Chichester City Ladies got their Women’s Premier League SW division one campaign off to the perfect start by beating Cheltenham 4-0 at Oaklands Park.
Goals by Chloe Dowdell, Cherelle Khassal, Jade Widdows and Lauren Cheshire delighted a large crowd.
After a successful pre-season, Liam Greenfield was delighted to see the form carried into the new term.
Chichester were off like a rocket from the start, pushing the ball wide and testing the defence at regular intervals. Kerrie Ryan made a welcome return in the Chichester defence and she and Laura Ingram should make for a formidable defence. Chances were coming thick and fast for the hosts but the finishing touch was deserting Shannon Albuery and Khassel.
Keeper Bec Panniers was preventing the green army getting their noses in front.
Jess Lewry brought the best out of Panniers with a terrific effort that needed the keeper’s fingertip touch to put over the bar.
Just after the half-hour, Chichester broke the deadlock through the reliable Dowdell. Khassel made a burst down the right and delivered a lovely ball,into the area that Dowdell buried.
In the first half, Chichester had more than 20 shots on target but it was only 1-0 at the break.
Chichester almost got caught out, close to the hour when striker Ella Hitchcox broke the offside trap and had only keeper Sally-Anne Thompson to beat. Her chip went narrowly wide.
This was the kick up the backside Chichester needed and they soon doubled their advantage. Widdows, fresh off the bench, produced a perfectly-timed leap to bullet a header home from a Becky Barron corner.
Khassel deservedly got on the scoresheet with a quality finish at the back stick thanks to a lovely set-up by Dowdell.
Cheshire rounded off the scoring with a late penalty after Lewry was upended in the box.
This Sunday Chichester travel to the royal county of Berkshire to take on Maidenhead, bidding to keep up their early pace.
CCLFC: Thompson, Alexandre, Cheshire, Khassel, Albuery, Dowdell, Barron, Lewry, Ryan, Ingram, Widdowson. Subs: Ambler, Widdows, Pallant, Oliver.
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