Chichester City Ladies beaten by Cardiff despite brave fightback

Rhiannon Stewart impresses in goal for Chi Ladies / Picture by Sheena Booker
Rhiannon Stewart impresses in goal for Chi Ladies / Picture by Sheena Booker

An energetic second half performance from Chi City Ladies wasn’t enough to spark a comeback from Cardiff’s two-goal lead in a Women's National League southern premier game at Oaklands Park..

It was another sunny day at the park as Chichester hosted Cardiff for their fifth game of the league season, playing a new three-at-the-back formation with their young line-up.

The hosts invited a lot of pressure on themselves in the first half as Cardiff enjoyed very attacking phases of play. City’s defensive line were tested plenty of times but were kept in the game by centre-half Sophie Phelps.

A great solo goal by Cardiff’s Grace Horell, who carried the ball from midfield to slot it into the bottom corner, put them ahead just before half-time.

Chi came back fighting during the second half led by sthe energy of Nicky Lake and captain Megan Fox, the latter moved up front. A few long-range efforts from the skipper sailed over the bar.

A very organised defensive line caught Cardiff offside numerous times. A couple of outstanding saves from 16 year-old Rhiannon Stewart aided the positive second half performance.
Despite Chi’s best efforts and positive attacking performance, Cardiff scored their second and sealed the win.

Last minute substitutes Loulou Robson and Gemma Staple were brought on to strengthen the midfield. Staple nearly opened the scoring for Chichester on her debut with great determination and work rate with Webster up front in the final 10 minutes.

The final whistle blew on another positive and improved performance for Chichester City Ladies, who hold the belief they can start to climb away from the bottom of the table soon.

Chi City Ladies: Rhiannon Stewart, Holly Muirhead, Sophie Phelps, Jess Burke, Sharna Capel-Watson, Megan Fox (C), Rebecca Moody, Gemma White, Amy Martins, Lucy Cook, Frankie Webster.