Chichester City came away from their away trip to in-form West Ham United empty handed following a 2-0 defeat at Rush Green in the FA Women's Premier League.
Amber Stobbs grabbed a brace to seal the points for the Hammers to leave the Green and White army to reflect on a battled performance albeit disappointing result.
After a delayed kick off, both sides started tentatively with neither finding an early breakthrough with this being City's first league game in 15 weeks.
Elli Zoepfl had the first chance for the hosts when she was picked out in the box with a great cross from Chenise Austin but the headed effort breezed over the crossbar.
Natasha Stephens was the sole striker for City and was trying to find the gaps in a strong West Ham backline with Alex Collighan and Ellis Bloomfield in support.
The very quick Rosie Kmita burst through into the area and drew a superb save from Sadie Blakely with Zoepfl hitting the bar on the rebound.
Former City midfielder Molly Clark was making her home debut for United but looked somewhat subdued as she was kepted at bay.
On the half hour mark the West Ham domination finally paid dividends with the captain, Stobbs, breaking the deadlock.
West Ham made a quick break with Kelly Wealthall and Kmita linking up well to set up Stobbs who smashed the ball into roof of the net from outside the box.
City manager Matt Wright, changed things up at half time bringing on Sophie Phelps into the back line to allow Lauren Cheshire to move up front to partner Stephens. and
The extra pace up top started to cause real concern for the United defence.
Chichester then forced a succession of corners and were unlucky not to find a goal back into the game.
West Ham were still dangerous on the break and could have added to their lead had it not been for some resilient defending from Tiffany Taylor and Emma Alexandre.
Stephens thought she had levelled the tie late on.
Bloomfield poked a ball back into the box to her unmarked teammate who found the net only to be ruled out by the offside flag.
Chichester put an all or nothing approach into the final exchanges of the game and got caught out again as West Ham doubled their lead to seal the victory.
In injury-time Stobbs was in the right place at the right time to squeeze an effort in off the far post from a tight angle to seal the points for the hammers.
Chichester returned to the south coast empty handed with two home games coming up for the side with the first against the league strugglers Swindon Town on Sunday, March 18th.
- Written by Alan Price
Updated 18:40 - 14 Mar 2018 by Hayley Newman