City Ladies hit back to sink Swindon

It's a winner for Chi City Ladies against Swindon / Picture by Tommy McMillan
It's a winner for Chi City Ladies against Swindon / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Second-half goals from Jade Widdows and Jess Lewry – the winner coming in the 94th minute – sealed a 2-1 win for Chichester City Ladies in their first home game for two months.

The visitors took the lead in the WPL southern-division match against the run of play, Sophie Roberts slotting home the loose ball.

A dominant performance from Chichester paid dividends in the second half with goals from Jade Widdows and Lewry sealing the points for City.

There were a few changes to the line-up that lost to Coventry United with Sophie Phelps, Gracie White and Alex Collighan starting and Laura Ingram returning to the squad with a place on the bench.

The early exchanges went to Chichester with a few grumbles from the visitors about the strength of some challenges.

Lewry had the first chance, turning on the ball from a Lauren Cheshire cross but putting too much under the ball as it hit the netting behind the goal.

A few more chances to break the deadlock fell to Lewry. Her first effort was a header just over and her second a half-chance that she just couldn’t beat Lauren Doble to.

Natasha Stephens is still searching for her first Chichester goal and she set herself neatly for a shot just inside the area only to have a red shirt block her way.

Most of the play came to the home side with Swindon not quite able to find gaps in the backline.

A goal came in the 25th minute against the run of play as Swindon netted the opener. Winning a free-kick 35 yards out, Polly New stepped up for the visitors with a neat ball into the box. It ran loose and Roberts volleyed home.

The pressure didn’t subside from Chichester, who looked for an equaliser – Widdows causing trouble for Doble but unable to find the goal.

Chloe Tucker nearly scored from a low Stephens corner but was denied by a wicked deflection.

In the second-half, Chichester continued to attack. Lewry had the initial shot that was blocked and spilled by Doble with Stephens just unable to turn the ball home.

Chances kept coming for City and they were rewarded just past the hour as Widdows netted.

It was one-way traffic from that point as Chichester piled on the pressure looking for the winner.

Captain Emma Alexandre almost put City ahead in the 73rd minute from a Tucker corner but not for a Swindon player on the line.

The visitors were kept deep in their half for much of the second half, having to weather numerous Chichester corners.

Widdows and Rebecca Barron were both denied as the clock ticked down – then deep into injury-time the breakthrough came.

It was a deserved one for the home side as Cheshire’s pinpoint cross found Lewry at the far post to smash home the winning goal.

There was a late altercation between Jenna Fowlie and New that saw them both booked, but City held on for the important three points.

Chi City Ladies: Shine, Alexandre, Cheshire, Tucker, White, Stephens, Bloomfield, Lewry, Widdows, Phelps, Collighan. Unused subs: Barron, Ingram, Fowlie, Taylor.

HAYLEY NEWMAN