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Chichester win summit meeting
 Women's Football WPL Division 1 South West News - 13 Apr 2017
WPL Division 1 South West News - Chichester win summit meeting - 13 Apr 2017 - Women's Football NewsChichester City 3 Plymouth Argyle 0
League leaders Chichester City took a big step towards the FAWPL Division One South West title with a 3-0 home win over closest rivals Plymouth Argyle.
With three games in hand on the leaders, Plymouth needed the three points to put matters in their own hands for the final weeks, but Chichester generally dominated thanks to very good all round team display, despite a spirited effort from the visitors in defeat.
After a cagey opening period, Charley Wilson-Blakely made the important breakthrough for the home team on fifteen minutes with a sharp turn and driven finish from the edge of the area. Argyle responded well with Natasha Knapman dangerous every time the visitors found an opening. One good chance was lifted over Sadie Wilson-Blakely's goal on 19 minutes and another was blocked for a corner. Ebony Dover then placed a free kick just over the bar as the visitors threatened an equaliser.
Chichester were soon back on the attack, Cherelle Khassal sending in an inviting cross which Jess Lewry was just unable to convert, then Argyle keeper Michaela Phillips saved well from Charley Wilson-Blakely when Lauren Cheshire picked a pass to send her in on goal on 40 minutes.
Plymouth started the second half well, applying good pressure on the home defence, Knapman having an early header saved from skipper Katie Middleton's free kick. Sadie Wilson-Blakely was then off her line quickly to block another Knapman shot on 52 minutes. However Chichester were soon threatening again and Zoe Cunningham did well to clear a header off the line from a corner on the hour, then Phillips made a fine save from a driven Kerrie Ryan cross.
The crucial second goal for Chichester came on 65 minutes. Khassal beat the offside trap and took a through ball round the advancing Phillips before calmly rolling a shot home from the right corner of the penalty area, just beating the efforts of covering defenders.
Hard as Plymouth tried, they struggled to fashion clear openings against the home defence. Indeed, Chichester looked the more likely to score again, twice going close in the latter stages of the match. It was Ryan who set up the third goal in added time, breaking clear on the right and playing a perfect pass for substitute Chloe Dowdell to convert on the far post.
Chichester deserved the win as they had a greater variety of attacking options which kept the Argyle defence fully occupied. There are still plenty of matches to be played, five for Chichester and eight for Plymouth but, with their almost perfect record so far, it is difficult to see who will deny the Sussex team a place in the FAWPL Southern Division next season.
Chichester City:
Sadie Wilson-Blakely, Kerrie Ryan, Emma Alexandre, Laura Ingram, Lucie Challen, Molly Clark, Lauren Cheshire, Becky Barron, Jess Lewry, Charley Wilson-Blakely, Cherelle Khassal. Subs: Kally Ambler, Chloe Dowdell, Loulou Robson, Carmen Kager.
Plymouth Argyle:
Michaela Phillips, Ebony Dover, Rachel Javan, Katie Middleton, Rebecca Atkins, Dani Barr, Rebecca Dandridge, Zoe Cunningham, Kayley Lane, Natasha Knapman, Mollie Taylor. Subs: Kayleigh Brown, Darcy Hepworth, Ezme Wells.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Natasha Knapman is denied by Laura Ingram
(middle) Zoe Cunningham wins the ball from Charley Wilson-Blakely
(bottom) Cherelle Khassal is challenged by Katie Middleton

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