The scoreline will suggest that West Ham gave Chichester and Selsey a ‘hammering’ but that wasn’t officially the case. The West Ham team featured many international players and a strong starting eleven.
West Ham got off to a quick start when the referee adjudged Amber Howden of a handball in the area, something that she seemed to be the only one to see, and although Issy Foster in the Chichester goal went the right way and was close to it they were 1-0 up after two minutes.
This of course massively affected the team and their game plan. Emily Van Egmond was a constant threat and her height and stature proved too strong for the Chichester defence as she scored four first-half goals, some great headers along the way to give West Ham a substantial lead.
Chichester worked hard and closed down the ball but West Ham were in a confident mood after a few quick goals and the difference in fitness levels showed.
Sarah Saunders up front for Chichester held the ball up well and Chichester had a threat from set-pieces but unable to test the keeper.
As the referee blew for half time the home side were 7-0 but still, Chichester had plenty of pride to play for in the second half. Chichester boss, Sadie Blakely asked her team at half time to continue to compete and enjoy the game and improve on their first-half performance.
Fifteen minutes had gone in the second half before Chichester were unlucky to concede again when a shot cannoned off the post and then from a Chichester player and then over the line.
Another strange decision on a penalty was awarded and although again Foster got her hands to it but the strike was too strong to keep out.
Foster was having an incredible game and pulled off a fantastic save to deny West Ham a tenth and put the ball out for a corner. It was ten to the Super League side soon after.
Chichester found themselves on a break down the West Ham right-hand side and with great link-up play between the three central midfielders, Ariana Fleischman, Megan Fox and Gemma Simmonds, the ball made it’s way into the box and it was met by Tash Wild who found the bottom corner only for the linesman to raise his flag judging Simmonds was offside in the build-up…gutted!
West Ham finished the game off with an eleventh goal. The scoreline was maybe a bit harsh in terms of the commitment and work ethic of Chichester and Selsey on the day but everyone at the club and their supporters are proud of the achievement this season. For a bunch of players who get to train twice a week, have had four months off due to Covid-19 and have to pay to play the game they love, we are extremely proud.
The fact the players have had two games recently after so long out and played against a professional side also showed the difference in women’s football. A club getting their day against a Super League side is what the FA Cup is about. It also highlighted the difference in the women’s football pyramid and maybe something the FA should look into. This game wasn’t the only one to be high scoring.
West Ham United: Ramsey (GK), Flaherty ©, Fisk, Cissoko, Barker, Denton, Vetterlein (Arnold 68’), Pacheco (Redisch 60’), Van Egmond (Beaufort 46’), Dali (Longhurst 46’), Svitkova (Mustafa 46’)
Sub not used: Brosnan (GK)
Goals: Van Egmond 2 (pen), 6, 20, 23, Dali 10, Flaherty 28, Svitková 45, Mustafa 59, Redisch 71, Longhurst 82 (pen), Denton 84
Chichester & Selsey: Foster (GK), Capel-Watson, Lake, Howden, Wilde, Simmonds, Fox ©, Howell, Staple (Yeates 59), Saunders
Subs not used: Robinson, Burke, Thorns, Alexandre, Sundby, Davy
Photo: Sheena Booker