Danielle Scanlon’s goal settled a close match as Chichester City Ladies lost 1-0 to Watford in the FA Women’s National League southern premier division at Kings Langley
Scanlon found herself in the right place at the right time as the ball bounced off her a few yards out, writes Hayley Newman.
Chichester and Watford went toe to toe for the rest of the game with no more goals to be found in a physical battle that saw two players carried off.
Changes were made for the Green Army following the win against C & K Basildon.
Molly Clark and Rebecca Barron returned to the team while Tammy Waine, Cherelle Khassal and Lauren Cheshire returned to the starting line-up.
Watford’s captain Helen Ward proved threatening early on getting into dangerous places including putting a low cross into the box for Katie O’Leary who didn’t gamble.
It was an even game with both defences keeping the attacks at bay.
Former Pompey player Lauren Peck saw out a cross from Nadine Bazan shortly after Tiffany Taylor headed clear the Watford left-back’s cross.
With 15 minutes on the clock the hosts broke the deadlock from an Alysha Stojko-Down free-kick.
The midfielder whipped the ball towards goal with Lauren Dolbear saving and Bazan went in low to clear the ball, but her clearance was denied by Scanlon as the bounced off the Watford player and into the empty net.
Khassal won a free-kick for a slight clip on her heels while driving through into the box with Hollie Wride taking the set piece and forcing Weronika Baranowska into a fingertip save, pushing the ball over the crossbar.
Ward had the home supporters cheering again as she placed her shot into the bottom corner, but the noise was silenced by the raised flag of the assistant referee.
The hosts were forced to make a substitution before the break as O’Leary was carried off and replaced by Linda Afuakwah.
Jess Lewry came on at half-time for Chi as Aaron Smith looked for a spark in his team’s performance and it looked promising.
She was leading the line and causing trouble in the Watford area setting up Wride for a low strike that was covered well by Baranowska.
It was a brief appearance for Lewry who took a knock on the ankle and was replaced by Jade Widdows.
Khassal teed up Wride for Chichester but her shot went wide.
Then Molly Clark saw her shot blocked.
Despite their lead Watford weren’t creating much themselves.
Widdows had a great chance for Chi just inside the Watford box but her strike was deflected over the bar.
It meant it was a narrow defeat against the former FA Women’s Super League side and it was only Chi’s second defeat of the season in all competitions.
They have a break from action on Sunday but return in December for a succession of cup games in the FA Cup, League Cup and County Cup.
The first is the all-Sussex affair away from home against Crawley Wasps in the SSE Women’s FA Cup second round on Sunday, December 2.
Chichester City Ladies: Lauren Dolbear, Nadine Bazan, Tiffany Taylor, Lauren Cheshire, Tammy Waine, Hollie Wride, Molly Clark, Rebecca Barron (Lauren Clark), Gemma Simmonds (Jess Lewry 46mins) (Jade Widdows 53mins), Tash Stephens, Cherelle Khassal. Unused subs: Laura Ingram, Sharna Capel-Watson.