This Sunday finally saw Chichester city ladies in action for the first time this year, their last outing was on the 15th of December away to Newquay, as they played their much anticipated FA cup 2nd round tie away at Enfield at the fourth time of asking. The tie had originally been due to take place at Oaklands park on the 19th of January however the game had to be postponed twice due to the weather meaning the venue was reversed, with the Enfield pitch unplayable the following weekend it meant the game had to be played or it would again be reversed back to Chichester. Fortunately the ground staff at Enfield did a fantastic job throughout the week and a pitch inspection on Saturday afternoon confirmed the game would be on.
The game kicked off and it was evident Chichester had not played for almost six weeks as they struggled to find a rhythm early on. After a while the away side began to get into their stride and a good break down the right lead to a good challenge putting the ball behind for a corner, the resulting set piece was cleared by the home defence. Shortly after this Enfield won a free kick 35 yards from goal, the effort on target was easily caught by McNamara. Enfield continued to look dangerous when in possession and some good build up play from down the right lead to a long range effort that sailed over the bar. Although enjoying some early possession the home team were struggling to create any clear cut chances.
Sensing the danger from Enfield, Chichester knew they must start taking control of the game or risk falling behind. The midfield duo of Willett and Widdowson began running the middle of the park and were playing some excellent passes forward getting Chichester’s attacking players running at the home defence. A cross from Fowlie found Cheshire in the box however although her volley was hit cleanly the effort went wide. More great work from the Chichester wide areas allowed Kally Ambler to open the scoring a fantastic first time finish past the keeper, Chichester getting rewarded for their spell of dominance. The away side were now beginning to create further chances with the Enfield keeper making a fine save from Ambler and the rebound going narrowly over from Cheshire. It wasn’t long however before Cheshire did get herself on the scoresheet and what a way to do it. Another cross from Fowlie found her unmarked at the back post and she unleashed a stunning first time volley back across goal into the roof of the net.
Chichester went into the break two goals to the good knowing that they couldn’t take their foot of the gas as Enfield were bound to come out looking to regain the impetus in this tie.
The home side indeed did show renewed vigour in the opening stages of the second with their midfield seeing large amounts of the ball but with McGlashan and Alexandre in such fine form they were unable find their forwards in any sort of space. A mistake from the Enfield keeper allowed Chichester to grab their third goal of the game as a cross from the left was slipped through her hands leaving Ambler with the simplest of finishes into an empty net. It was an uncharacteristic error from the home goalkeeper and shortly after she made amends when she saved brilliantly to deny Cheshire a second from close range.
Enfield continued to create chances but they were restricted to mainly long range efforts due the organisation and work rate when Chichester were out of possession. The green army were now looking to put this tie to bed however some great work from the home keeper was keeping them at bay. Shrubb was put through one on one with a great ball from midfield only to he her effort tipped wide of the post for a corner. Shrubb herself took the corner and looked to have scored directly, although she may have to convince Kirtsy Willett who is adamant she got a fleeting head to the ball.
Chichester’s 5th came after a superb team move lead to Hollie Wride stroking the ball into the back of the net. The move was started by impressive debutant Jodie Greenway who played an inch perfect through ball to Shrubb who in turn squared the ball to Wride on the edge of the area, Wride then played a one two with Cheshire and applied the finish. Wride then completed the scoring shortly after with a beautifully curled shot from the edge of the area into the top corner of Enfield’s goal leaving the keeper rooted.
The tie finished 6-0 to Chichester, a fantastic result against opposition who play in the equavilant league in the south east to the green army. The win has set up a dream tie away to Durham WFC. Durham have been selected to be part of this season’s Super League competition. The game will be played on Sunday the 9th of February .