Chichester City Ladies' new-look squad started on the front foot in their FA WNL Cup tie at home to Cambridge City Ladies - but the visitors ended up 3-1 winners.
Manager Sadie Blakely had made changes from last week’s starting 11, handing a debut to Holly Muirhead.
Lucy Cook and Amy Martins were causing problems down the wings, but the final ball into the box was being cleared by the Cambridge defence.
A few long-range efforts went wide and the Cambridge keeper was in fine form collecting crosses in the air. Cambridge were struggling to get into the Chichester half as Sophie Phelps and Loulou Robson held firm.
Chichester had two shouts for penalties but the referee waved play on after Rhianne Parsons went to ground on two occasions.
A speculative cross into the box from Cambridge was spilt by Jamie Rowlands in the Cichester goal and the striker tapped home for 1-0.
Chichester’s heads dropped and Cambridge were boosted by the goal and made it two just before the break when the right winger found herself free and fired low into the corner.
Blakely made three changes at half-time, bringing on Rachel Jarvis, Nicky Lake and Tash Wild. Chichester also changed formation.
Wild had a great run into the box, beating the keeper but the ball just going wide of the post. Cambridge had a long range effort which bounced into the bottom corner off the post for 3-0.
Chichester carried on working hard and Nicky Lake had an impact in midfield as she was making tackles and getting stuck into the game. Her pass into Megan Fox led to Fox turning and shooting home from 25 yards, making it 3-1.
With ten minutes to go Chichester were piling on the pressure but Cambridge held firm. Chichester now move into the League Plate first round.
Chichester’s next game is a tough one, away and Yeovil on Sunday (Sep 1), before they return at home for a midweek game with Crawley Wasps next Wednesday (Sep 4, 7.45pm, Oaklands Park).