Chichester City Ladies whip up a sand storm in Southsea

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up best attacking formula

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They came to Portsmouth and they conquered.

Chichester City Ladies FC turned on the style to sweep aside Pompey and Brighton in the England Beach Soccer National Championship qualifier.

The unstoppable outfit – who have now qualified for the national finals – won three of their four matches and drew one in the league format competition to finish top with 11 points.

Coach Liam Greenfield, who is also coach of the ladies’ national beach soccer team, saw his Chichester side start with a 5-0 win over Pompey on the beach volleyball courts in Southsea.

They then beat Brighton 1-0 on penalties after a 2-2 draw – earning two points for a penalty win.

Brighton missed their opening kick, before Abbey Shrubb fired her kick into the net.

The third match they played was an epic 4-1 win over Pompey.

Chichester led 1-0 at the break but Gemma Hillier fired in a brilliant equaliser for the Blues.

It seemed set to go to the wire, with Pompey – who included several of their stars from the Premier League side on grass – pushing on.

But Chichester struck three sensational goals – including the goal of the tournament from Kally Ambler who fired home a stunning volley.

They rounded off their campaign with a 5-3 win over Brighton.

Pompey finished second after enjoying thrilling 5-4 and 4-3 victories over Brighton.

But it was plaudits to Chichester who would not have started the competition as favourites.

On grass, they will play in the South West Combination League next season and are managed by Matt Wright.

They are a level below the Premier League southern division where Pompey have been effectively relegated to for next season.

Greenfield said: ‘Other people might be surprised by what we have done but we have very good players.

‘They worked really hard and really wanted to win it.

‘On grass we play in a league a level below the other teams but our side worked really hard and really wanted to win it.

‘We’re a very young team and I think we can kick on now.

‘I certainly feel playing beach soccer is a great benefit to the girls.’