Chichester Ladies’ reserves have had back-to-back promotions so they knew the South East Counties Women’s Premier Division was going to be tough but worth the fight.
They seemed nervous early on in their opener at home to Bexhill as they tried to win the ball back from an experienced team.
Bexhill were passing well and scored two good goals before half-time.
A change in personnel and positions boosted Chichester but a spillage from the Chichester keeper allowed Bexhill to make it 3-0 with 25 minutes to go.
Chichester fought hard but opportunities were few and far between until Kerri Grant, who worked extremely hard, pulled clear to slot home and give Chichester a fighting chance.
Grant then hit the bar with ten minutes to go and was unlucky not to be named woman of the match, which went to captain Becky Steed for some great tackles and interceptions.
Chichester showed signs they would do well in this new league and worked hard throughout. They visit London Corinthians this Sunday.
CITY RES: Adams, Wright, Cole, Steed, Pittounikos, Harnett, Selby, Smith, Cottam-Verbruggen, Ellis, Grant, Subs: Garner, Jarman, Sabin.
Chichester City ladies’ first team drew 2-2 with Denham in the London & South East Regional League.
Felpham Tigers 6 Southdown 1
The newly-formed Felpham Tigers started brightly against a determined Southdown side with Remi Crawley and Rachel Haddock prominent in midfield. It was no surprise when Felpham took the lead when a cross-shot from the lively Amy Bailey fooled the keeper and went in the top corner.
Crawley added a second with a neat header and with Emily Johnson’s speculative shot from the halfway line bouncing over the Southdown keeper, Felpham were in total control at 3-0.
Felpham faded towards end of first half and were punished when a defensive lapse saw Southdown pull one back.
This was the jolt Felpham needed and Bailey scored with a brilliant left-foot shot to restore the three-goal advantage.
Southdown pressed in the second half but found Ashleigh Merriman and Lily Martin resolute in defence and a superb breakaway from defence saw Abbie Flower release Bailey on the right to cross superbly for Natalie Spencer to finish.
Crawley added a sixth to ensure an excellent start to the season for this promising Tigers side.
FELPHAM: Wake, Merriman, Luff, E Johnson, C Johnson, Martin, Haddock, Crawley, Kitchen, Bailey, Makey. Subs: Spencer, Flower, Hancock.
Highdown Saints 2 Horsham Sparrows 0
A fantastic first match was played by the new girls of Highdown Saints in torrential rain against last year’s under-12 champs Horsham Sparrows.
Even though they played one girl down, at half-time it was 0-0 thanks to great defensive work by Ellie Kill, Billie Austin and Stacey Holmes with strong goalkeeping by Megan Fullard.
The second half brought strikes by Haydn Fosterjohn and Skye Austin to take the three points. Lucy Lago, Leanna Courtney, Tilly Poole and Emily Ferris also played.
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