Chichester City Ladies go top with victory against Gillingham

Cherelle Khassal netted the opening goal for Chichester City Ladies in the win against Gillingham. Picture: Sheena Booker
Cherelle Khassal netted the opening goal for Chichester City Ladies in the win against Gillingham. Picture: Sheena Booker

Cherelle Khassal and Molly Clark scored the goals to give Chichester City Ladies a 2-0 win against Gillingham in the FA Women’s National League southern premier division.

The opening goal arrived towards the end of the first half, writes Hayley Newman.

Molly Clark helped Chichester City Ladies go top with one of the two goals they scored in the victory against Gillingham. Picture: Sheena Booker

Molly Clark helped Chichester City Ladies go top with one of the two goals they scored in the victory against Gillingham. Picture: Sheena Booker

Khassal finished well with a shot into the bottom corner after pouncing on a loose ball which evaded the Gillingham defence.

Then the Green Army made it 2-0 straight after the break.

Molly Clark slotted the ball home on the turn from Hollie Wride’s cross.

Chichester boss Aaron Smith made three changes to the side who beat Cardiff City.

Becca Bell, Sharna Capel-Watson and Helen Ogle started the match while Nadine Bazan, Gemma Simmonds and Tash Stephens made the bench.

Chi controlled the game from kick-off although were sluggish in places.

Bell was lightning quick down the wing and looked dangerous when running at the defence.

The chances continued to flow.

Khassal put the ball narrowly wide from Bell’s great ball.

Gillingham tried to carve out chances, however Capel-Watson and Taylor swept the ball away before they could get a shot away.

Khassal was getting in all the right places but couldn’t convert until just past the half-hour mark.

Chichester finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute as the Irish striker picked up the loose ball in the Gillingham defence to go one-on-one with the keeper and poked it across goal into the bottom corner.

As the game headed towards half-time there were a couple of half chances for Gillingham but Sharna Giordani had a shot blocked and Alice Bussey couldn’t control in front of goal.

Lauren Clark was brought on at half-time for Bell and Chi continued their pressure from the restart where they were rewarded two minutes in.

The ball was crossed into the box by Wride.

As it fell to Molly Clark the midfielder lost her footing but did not give up on the ball as she completed a full turn before finding the gap for her eighth goal of the season.

That strike made her joint top goalscorer in the league.

The midfield duo of Wride and Molly Clark were causing all sorts of issues for the visitors.

Wride went close with a superb free-kick when she thumped the crossbar.

Helen Ogle saw her header go wide before Wride couldn’t get enough curl on a low shot to find herself a deserved goal.

Chichester controlled the game with the midfield playing lovely football and they didn’t look likely to concede.

Grace Seely looked the biggest threat for the away side with quick bursts of pace, but she couldn’t make it count.

It was a controlled and comfortable victory for Chichester to go top.

Up next Chichester host bottom-of-the-table C&K Basildon at the Countrywide Gas Stadium on Sunday.

Chichester City: Lauren Dolbear, Lauren Cheshire, Tiffany Taylor, Sharna Capel-Watson, Tammy Waine (Laura Ingram 56mins), Hollie Wride, Helen Ogle (Tash Stephens 72mins), Cherelle Khassal, Rebecca Barron, Molly Clark, Rebecca Bell (Lauren Clark 46mins). Unused subs: Nadine Bazan, Gemma Simmonds.