A frosty afternoon in East Sussex saw Chichester City run out as 6-0 winners over Bexhill United of the South East Counties league.
Tash Stephens and Gemma White opened the scoring in the first-half as both got their first goals this season.
Chi kicked into gear as more goals came from Laura Ingram, Gemma Simmonds and Becca Bell who netted their first goals this term while Helen Ogle rounded up the scoring.
Following the disappointment of the SSE Women’s FA Cup exit, Chi went straight into the quarter-final match against Bexhill in the Sussex County Challenge Cup.
There were nine changes made to the starting line-up only Lauren Dolbear and Lauren Cheshire where selected from the Crawley Wasps game.
Aaron Smith brought up four players from the Development Squad; Amber Howden (debut) and Gemma White were rewarded with starts while Jess Burke and the returning Gracie White were on the bench.
Chi started strong and the difference in levels did show although Bexhill came at the National League side early on.
The home side looked a little brighter in the opening couple of minutes but couldn’t test Dolbear in that time as Chi soon settled on the ball and the artificial surface.
Returning from injury Ogle was lively on the ball, picking out the crosses and linked up well with fellow attacker Stephens as they carved out an opportunity for Sara Tubby on the volley but it was well held by the goalkeeper.
The deadlock was broken through Stephens a lovely strike dipping under the bar as the turned on the edge of the box, Simmonds with the assist from midfield setting up the winger.
A couple of minutes later and Chi had a great chance to double the lead when Stephens – threatening again – was fouled in the area.
Up stepped Ogle to take. She went was placement more than power and her effort grazed the right post.
Chi dominated play with quick one-touch football kept them in the Bexhill half for much of the game but had few shots at goal, the young Gemma White dragged a shot wide as the visitors looked to extend their lead.
The chances did start to come, Stephens’ had a low shot saved by the keeper and Ogle could turn her header from a corner towards goal.
With over 30 minutes played a second goal loomed and came for 16-year-old Gemma White.
From a Bexhill goal-kick, Barron challenged for the ball which set up White to put her foot straight through the ball and into the roof of the next some 30-yards out.
The good football didn’t stop and the shots kept coming; Simmonds’ was denied low down by the keeper while debutant Howden drove out from defence to shoot at goal.
Into the second-half and Chi didn’t step off the gas as Cherelle Khassal raced through within the first minute looking for goal but the keeper's hand met her lobbed shot.
With Becca Bell and Khassal on the pitch, the visitors looked to use their pace to attack Bexhill.
Cheshire and Bell worked the defence hard before the later lofted a ball into the box where Stephens waited to head in but her effort went wide.
Khassal had few chances at goal which were all well dealt with by the keeper and Bexhill made two goal-line clearances before they cleared.
Over 20 minutes into the second-half the hosts kept the score at 2-0 before the Chi pressure found it’s mark.
Simmonds delivered a perfect corner ball for Ingram who lost her defender to powerfully head in the third goal.
It was plain sailing from there, with a fourth going to Ogle.
Khassal controlled before passing to Tubby who flicked the ball over for Ogle to slot home despite the pressure from the defender.
Three minutes and Simmonds when from assisting to scoring as Tubby played back for the midfielder to fire home her first goal of the season, 20-yards out.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Bell made it six.
Lauren Clark’s powerful shot across goal from just inside the box was excellently parried by the keeper which fell directly inline for Bell to rush through for an easy tap-in.
Full-time and a convincing, comfortable win for Chi puts them into the semi-final of the Sussex County Cup.
It sets up a rematch of the FA Cup defeat as they will head back to Crawley Wasps on January 20th.
Next up for Chi, after the Christmas break, is the rearranged League Cup match at home to Coventry United on Sunday, January 13th.
Starting XI: Lauren Dolbear, Lauren Cheshire (c), Amber Howden, Gemma White, Sharna Capel-Watson, Laura Ingram, Tash Stephens, Rebecca Barron, Gemma Simmonds, Sara Tubby, Helen Ogle.
Bench: Lauren Clark, Cherelle Khassal, Jess Burke, Gracie White, Becca Bell.
Updated 09:18 - 18 Dec 2018 by Hayley Newman