Five-star Chichester City Ladies thrash MK Dons to keep in command of title race

Lauren Cheshire celebrates. 
Picture: Sheena BookerLauren Cheshire celebrates. 
Picture: Sheena Booker
Lauren Cheshire celebrates. Picture: Sheena Booker
A superb second-half onslaught was rewarded with a fine 5-2 victory as Chichester City Ladies beat Milton Keynes Dons 5-2.

From a goal down Chichester City showed their class to boost their position at the top of the FA Women’s National League southern premier division – report by Hayley Newman.

The victory has set up a key battle this Sunday perfectly.

Chichester go away to second-placed Coventry United.

The Green Army lead by five points but their hosts have three games in hand.

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It promises to be an exciting contest following the high drama against MK Dons as they took an early lead thanks to a third-minute Charly Clarke penalty.

But Molly Clark cancelled that out before the break.

Lauren Cheshire scored right after half-time which was quickly followed by Rebecca Barron’s header.

Sara Tubby netted twice while MK could only get a consolation second in between from Amy Gooderham.

Chi started the better but fell behind.

Lauren Dolbear was at full stretch to save Louise Naylor’s 25-yard shot.

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But a minute later the referee pointed to the spot as the ball bounced off the post and onto Tammy Waine’s arm from close range.

The spot-kick was converted by Clarke, although Dolbear was unfortunate as she almost got to it.

Chichester rallied quickly. Helen Ogle teed up Tash Stephens in the box but the winger’s back flicked attempt flew over the goalmouth.

Movement on the ball was well controlled by Chi and with good composure they built their moves looking for the equaliser.

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Molly Clark found the perfect long ball for Stephens on the counter from a MK free-kick, however the muddy Oaklands Park pitch held the ball up for the winger.

The tide started to turn for Chichester just before half-time.

Molly Clark struck a 30-yard free-kick which arrowed over the wall and into the roof of the net.

Two minutes after the break Cheshire added her name to the scoresheet with her first goal in 19 months.

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Substitute Cherelle Khassal’s cross was headed on by the MK defence to Cheshire who utilised the space she had to control, set herself, and shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.

It was 3-1 when Barron converted Molly Clark’s corner with the back of her head.

Milton Keynes pulled a goal back just passed the hour mark through a long ball counter to Gooderham to send the ball low and across goal.

With less than two minutes from the restart Tubby restored the two-goal advantage.

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It wasn’t long before Tubby made it five for Chi when she diverted a kick from the Dons keeper into the net. 

Chichester City Ladies: Lauren Dolbear, Lauren Cheshire (c), Tammy Waine, Tiffany Taylor, Laura Ingram (Cherelle Khassal 42mins), Molly Clark (Hollie Wride 57mins), Lauren Clark, Rebecca Barron, Sara Tubby, Tash Stephens, Helen Ogle (Sharna Capel-Watson 72mins). Unused subs: Jess Lewry, Gemma Simmonds.

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