Sunday saw Exeter make the trip to Oakland's park in a tie that was a mist win for Chichester if they wanted to keep the chance of winning the league in their own hands. Exeter themselves were mounting a late charge for the title after having several of their games postponed earlier in the season. The home side were looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season the previous season to Forest Green.
Chichester welcomed back several players into the squad hat were missing from the previous week and this began to show from the off as the home side dominated possession. Large parts of the first half were played in the Exeter half. When they were able to launch an attack Exeter looked to play the ball directly into one of their two strikers who were trying to use their strength and power to force their way through on goal. The reliable duo of Alexandre and McGlashan rose to this challenge and matched everything the two strikers were trying. After 7 minutes the deadlock was broken and rather inevitably the goal went to the home side. After some determined work in the box from Kirsty Willett the ball fell to Cheshire whose looping cross was met at the back post by the head of Hollie Wride. A reward for their early dominance.
Throughout the half Chichester continued to dominate with Lizzy Laws working well with Widdowson to orchestrate attacks for Chichester. On 30 minutes a lapse of concentration allowed Exeter a way back into the game. A throw from the right hand side resulted in a deep cross to the back post that was nodded back across goal to draw the visitors level. Shortly after this the away side took the lead when a close range free kick was floated over the wall and into the net. Despite their dominance throughout the half the green army found themselves going in at the break in a losing position.
Chichester knew that coming out after the break they would have to throw everything into this half if they wanted to keep their title hopes in their own hands. The half continued much as the first half ended with the home side pinning the visitors into their own half. As the half wore on Chichester created several chances but the finish was just lacking. The home sides dominance showed in the amount of corners they won with delivery after delivery being played into the box.
After all their pressure Chichester finally got their reward when a strike at goal was met by the hands of an Exeter defender. At first the referee waved play on but after consulting with his assistant awarded the spot kick. Wride kept her nerve and struck the ball into the left hand side of the goal to draw Chichester level and get her second goal of the game. The impetus was now well and truly with the home side, Exeter placed every player behind the ball to stop them from falling behind. This meant that when they cleared the ball McGlashan and Alexandre had time to launch another attack. The home side thought they had won it when the goalkeeper got her hands to a well struck Lucie Challen effort only for the ball to run underneath and towards the goal. Despite the adamant protests from the home players the referee and his assistant waved play on.
The game ended in a draw which means the Green army now must rely on other results if they are still to win the league. Sunday the 6th of April sees the ladies make the long journey to face Plymouth kick off 14.00.