After booking their place in the Sussex challenge cup final Chichester city ladies returned to league action against title hopefuls Swindon Town ladies. Chichester travelled with a strong squad and felt confident of a good performance going into their final five league games of the season which would see them face three of teams hopeful of winning the division.
The game started evenly with neither team dominating in terms of chances or possession. The scoring was opened when a long range effort wasn't gathered clearly by Piiroinen in the Chichester goal and the follow up was tapped in by the on rushing Swindon striker. Chichester responded immediately, upping their tempo and quality when in possession. The away side began to force several set pieces and it was one of these that lead to the equaliser. A free kick delivered into the box was cleared and fell to the edge of the area where Becky Barron unleashed a volley which caught the home team keeper off guard and flew into the net.
Chichester continued their dominance after the equaliser and should have been in the lead after chances for Ambler in open play and McGlashan and Alexandre from expertly delivered corners. Just when it looked like the teams would go in level a moment of extreme frustration came for Chichester when a throw in from the right right found Ambler behind the Swindon back line via flick on by the Swindon left back. With Ambler bearing in on goal the referee stopped the game to give Ambler offside, despite the ball through coming from a throw and the last touch coming from the Swindon player.
At half time the game was all square and Chichester knew the home side would come out all guns blazing in their pursuit of the championship.
As the whistle blew to begin the second half the weather worsened and heavy rain accompanied the strong wind. Swindon looked to gain a stronger foothold in the game and the match became a lot more even. Chichester, playing against the driving rain, looked dangerous on the counter attack as Swindon searched for the winner. After playing two direct aerial passes two Swindon strikers found themselves one on one with Piiroinen however she was more than a match for them, pulling off two great saves.
The weather was causing both teams to struggle, Chichester's best chance fell to Ambler as debutant Amy Found found her with an accurate pass wide on the left, she beat two defenders but shot just wide of the far post. The game became very even with most of it being played in midfield in the last twenty minutes.
The game ended 1-1, a good result for Chichester and a great performance in a game they could have won. The ladies are at home this Sunday against St. Nicholas ladies, themselves achieving a great result beating Exeter 4-2, kick off is at 14.00. Chichester then play in the Sussex challenge cup final against Brighton on Thursday the 12th at Culver road in Lancing.