Winning return to action for Chichester ladies

AT LAST! A game for Chichester ladies’ second team - but only after both teams agreed to change to a 3G pitch to get the game played. and it was a winning return to action as they beat Haywards Heath seconds 3-0.

With the wind blowing and the rain pouring down, passes were going astray and it was proving difficult to play football.

It looked like Chichester were going to take the lead from a set-piece with several great deliveries from Jodie Greenway causing problems for the Haywards Heath defence, but they held out.

After 30 minutes Chichester started to get control of the ball and Amy Bailey was put through only for her shot to be superbly saved by the Heath keeper.

Sian Payne, after a great bit of skill on the edge of the box, broke into the area but her shot was saved, though it fell for Lauren Ellis to hit the back of the net for her 13th of the season. Bailey made it 2-0 just before half-time when she rounded the keeper.

The rain stopped and the wind died down for the second half.

Haywards Heath closed down Chichester’s midfielders well but a long-range effort into the hands of City stopper Naomi Parfoot was their only real attack.

A couple of substitutions, including the return of long-term absentee Remi Crawley, brought the game to life.

Jemma Cottam-Verbruggen and Greenway were finding their range. Crawley was put through by Greenway but her shot ended up in the keeper’s hands.

Greenway hit a shot from the corner of the box which the Heath keeper tipping around the post.

Bailey got her second - and 11th of the season - after being played through by Cottam-Verbruggen.

Crawley and Jess Harnett set up chances for a fourth while woman of the match Hannah Chalk at left-back defended well and passed and closed down well.

Another three points increase the ladies’ lead at the top of the league.

Their next game is at Hunston Community Club on February 9 - a league cup quarter-final against South Park from the league above.