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Worthing 1 Chichester City Development 1
Two of the leading teams in the South East Counties League Premier Division were able to beat the awful weather which decimated the fixture list and fought out an excellent contest at Worthing FC.
The home side, second in the table, deservedly led at the break and seemed to have clinched an important win until Chichester City Development, third at the start of play, found an equaliser with almost the last kick of the game.
Lucy Cook tested Worthing keeper Leah Samain with a low shot on eight minutes but for much of next 40 minutes, the hosts battered the Chichester defence with quick, inventive play and accurate set play delivery from Naomi Robinson. A series of fine saves by keeper Poppy Shine kept Worthing at bay, Gemma Worsfold tested Shine first with a snap shot before driving a 20-yard effort inches over.
Shine beat away a Millie Colbran drive at the near post and Worthing were very unlucky on 28 minutes when a Hannah Hewlett shot hit the underside of the bar before rebounding off Shine for a corner. Robinson's corners were always dangerous and one scramble forced a superb double save from the busy Shine. blocking a first shot before reacting quickly to kick the loose ball away from the line on 39 minutes.
Another corner, on 42 minutes, led to the opening goal. A header was only half cleared and Worsfold drove home from ten yards. Shine made two more brave saves before the break to keep the deficit to one but was injured in diving at the feet of an attacker and could not continue after the break.
Replacement 'keeper Rhianna Farr proved equally capable in the opening minutes of the second half, reacting well to turn over a powerful shot before diving to save a header from the corner. Gradually, however, the visitors started to force their way back into the match with the impressive Cook always threatening the Worthing defence. Cook was inches away from an equaliser on 57 minutes and later only a goal line clearance from a corner kept the hosts ahead.
A blocked Worthing clearance rolled inches wide late on and it seemed that, despite Chichester's best efforts, Worthing had done enough to clinch an important three points. Deep into injury time however, Cook ran on to a through ball and cleverly guided a shot past the advancing Samain for the equalising goal.
Both teams had impressed, Worthing for their attacking play and the chances created, Chichester for their resolve not to be beaten, their determined defending and the quality displayed by both of their goalkeepers in a very competitive match with a twist in the tail.
Leah Samain, Jodie Pallant, Megan Priest, Brooke Marshall, Madeleine Emmerton, Hannah Hewlett, Gemma Worsfold, Sophie Frost, Naomi Robinson, Bethany McKellar, Millie Colbran. Subs: Sophie Humphrey, Brooke Pallant, Megan Cave, Chloe Lamley, Angharad Hills.
Chichester City Development:
Poppy Shine, Sophie Phelps, Lucy Cook, Hannah Reed Annie-Rose Dunn, Rachel Bush, Lauren Ellis, Molly Thorns, Gaby Hobday, Teri Foster, Alice Walford. Subs: Rhianna Farr, Gemma Halford, Amber Beaven, Sian Payne, Ellie Bloomfield.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photo by www.jamesprickett.co.uk: Lucy Cook takes on Brooke Marshall and Megan Priest.
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