Mia Gardner scores at Leatherhead. Photo: Neil Holmes

Chichester City Women play their second post lockdown friendly against Milford & Witley having won their first comfortably 4-1 last Monday. Although the score was impressive, it was the playing time to improve the teams match fitness which counted more.

With just two training session completed, the team reacted well in a match environment, with both sides tiring late in the second half, it was good to see the team still chasing the ball and making runs to open out the play.

Our second friendly against Milford & Witley Ladies at Oaklands Park on Sunday (unfortunately due to covid restrictions the game will be behind closed doors), will be the last chance to get some more mileage in the teams legs before the league season resumes at Roffey on Sunday 18th April.

Eloise Williams in training. Photo: Neil Holmes

Defender Eloise Williams is glad to be back!

“I think all the girls would agree, it felt great to be back playing. The game was a great opportunity to blow off any cob webs we had developed from not playing since early December and get some valuable minutes in before the season re starts.

Our opposition were a young and energetic side. Who in spells created some good chances. Fortunately, the likes of Gaby and Elinor were on fire. Looking hungry to get their names on the scoresheet.

Despite this being our first game back, we came away with a 4-1 win. Dominating possession and creating exciting goal scoring opportunities.

Defensively, looking to our next friendly, I would like to ensure we keep a clean sheet”.

Manager Connor Slade. Photo: Neil Holmes

Manager Connor Slade feels although they’ve had a good start, the team have still got a bit to go to get back on track.

“The players have all shown that despite an early friendly so soon, they have coped well with the demands of a semi-competitive fixture. The performance Monday was as we expected in terms of ability.

Although a nice scoreline and good minutes for the players, we know that we had only shown a small portion of what we are capable of but it gave us a good foundation to plan sessions and work towards getting back to our best.”

Gaby Hobday scores at Leatherhead. Photo: Neil Holmes

Captain Gaby Hobday found it challenging after so long not playing.

Monday’s match was tough and it definitely took a while for us to settle into the game. It was hard work and I could definitely tell it had been a few months since I’d played properly and also since we’d all been on the pitch together but old form soon returned as units combined to provide some nice football throughout.

When Mia slotted home the first goal I think everyone settled a bit and it’s always nice to have different players on the scoresheet! Especially Molly on her first appearance for us.

Personally it was a real confidence boost to get in on the goals, and ultimately I just enjoyed being back on the pitch with the girls. However, playing 90 minutes was definitely a challenge at times and to be honest my legs are still hurting today and it’s three days on! Least we got the result to make it worth the pain!