Chi celebrate famous win

Chichester City celebrate their win. Picture by Geoff Penn

Chichester City celebrate their win. Picture by Geoff Penn

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Boss Matthew Wright hailed a famous victory for Chichester after they sunk Albion to win the Sussex Women's Cup for the first time in their history.

But Wright, who has been manager for five years and involved with the club for seven, insists this success should just be the start of things for ambitious Chi.

They bridged a one division gap to run out 3-0 winners.

This was not Albion’s strongest side but they were still hungry to lift the trophy for a third successive year and a 13th time in the last 15 seasons.

Instead a record crowd for this final of 381 saw goals from substitute Abbey Shrubb (two) and Hollie Wride – who was released by Albion earlier this season – seal a memorable victory for Chichester.

Wright said: “This is pretty special. Since I have been at the club it is probably the biggest win we have ever had in terms of a stage like this.

“The girls worked so hard. They were fantastic. We knew we were going to be up against it for large periods and we were.

“Credit to Brighton, they were fantastic, they kept moving the ball, they kept trying but the more we pushed we knew we had Abbey Shrubb to come on and do that at the end of the game.

“We will keep going, we will keep working, we have a league campaign to finish, that is very important. We need to be playing against teams like Brighton every week, we don’t just want to win a cup final, we want that promotion as well.”

The match was in doubt right up to kick-off due to fog which shrouded the pitch.

Visibility was poor for most of the game, particularly from the side of the main stand which was packed with supporters.

Chichester’s noisy ‘Green Army’ fans got behind their side from the start.

Albion’s followers were less vocal but included first team midfielder Rohan Ince who was there to show his support.

Chichester took just three minutes to break the deadlock, Wride smashing a free-kick from a central position 25 yards from goal past Albion goalkeeper Charlotte Sole.

The underdogs played with purpose in the opening stages and were good value for their lead but Albion came back into the game as the half wore on and began to create chances.

Kirsty Barton drove Charley Boswell’s cross wide of the far post on 23 minutes, then Cally Beaumont’s header from a Barton corner was held by Chi keeper Hannah McNamara on the goalline.

In first-half stoppage time, Amy Green’s shot from 20 yards was tipped over the bar.

McNamara was alert again ten minutes into the second half when she held firm to deny Tammy Waine after Rebecca Thompson-Agbro powered a corner goalbound.

Albion dominated possession in the second half without really looking threatening.

Chichester went 2-0 up eight minutes from time thanks to a terrific strike from Shrubb who broke down the right and arrowed a tremendous shot across goal into the top corner.

Shrubb scored her second in stoppage time when Albion’s defenders seemed to lose a long ball forward in the fog and the Chichester substitute danced round the goalkeeper to slot home.

Albion: Sole, Carter (sub Potkins 62), Beaumont, Thompson-Agbro, Poole, Boswell, Green (sub M.Kmita 81), Barton, Somes, Waine, R.Kmita (sub Howells 46). Subs not used: M.Kmita, Mangan, Capon.

Chichester: McNamara, Starkey, McGlashan, Alexandre, Willett, Fowlie (sub Symonds 90), Widdowson (sub Laws 32), Ambler (sub Shrubb 67), Cheshire, Wride. Subs not used: Harnett, Strudwick.

Referee: Paul Jeffery.

Attendance: 381.

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