows both had efforts in the opening exchanges but couldn’t get them on target.

With minutes left Collighan curled a stunning shot into the net for 3-0.

Lauren Cheshire nearly saw a corner headed in by Sophie Phelps but a quick-thinking QPR defender cleared off the line.

Attempts from Bloomfield and Laura Ingram were wide while Widdows was unlucky not to convert from two yards.

QPR did break into the Chichester half but their efforts were off target and only really troubled Sadie Blakely once, and she made a great block.

Collighan thought she had scored just before half-time but she was judged to have knocked the ball out of the hands off the keeper.

The Chi dominance continued into the second half.

Stephens had a chance to score her first goal for the club when she was brought down inside the box. The winger took the penalty but Dolbear went the right way to deny her.

A goal finally came for Chichester on the hour, defender Ingram powering home a Cheshire corner to the delight of the home crowd.

The hosts kept up the pressure and Lewry went one-on-one with the keeper but was denied a chance to take it round her for a second goal.

Lewry got her goal her efforts deserved in the 73rd minute, a loose ball falling to her on the edge of the area for a well-placed low shot that beat the defender and keeper on the line.

Chichester kept up the tempo and the best QPR could muster was a 35-yard effort easily collected by Blakely.

With minutes left Collighan curled a stunning shot into the net for 3-0.

This terrific victory for Chichester saw them move above West Ham United into seventh.

Up next it’s the last home game of the season, against C&K Basildon this Sunday.

Chi Ladies: Blakely, Phelps, Cheshire, Tucker, Bloomfield, Stephens, White (Barron), Lewry (Walford), Widdows (Fowlie), Collighan, Ingram. Unused subs: Robinson, Melton.

HAYLEY NEWMAN