Chichester City Ladies continued a fine run of pre-season form with a 1-0 win away to Pompey - in a game that had a little more of an edge to their previous three.
Pompey created early chances, but Chichester were well-organised at the back. Chichester tried to play football and neat combinations between Starkey and Fowlie saw success down the right.
After a fantastic last-ditch tackle by McGlashan on Wilson, Pompey’s appeals for a penalty were rightly waved away by the referee. The final ten minutes of the half saw Chichester enjoy more of the possession in Pompey’s half.
Pompey continued to dominate possession in the second half but the brilliant McNamara was equal to everything.
With 20 minutes to go, Pompey were caught on their heels down the left and the ball broke to Abbey Shrubb, who rounded the last defender and coolly slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper with a great strike from 20 yards.
After that, outstanding defending thwarted any efforts Pormpey could muster.
In the last piece of action, the McNamara made the save of the game, tipping the ball on to the crossbar from a shot from ten yards out.
The 1-0 win was a fantastic way for Chichester to warm up for their first league fixture against Plymouth.
Manager Matt Wright said “We have had a very positive pre-season at Chichester, with some good results against some tough opposition.
“This was by far our hardest test but one we needed. It’s now important we carry this momentum forward into our league campaign.”
Chichester host Plymouth Ladies on Sunday, September 1 at Oaklands Park (3pm).
Chichester Ladies Res 1 Haywards Heath Res 1
After several teams pulled out of friendlies with Chichester, Haywards Heath stepped in.
A game of three 30-minute thirds was agreed to allow players to settle into roles and learn from each other.
Lucy Stanbridge was a constant threat down Chichester’s left in the first 30 and linked well with Hannah Chalk. A new partnership in centre midfield was formed between Natalie Clarke and Stacy Baker, who looked in control.
Captain Gemma Halford surged forward from the back and saw her shot well saved by the Haywards Heath keeper, but it fell to Lauren Ellis, who finished well to make it 1-0.
Heath’s game plan seemed to be to win a free-kick in the middle of the park and allow the keeper to hit the ball long into the box. This happened several times until one was successful to make it 1-1.
Remi Crawley and Kerri Grant started the second 30 up front together and were linking well, both getting shots away.
Amy Bailey and Amber Beaven caused problems down the wing but the second period was goalless.
The last 30 saw a few more changes, and fitness started to cause problems - but Chichester continued to dominate, forcing Haywards Heath to counter attack or play long balls.
Heath went close but Ellie Thorne cleared off the line into Callie Mackinnon’s grateful hands. Bailey might have clinched the game when she broke, cut inside and hit a great effort towards the right corner, only for the keeper to save and Ellis to miss the follow-up.
The reserves visit South Park next Sunday.