Chichester City Ladies 4 - 0 West Ham United Ladies
Chichester on song as second half blitz sinks the hammers
Chichester City ladies turned on the style, in the second half, to blitz the hammers of West Ham United Ladies and resign the visitors to Oaklands Park to a second defeat against the green army in succession after Chichester’s recent cup triumph.
The first half started at a pace with and Chichester got an early chance through the ever present Cherelle Khassal. Following good work from strike partner, Charley Wilson-Blakely, Khassall fired a shot goal ward but just wide of the mark on this occasion. West Ham looked organised and certainly seemed to have learnt some lessons from the other week and passed the ball confidently and found space down the flanks to start asking questions of the home team back line.
Both Molly Peters and Kelly Wheeler looked dangerous and with Chenise Austin also lurking the opportunities would surely come for the claret and blues but they were entirely wasteful in the final third, along with some quality defensive work from Emma Alexandre, returning to the starting line up following injury, and Tiffany Taylor. The half wore on and the pace slowed a little and chances were very scarce with both defences nullifying each other’s attacking threat and one began to wonder where and when a goal might come for either side. Indeed the home support was unusually subdued as Chichester struggled to break down a stubborn hammers side. Just before the end of the half Khassal bought the best out of the hammers keeper with a terrific shot that was brilliantly flicked over the bar with an outstretched hand.
After the interval things changed dramatically with Chichester getting their noses in front just three minutes in. Khassal pressure keeper, Cherie Rowlands into an error and in trying to clear her lines Rowlands smashed the ball into Khassal’s back and the Chichester striker quickly turned, snapped up the ball and easily rounded Rowlands at the bye line and slotted into the empty net to huge ovation from the home fans. The green army continued to press and quickly doubled their advantage through captain extraordinaire, Wilson-Blakely. On this occasion Wilson-Blakely gained a yard of space and hit a sensational effort that flew over Rowlands and nestled into the back of the net. Chichester were flying now and the hammers looked shell shocked at what had happened. Further chances came as the home team continued to sweep forward time and again but Rowlands had learned from her mistakes and made some excellent saves to keep the hammers in the tie.
Just on the hour Jade Widdows was introduced to the fray from the home side and made a quick impact with good pace and searching balls into the area. In the end the pressure told as the game entered its final quarter as Wilson-Blakely made it three with another wonder strike. Khassal made huge strides down the right and, despite initially losing the ball to a defensive challenge, got it back and flicked it into Wilson-Blakely’s path and the striker smashed home a delightful half volley to bulge the back of the net and extend the Chichester lead. Minutes later and the hammers defence opened up again and this time Widdows was on hand to hit a scorching drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to, effectively, end the game as a contest. West Ham battled gamely to the end but the renewed vigour of the home side had proved too hot to handle again and Chichester closed out the match and a well earned three points. Midweek the battle of the south coast awaits as Chichester visit local rivals Portsmouth before returning to Oaklands next Sunday for the visit of Lewes as the season continues to hot up.
Written by Alan Price