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Chichester City 1 Keynsham Town 2
Keynsham Town moved into the First Round proper of the SSE Women's Cup with a battling away win over FAWPL South West Division One rivals Chichester City at Sidlesham.
Chichester dominated possession for long periods and created good situations throughout the match but Keynsham were resolute in defence and always dangerous on the counter, which led to an exciting and good quality cup tie.
Chichester made the early running, Cherelle Khassal shooting just wide and Keynsham keeper Colette Bell saving confidently from Molly Clark, then tipping over a cross shot from Chloe Dowdell after a fine pass by Becky Barron.
Keynsham took the lead on 14 minutes with their first meaningful attack. Geovanna Dos Santos broke free on the right and delivered a perfect cross on the head of Justine Lorton-Radburn, free on the far post to beat Sally-Anne Thompson.
Chichester's Lucie Challen made a crucial interception to deny Yasmin Pratt a run on goal but the majority of play and chances were at the other end as the hosts went in search of an equaliser. Clark again went close from 20 yards, then Charley Wilson-Blakely set up Khassal for a volley which was just too high on 32 minutes. Danielle Beazer got in a goal line clearance to deny Dowdell, then Clark twice found Khassal free on the left but both shots went just wide.
Having been under pressure for much of the half, Keynsham nearly doubled their lead right on the break when two first time passes sent Pratt clear on goal, the shot beating Thompson but arrowing wide of the post.
The same pattern emerged after the break, Chichester forcing numerous corners and winning free kicks in dangerous situations but Bell was in outstanding form in the Keynsham goal, supported by very strong and brave defending from Jessie Osborne and Nadine Grogan in central defence. Bell denied Khassal with a fine diving save after Barron had played her in. Chichester substitute Jade Widdows gave the home attack even more menace down the right, her cross bringing another Bell save at full stretch on 63 minutes.
Keynsham always had a threat however, Grogan with a set piece finding Geovanna free to fire inches over and Cristina Vega becoming ever more influential as the game became stretched. Vega was sent clear by Lorton-Radburn and her shot bounced off the inside of the post before Lauren Cheshire cleared. However, Vega was not to be denied when another break saw her freed again by Lorton-Radburn on 83 minutes, she curled the ball home for Keynsham's second.
Chichester were far from finished however. Bell tipped over a powerful Clark free kick, then Jess Lewry set up a thrilling finale when she converted a Widdows cross from close range on 86 minutes. The home team poured on the pressure in search of the equaliser, Wilson-Blakely just unable to turn home a diving header, then seeing a shot roll agonisingly wide after a scramble. Bell made one final crucial save, flying across her area to fingertip away another loose ball for a corner and the final whistle brought relief and joy for the visitors.
After Storm Angus had battered the south overnight, the Sidlesham pitch was in remarkably good shape. Keynsham, despite a late arrival which necessitated a delayed kick off, weathered the Chichester storm to earn a trip to Regents Park Rangers in the next round.
Chichester City: Sally-Anne Thompson, Lauren Cheshire, Emma Alexandre, Laura Ingram, Lucie Challen, Chloe Dowdell, Becky Barron, Jess Lewry, Cherelle Khassal, Molly Clark, Charley Wilson-Blakely. Subs: Chloe Parkes, Keavy Price, Jade Widdows.
Keynsham Town: Colette Bell, Andreea Alexandru, Nadine Grogan, Rachel Cullen, Jessie Osborne, Danielle Beazer, Stacey Pearson, Yasmin Pratt, Justine Lorton-Radburn, Geovanna Alves, Cristina Vega Leandro. Sub: Hannah Sims.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Justine Lorton-Radburn heads in the opening goal for Keynsham
(middle) Goalkeeper Sally-Anne Thompson and Emma Alexandre combine to foil Yasmin Pratt
(bottom) Charley Wilson-Blakely is surrounded by Rachel Cullen and Nadine Grogan
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