Lewry and Taylor fire Chichester City to Sussex Cup final as Wasps are beaten
Chichester City Ladies bounced back with a 2-1 win against Crawley Wasps to reach the Sussex Cup final.
Tiffany Taylor gave Chi the early lead with a great volley for her first goal for the club.
Wasps dented hopes with a Charlotte Young header finding the net.
But Jess Lewry’s penalty sealed the win and the place in the final.
Heading into the game Crawley were unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions including the 2-0 win over Chichester back in December in the SSE Women’s FA Cup.
Wasps had taken the scalps of two other National League sides since then beating Coventry United and Plymouth Argyle.
Chi, on the other hand, were coming into the game a little off their mark especially following the disappointment of the loss to Coventry the week before.
But they bounced back superbly.
Matt Wright guided the team from the sidelines due to manager Aaron Smith suffering with flu and there were two changes to the starting line-up with Lauren Clark and Tash Stephens starting.
Kemina Webber dragged a shot wide in the first minute before Rebecca Barron’s 25-yard shot was claimed by Frankie Gibbs.
Molly Clark’s calm control put Helen Ogle on the run to cross into the box where Gibbs parried dangerously as Sara Tubby pounced for a tap in but the goalkeeper recovered quickly.
Lauren Clark won the corner from which Chichester opened the scoring.
Megan Stow and Naomi Cole failed to clear the set-piece with the latter teeing up Taylor whose volleyed effort beat the midfielder and her keeper.
The back four of Lauren Cheshire, Tammy Waine, Laura Ingram and Taylor worked efficiently to time their blocks and challenges against the Wasps’ attacking trio Sian Heather, Faye Rabson and Webber.
Molly Clark was controlling the midfield and provided the link to Ogle and Stephens, both nuisances to the Crawley defence.
As the second half went on Crawley began to grain ground.
Eventually they got through the Green Army defences to pull a goal back.
Then it was the late drama as Chi struck again in the 81st minute.
Stephens was fouled in the box from behind by Niamh Stephenson and the referee pointed to the spot.
Substitute Lewry had to wait two minutes before she could take the spot-kick but she sent Gibbs the wrong way to restore the lead to the delights of the visiting fans and dugout.
Crawley fought hard during seven minutes of injury time.
But Chichester had done enough to seal a first Sussex Cup final appearance in four years.
Up next for Chichester City is a home game against Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Women’s National League at the Countrywide Gas Stadium on Sunday, January 27 (2pm).
The Sussex County Cup final is due to be played on Thursday, March 21 at Lancing Football Club.
Chichester City: Lauren Dolbear, Lauren Cheshire, Laura Ingram, Tiffany Taylor, Molly Clark, Tash Stephens, Tammy Waine, Sara Tubby (Jess Lewry 75mins), Helen Ogle (Cherelle Khassal 65mins), Rebecca Barron, Lauren Clark (Gemma Simmonds 84mins). Unused sub: Sharna Capel-Watson.